EGRP News Flash - April 21, 2009

Two Nutritional Epidemiologists Join EGRP

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Somdat Mahabir, Ph.D., M.P.H. and L. Joseph Su, Ph.D., M.P.H. to EGRP's Modifiable Risk Factors Branch (MRFB). Drs. Mahabir and Su will be responsible for managing EGRP's diet, nutrition, and energy balance research portfolios.

Dr. Mahabir comes to EGRP from The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. He also was a Member of the Nutritional Epidemiology Working Group, an Associate Member of a research core for environmental epidemiology and ecogenetics with the Center for Research on Environmental Disease, and an Affiliated Faculty member of the Center for Research on Minority Health. For Texas Women's University, Dr. Mahabir was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies.

Dr. Mahabir has been the Principal Investigator and Co-investigator on grants funded by NIH, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and M.D. Anderson. His research interests include understanding how genetic variation modifies the relationship between nutritional factors and cancer risk, methodological issues in nutritional exposure assessment, and understanding how obesity affects nutritional metabolism in pathways leading to increased cancer risk.

Before joining M.D. Anderson, Dr. Mahabir was a Cancer Prevention Fellow at NCI, a Project Director with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the New York Institute of Technology.

He holds a Ph.D. in Nutrition from New York University, an M.P.H. in Epidemiology from New York Medical College, and an M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from New York Institute of Technology.

Dr. Su joins EGRP from the Louisiana State University's (LSU) School of Public Health in New Orleans, where he was an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Curriculum Coordinator for the Epidemiology Program. He also held a joint appointment in the LSU Department of Pathology where he had a laboratory for nutrient biomarker analysis.

He has been the Principal Investigator or Co-investigator of a variety of grants and contracts supported by NIH and other federal agencies, the state of Louisiana, and other funding sources. His research interests include dietary intake assessment and/or biomarkers associated with cancer etiology and prognosis, potential carcinogenic chemicals in foods, and molecular mechanisms that underlie cancer risk, such as epigenetic changes, and especially risk for cancers of the prostate, ovary, pancreas, colon, and lung.

Before joining LSU, Dr. Su was a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill's School of Public Health, and later was an Adjunct Associate Professor with that School and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr. Su also has experience as a reviewer for NIH's Center for Scientific Review's (CSR) Epidemiology and Cancer (EPIC) Study Section and the NCI Special Emphasis Panel. He holds a Ph.D. in Nutritional Epidemiology specializing in biomarkers of exposure in cancer epidemiology from UNC at Chapel Hill and an M.P.H. in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Minnesota.

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