Gabriel Lai, Ph.D.
Program Director, Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Contact Information

Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
9609 Medical Center Drive, Rm. 4E606, MSC 9763
Bethesda, MD 20892
(For express delivery, use Rockville, MD 20850)

Interest Areas

  • Exposome
  • Obesity, diabetes, metabolic and nutritional factors
  • Occupational and environmental exposures
  • “Omics”/molecular epidemiology 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


  • Ph.D. - Epidemiology
    Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • M.H.S. – Epidemiology
    Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • B.A. - Psychology and Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley


Dr. Gabriel Lai is a Program Director in the Environmental Epidemiology Branch (EEB)—formerly the Modifiable Risk Factors Branch (MRFB)—of the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) in NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). His responsibilities include managing a research portfolio and developing research initiatives related to a spectrum of modifiable factors and environmental exposures (e.g., obesity, diabetes, lifestyle, pollution, and radiation) associated with cancer.

Before joining EGRP in 2013, Dr. Lai was a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch in NCI's intramural Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. In this position, he developed and conducted research to evaluate diet and energy metabolism in liver and other cancers in large U.S. and international cohort studies. He received the NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence in 2011 and 2012 for this work.


Lee JT, Lai GY, Liao LM, Subar AF, Bertazzi PA, Pesatori AC, Freedman ND, Landi MT, Lam TK. Nut Consumption and Lung Cancer Risk: Results from Two Large Observational Studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Jun;26(6):826-836.

Loftfield E, Freedman ND, Lai GY, Weinstein SJ, McGlynn KA, Taylor PR, Männistö S, Albanes D, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ. Higher Glucose and Insulin Levels Are Associated with Risk of Liver Cancer and Chronic Liver Disease Mortality among Men without a History of Diabetes. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2016 Nov;9(11):866-874.

Kennedy AE, Khoury MJ, Ioannidis JP, Brotzman M, Miller A, Lane C, Lai GY, Rogers SD, Harvey C, Elena JW, Seminara D. The Cancer Epidemiology Descriptive Cohort Database: A Tool to Support Population-Based Interdisciplinary Research. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Oct;25(10):1392-1401.

Petrick JL, Freedman ND, Graubard BI, Sahasrabuddhe VV, Lai GY, Alavanja MC, Beane-Freeman LE, Boggs DA, Buring JE, Chan AT, Chong DQ, Fuchs CS, Gapstur SM, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci EL, Hollenbeck AR, King LY, Koshiol J, Lee IM, Linet MS, Palmer JR, Poynter JN, Purdue MP, Robien K, Schairer C, Sesso HD, Sigurdson AJ, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Wactawski-Wende J, Campbell PT, McGlynn KA. Coffee Consumption and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma by Sex: The Liver Cancer Pooling Project. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Sep;24(9):1398-406.

Lai GY, Weinstein SJ, Taylor PR, McGlynn KA, Virtamo J, Albanes D, Gail MH, Freedman ND. Effects of α-tocopherol and β-carotene supplementation on liver cancer incidence and chronic liver disease mortality in the ATBC Study. Br J Cancer. 2014 Dec 9;111(12):2220-3.

Murphy G, Michel A, Taylor PR, Albanes D, Weinstein SJ, Virtamo J, Parisi D, Snyder K, Butt J, McGlynn KA, Koshiol J, Pawlita M, Lai GY, Abnet CC, Dawsey SM, Freedman ND. Association of seropositivity to Helicobacter species and biliary tract cancer in the ATBC study. Hepatology. 2014 Dec;60(6):1963-71.

Lai GY, Weinstein SJ, Albanes D, Taylor PR, Virtamo J, McGlynn KA, Freedman ND. Association of serum α-tocopherol, β-carotene, and retinol with liver cancer incidence and chronic liver disease mortality. Br J Cancer. 2014 Nov 25;111(11):2163-71.

Lai GY, Giovannucci EL, Pollak MN, Peskoe SB, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Platz EA. Association of C-peptide and leptin with prostate cancer incidence in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2014 May;25(5):625-32.

Lai GY, Weinstein SJ, Albanes D, Taylor PR, McGlynn KA, Virtamo J, Sinha R, Freedman ND. The association of coffee intake with liver cancer incidence and chronic liver disease mortality in male smokers. Br J Cancer. 2013 Sep 3;109(5):1344-51.

Lai GY, Park Y, Hartge P, Hollenbeck AR, Freedman ND. The association between self-reported diabetes and cancer incidence in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar;98(3):E497-502.

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