Joanne Watters Elena, PhD, MPH

Program Director
Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Telephone: (240) 276-6818

  • PhD - Nutritional Epidemiology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health
  • MPH - Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • BS - Biology, College of William and Mary
Contact for questions about:
  • Dietary and lifestyle risk factors related to cancer progression, recurrence, and survival outcomes
  • Design and use of cohort studies
  • Body composition and cancer outcomes


Joanne Elena, PhD, MPH, is an Epidemiologist and Program Director in the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch of the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She is responsible for developing, managing, and promoting a research portfolio of grants focused on diet and lifestyle factors that influence cancer progression, subsequent primary cancers, recurrence, and survival. She is also involved in optimizing the use and design of cohort studies, incorporating new technologies to assess exposures and outcomes, maximizing the use of existing data, and manages several funding announcements that support infrastructure needs for large cohort studies. She serves as the Scientific Director for NCI’s Cohort Consortium and is EGRP’s co-coordinator for cohort activities.

Dr. Elena completed her PhD in nutritional epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Select Publications

See listings of articles and other publications authored by Dr. Elena in PubMed.