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Cancer Screening and Early Detection investigators

Randall Brand

Randall Brand

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

brandre@upmc.edu Shadyside Medical Building
5200 Centre Avenue, Suite 409
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords
  • colon cancer,early detection of pancreatic cancer,Hereditary pancreatic cancer,Pancreatitis
Read More about Randall Brand
Brenda Diergaarde

Brenda Diergaarde

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

412-623-5891 diergaardeb@upmc.edu UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5150 Centre Ave, Suite 4C
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

Dr. Diergaarde's research examines the role of diet, lifestyle and genetic variation in the development, progression and treatment of cancer, including cancers of the lung, head and neck, colon, ovaries and breast, and aims to identify markers for risk stratification, early detection and response to treatment. She is currently Co-Leader of Project 2 of the UPCI Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Lung Cancer. This project seeks to establish the relationship between vitamin D exposure, pulmonary inflammation and lung cancer risk and so provide strong rationale for a vitamin D-based approach to lung cancer prevention. She is also Leader of Project 1 of the UPCI SPORE in Head and Neck Cancer. Using data and samples from a large, clinic-based case-control study, this project investigates the role of genetic variation and gene-environment interactions in the development, progression and treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • Biomarkers,cancer epidemiology,Cancer prevention,Diet,Genetic Variation,head and neck cancer,lifestyle,Lung Cancer,Molecular Epidemiology
Read More about Brenda Diergaarde
Laura Ferris

Laura Ferris

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

412-647-4200 ferrislk@upmc.edu 3708 Fifth Avenue
Fifth Floor, Suite 500.68
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

Melanoma is a deadly cancer when caught late yet is often surgically curable disease when detected and treated at the earliest stages. Fortunately, most melanomas begin on the skin, and thus we have the opportunity to detect them using visual examination. However, early detection of melanoma can be challenging and access to dermatologic care is often limited. This can lead to failure to detect melanoma when it is most treatable or to a high rate of removal of benign lesions. Both increase health care costs and put patients at risk. My research focuses on new techniques to improve the early detection of cutaneous melanoma. Artificial intelligence can be applied to the analysis of images of pigmented skin lesions.  In addition, I am interested in understanding which patients benefit most from screening for melanoma and have several publications that examine melanoma epidemiology, detection patterns, and associations between melanoma screening and outcomes.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • dermatoscope,early detection,Melanoma,screening
Read More about Laura Ferris
James Herman

James Herman

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

hermanj3@upmc.edu Hillman Cancer Center, 2.18d
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords
  • Biomarkers,cancer prognosis,DNA Methylation,early detection,Epigenetics,Lung Cancer,Transcription Factors,tumor suppressor genes
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Jing Hu

Jing Hu

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

huj3@upmc.edu 5117 Centre Avenue, Suite 2.32B
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

Dr. Hu's lab focuses on the identification and validation of crucial molecular changes that confer high-risk for tumor progression in mutant BRAF-induced serrated intestinal tumorigenesis. Her lab works to identify novel factors essential for serrated CRC development that can serve as pharmacological targets for the prevention of serrated CRC at an early and curable stage. Dr. Hu's lab also works to identify and validate novel functionally relevant and druggable targets for PDAC.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • colorectal tumorigenesis,oncogenic signaling pathways,pancreatic cancer,posttranslational modifications,Transcription Factors
Read More about Jing Hu
Bruce Jacobs

Bruce Jacobs

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Summary

Dr. Jacobs’ research interests focus on improving the access, delivery, and quality of care, particularly for traditionally underserved populations. He has over 100 publications, including studies in high-impact journals such as JAMAHealth Affairs, and Cancer. He is the principal investigator on an R37 MERIT award from the National Cancer Institute and has received grant support from several other agencies, including the National Institute on Aging, the American Cancer Society, and the Shadyside Hospital Foundation. He is the Research Chief of the Urology Health Services Research Division. Clinically, Dr. Jacobs specializes in urologic oncology, including bladder, kidney, prostate, testis, and penile cancer.

Read More about Bruce Jacobs
Anna Lokshin

Anna Lokshin

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Read More about Anna Lokshin
Hung Luu

Hung Luu

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Summary

Dr. Luu has a broad background in medicine and epidemiology, with specific training and expertise in the molecular and genetic epidemiology of cancer as well as large population-based studies. His main research focuses on etiological role of genetic factors, lifestyle factors, and environment exposures, particularly chronic inflammation, in the development of cancer as well as their impact on prognosis of cancer patients, particularly patients with gastrointestinal cancers such as colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. 

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Phuong Mai

Phuong Mai

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Summary

Dr. Phuong Mai’s work focuses on the role of genetic testing to identify individuals with a hereditary predisposition to cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer. She is also working on risk reducing interventions and early-detection in individuals at increased cancer risk.

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Gary Marsh

Gary Marsh

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Read More about Gary Marsh
Francesmary Modugno

Francesmary Modugno

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Summary

Dr. Modugno is a molecular epidemiologist focused on women’s cancers, especially ovarian, breast, and endometrial cancers. Dr. Modugno’s research has examined the underlying epidemiology of ovarian and breast cancer etiology and outcomes with a focus on genetic, hormonal, and immunologic factors. As the Principal Investigator of the HOPE study, one of the largest studies of ovarian cancer risk and prognosis ever conducted in the US (2003-2008), Dr. Modugno was a founding member of the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC), a multinational consortium of ovarian cancer investigators that pools data and resources to investigate ovarian cancer risk and prognostic factors. She currently serves as the OCAC Data Access Chair and is a member of the Steering Committee. She holds similar roles in the international Ovarian Tumor Tissue Association (OTTA), which is investigating the molecular basis for ovarian cancer outcomes. Her recent funding is examining the relationship among humoral and cellular immunity, the gut microbiome, circulating metabolome, and the tumor immune microenvironment in ovarian cancer therapy response. 

Dr. Modugno directs the Women's Cancer Biome Program, which is focused on identifying the relationship between the microbiome and cancer/cancer prevention in women. She also oversees the Gynecologic Oncology Biospecimen and Data Bank (ProMark). The repository collects fresh tissue and biospecimens on women with suspected gynecologic malignancies as well as on healthy women per investigator protocols. The repository also banks specimens for retrospective studies. Resources of the repository are available to researchers interested in gynecologic oncology or related research.

Dr. Modugno co-led the Pittsburgh site for the RPCI/HCC Ovarian Cancer SPORE and directed the Pathology and Biospecimen Core and the Developmental and Career Enhancement Programs. The resources and infrastructure developed by Dr. Modugno during her tenure as a RPCI/HCC SPORE co-leader were leveraged to support the subsequent independent HCC Ovarian SPORE submission.

Read More about Francesmary Modugno
Stephen O'Keefe

Stephen O'Keefe

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Read More about Stephen O'Keefe
Jiantao Pu

Jiantao Pu

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Summary

My research emphasis is on developing novel artificial and intelligence (AI) tools for enabling non-invasive, quantitative, and accurate assessment of pathological conditions, ultimately advancing a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanism of diseases and facilitating the development of efficacious therapy methods. 

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Robert Schoen

Robert Schoen

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

schoen@msx.dept-med.pitt.edu PUH - Mezz. 2 - C Wing
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords
  • acceptability and implementation of CRC screening,Early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC),flexible sigmoidoscopy,surveillance colonoscopy
Read More about Robert Schoen
Shivendra Singh

Shivendra Singh

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

412-623-3262 singhs@upmc.edu 2.32A Hillman Cancer Research Pavilion
5117 Centre Ave
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

The primary research interests of the Singh laboratory include molecular characterization of novel cancer chemopreventive agents and rational design of mechanism-driven combination chemoprevention regimens. Cellular and transgenic animal models are used to screen potential cancer chemopreventive constituents from dietary and medicinal plants. Cutting edge cellular, molecular biological, omics (metabolomics and proteomics), structural biology, and imaging techniques (MRI and bioluminescence) are used to (a) determine the mechanism of action of promising cancer chemopreventive agents, (b) monitor effects on cancer progression, and (c) identify biomarkers predictive of tissue exposure and possibly response. Some of the agents under active investigation in the Singh laboratory include: cruciferous vegetable-derived isothiocyanates, garlic-derived organosulides, and medicinal plant constituent withaferin A. As an example, recent published work from the Singh laboratory indicates suppression of metabolism (glycolysis and fatty acid synthesis) in mammary cancer prevention by withaferin A in a rodent models. The Singh lab is also leading a clinical trial of broccoli sprout in prostate cancer patients.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • Cancer pharmacology,Cancer prevention,Chemoprevention,dietary anti-cancer compounds,Drug Discovery,isothiocynates,organosulides,withaferin A
Read More about Shivendra Singh
Evelyn Talbott

Evelyn Talbott

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

412-624-3074 eot1@pitt.edu A526 Crabtree Hall
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

Dr. Talbott's areas of expertise are in environmental and cardiovascular epidemiology. Dr. Talbott has worked closely with both state and local health departments to conduct health studies investigating potential linkage of environmental exposures and health effects.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • environmental epidemiology
Read More about Evelyn Talbott
David Whitcomb

David Whitcomb

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

whitcomb@pitt.edu Mezzanine Level
C-Wing-PUH 200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords
  • and pancreatic cancer,chronic pancreatitis,Mechanisms of complex disorders including acute pancreatitis
Read More about David Whitcomb
David Wilson

David Wilson

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

412-687-3355 wilsondo@upmc.edu 5150 Centre Ave. Ste. 4c
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

Dr. Wilson's research interests include: lung cancer screening and early detection, biomarker development and implementation, chemoprevention, diagnosis, staging and treatment of lung cancer; COPD, especially as it relates to lung cancer; occupational lung diseases; and general pulmonary medicine.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • Biomarker Development and Implementation for Early Cancer Detection,COPD,Lung Cancer Screening and Early Detection,Lung Diagnosis and Staging
Read More about David Wilson
Shandong Wu

Shandong Wu

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Summary

My research interfaces a broad range of interdisciplinary in computational science and medicine for translational and clinical applications. My main research areas include computational biomedical imaging analysis, big (health) data coupled with machine/deep learning, imaging-based clinical studies, radiomics/radiogenomics, and artificial intelligence in clinical informatics/workflows. Current research interests center on computational breast imaging and clinical studies for investigating quantitative imaging-derived biomarkers, models, and systems for breast cancer screening, risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, towards improving individualized clinical decision-making and precision medicine. My research also covers other diseases/organs, such as pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, gastric cancer, traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest, intestinalis, orthopedics, obesity, organoid, etc.

My lab received the prestigious "RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) Trainee Research Award" twice in 2017 and 2019, and the Natus Resident/Fellow Award for Traumatic Brain Injury by 2021 AANS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons). My lab's research is supported by NIH/NCI/NIBIB, NSF, RSNA, UPMC Enterprise, Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, Pittsburgh Foundation, Stanley Marks Research Foundation, Amazon AWS, Nvidia, and many internal funding sources. I have published over 150 journal papers and conference papers/abstracts in both the computing and clinical fields, including in Nature Cancer, Nature Communications, Radiology, Clinical Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Research, Surgery, Resuscitation, IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Pattern Recognition, AI in Medicine, IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, CVPR, MICCAI, ICCV, IJCAI, ICRA, etc. My research has been featured in hundreds of scientific news reports and media outlets in the world. I founded and currently lead the Pittsburgh Center for AI Innovation in Medical Imaging (CAIIMI).

Read More about Shandong Wu
Linwah Yip

Linwah Yip

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

412-647-0467 yipl@upmc.edu Kaufmann Building
3471 Fifth Ave, Suite 101
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

Dr. Yip's primary research interest is evaluating the role of molecular markers in thyroid and parathyroid cancer to improve risk stratification and optimize efficacy in patient management algorithms.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • Biomarkers,molecular markers,parathyroid cancer,Thyroid cancer
Read More about Linwah Yip
Jian-Min Yuan

Jian-Min Yuan

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

412-864-7889 yuanj@upmc.edu UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5150 Centre Avenue - Suite 4C Office 470
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

Dr. Yuan is a cancer epidemiologist with extensive experience in research on cancer etiology and prevention. Dr. Yuan’s research lab has been continuously funded by National Cancer Institute for more than two decades. Currently, Dr. Yuan’s research focuses on the impact of obesity on risk of cancer. Dr. Yuan also is leading a team of scientists to evaluate the effectiveness of sulforaphane derived from broccoli on reduction of risk markers for lung cancer in high-risk individuals. As Principal Investigator of both the Shanghai Cohort Study and the Singapore Chinese Health Study, two population-based prospective cohorts of more than 80,000 adults with available baseline blood and urine samples with more than 25 years of active follow-up for cancer and other major health outcomes, Dr. Yuan continues to utilize these large cohort resources to discover and validate novel biomarkers for risk of cancer development. These two cohorts have made several noteworthy contributions to the field of cancer epidemiology including (1) dietary aflatoxins as human hepatocarcinogens, (2) significant roles of immune biomarkers and secondary bile acids for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, (3) dietary isothiocyanates, a group of phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables, as potential chemopreventive agents against lung cancer development, and (4) urinary biomarkers of tobacco-specific nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as specific lung carcinogens in smokers.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • cancer biomarkers,cancer epidemiology,Cancer prevention,cancer risk prediction,Clinical Trials,dietary chemopreventive agents,Gene-environment interaction in cancer etiology,obesity and cancer
Read More about Jian-Min Yuan
Joseph Zmuda

Joseph Zmuda

Program: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

412-624-2970 zmudaj@edc.pitt.edu A544 Crabtree Hall
Pittsburgh PA
Summary

My research primarily focuses on the epidemiology and genetics of osteoporosis. A long-term goal is to identify and characterize the genetic factors underlying osteoporosis susceptibility in different ethnic/racial groups. To achieve these goals, we have used several strategies including: population-based candidate gene methods; genome-wide admixture, linkage and association mapping; and most recently, an in vitro cellular model. This later approach is enabling us to translate discoveries made at the cellular level to the 'population' and vice versa to gain insight into the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying osteoporosis susceptibility.

Research Interests and Keywords
  • Aging,Genetic and molecular epidemiology,Osteoporosis
Read More about Joseph Zmuda

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