Environmental Epidemiology Branch (EEB)

The Environmental Epidemiology Branch (EEB) focuses on factors to reduce cancer risk in humans, including exposures to physical and chemical agents; nutritional components; physical activity and energy balance; alcohol and tobacco; and infectious agents.

EEB's mission is to plan, develop, direct, coordinate, and evaluate:

  • A comprehensive program of extramural epidemiologic research in the etiology of cancer in human populations relating to factors that may be modifiable, such as physical and chemical agents, nutrition, physical activity and energy balance, and infectious diseases;
  • A program of extramural epidemiologic research to study differences in cancer susceptibility and risk in individuals and populations and the multiple environmental and genetic factors that jointly contribute to cancer, with the ultimate goal of elucidating the etiology of cancer;
  • A program of extramural epidemiologic research to evaluate the association of and magnitude of cancer risk associated with biomarkers of exposure, biologically effective dose, and early damage; and
  • Research resources, infrastructures, and consortia with a focus on modifiable risk factors to facilitate and maximize the scientific potential of cancer epidemiology research.

Its mission is also to disseminate findings from the research supported by the Branch to the public, health care professionals, scientists engaged in cancer control, and the public health community.

EEB Staff

Branch Name / Title / Contact Info Interest Areas

Ellison, Gary L., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Acting Branch Chief

Phone: (240) 276-6783
Email: ellisong@mail.nih.gov

  • Elucidating the role of physical and chemical exposures, lifestyle, and the macro-environment in cancer incidence and progression
  • Cancer disparities
  • Early-life environmental factors
  • Global health
  • Cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and rectum

Dold, Georgia
Extramural Support Specialist

Phone: (240) 276-6784
Email: georgiadold@mail.nih.gov

  • Not Available

Lai, Gabriel, Ph.D.
Program Director

Phone: (240) 276-7201
Email: laigy@mail.nih.gov

  • Modifiable and lifestyle factors—such as diet and nutrition, obesity, diabetes, and energy metabolism—related to cancer risk and etiology and other cancer-related outcomes
  • Cancer disparities in racial/ethnic groups in the United States and other countries; global health
  • Early-life exposures

Lam, Tram K., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Program Director

Phone: (240) 276-6967
Email: lamt@nih.gov

  • Cancer epidemiology, including infectious agents, lifestyle factors, genomic factors, gene-environment interactions
  • Infection-related cancers, pathogen-host co-evolution, novel infectious agents
  • Knowledge integration/meta-research to advance research by synthesizing cross-disciplinary knowledge, identifying scientific gaps, and translating epidemiologic findings
  • Understudied/under-researched populations in cancer epidemiology, health disparities

Lee, Jennifer, M.P.H.
Cancer Research Training Award Fellow

Phone: (240) 276-7333
Email: jennifer.lee7@nih.gov

  • Dietary and lifestyle factors
  • Obesity
  • Energy balance
  • Physical activity
  • Pediatric nutrition

Mahabir, Somdat, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Program Director

Phone: (240) 276-6941
Email: mahabir@mail.nih.gov

  • Early-life factors and cancer development later in life (childhood and adult cancers)
  • Nutrition, energetics, and other lifestyle factors in cancer epidemiology
  • Nutraceuticals and cancer
  • Use of "omics" approaches to understand the links between lifestyle factors and the genome, epigenome, microbiome, and metabolome on cancer prevention, etiology, treatment, and survival
  • Cancer and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Caribbean/Latin America

Starks, Vaurice L.
Program Director

Phone: (301) 624-1299
Email: starksv@mail.nih.gov

  • Infectious disease epidemiology

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