Methods and Technologies Branch (MTB)

The vision of the Methods and Technologies Branch (MTB) is to advance population science through innovative cancer epidemiology utilizing state-of-the-art, emerging and advanced methods and technologies.

MTB's mission is to empower cancer epidemiologists with innovative and advanced methods/technologies to conduct cancer epidemiology. The Branch supports planning, developing, directing, validating, and evaluating:

  • Methods/technologies for conducting cancer epidemiology, particularly the methods/technologies suitable for understanding cancer etiology, identifying at risk population, assessing cancer incidence, prevalence, survival and mortality in populations;
  • Emerging and advanced methods/technologies which allow analysis of both endogenous (e.g., genomic, epigenomic, proteomic and metabolomic) and exogenous factors (e.g., chemical, drug, tobacco, and microbes), and the interactions between the host and the environment that increase or decrease cancer risk/survival;
  • Robust methods/technologies for screening molecular markers (e.g., pre-neoplastic and neoplastic markers; inflammation markers; chemical/drug induced molecular changes; [i.e., the molecular markers of exposure]), which will be suitable for risk stratification in clinical/molecular epidemiology;Advanced methods/technologies for integrating epidemiological, clinical, molecular and environmental data to assess risk/susceptibility/survival;
  • Methods/technologies for assessing quality, integrity, and utility of fresh or archived biospecimens, both liquid and tissue specimens to conduct retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies; and
  • Robust prediction/prognostic models for cancer risk/outcomes.

MTB also disseminates findings from the research supported by the Branch to the public at-large, epidemiologists, and public health professionals involved in cancer prevention, care and control.

MTB Staff

Branch Name / Title / Contact Info Interest Areas

Verma, Mukesh, Ph.D.
Branch Chief

Phone: (240) 276-6889

  • Biomarkers
  • Epigenetics and epidemiology
  • Molecular epidemiology technologies
  • Mitochondria
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbiome

Divi, Rao L., Ph.D.
Program Director

Phone: (240) 276-6913

  • Cancer risk and causal markers (molecular/cellular/tissue)
  • Non-invasive or minimally invasive modalities for assessing cancer risk and detecting cancer
  • Development and validation of cancer-relevant methods and technologies for cancer epidemiology
  • Affordable molecular and cellular technologies to address cancer health disparities
  • Information technology for analyzing, integrating, visualizing, and disseminating large-scale multilevel data
  • Bioinformatics
  • Global health technologies for cancer care continuum
  • Molecular and histopathology technologies for cancer risk, risk of metastasis, risk of recurrence, and survival assessment
  • Methods for risk prediction (both primary and metastasis)
  • High-throughput technologies for biological markers of exposure (diet/environment/drug)
  • Exposome
  • Co-infections and cancer
  • Cancer health disparities
  • Carcinoma of unknown primary
  • Autophagy
  • Immunogenomics
  • Physical technologies for sequencing nucleic acids
  • Mosaic gene-function analysis
  • Preneoplastic markers
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Environment/diet/drug toxicity and carcinogenicity
  • Gene-Environment Interactions
  • Circulating cell-free DNA, tumor DNA, exosomes and oncosomes

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