American Association for Cancer Research

MEG Steering Committee 2014-2015

Dr. Susan GapsturSusan M. Gapstur, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chairperson

Vice President, Epidemiology Research Program
 American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Ga.

My research focuses on clarifying associations of hormone (both endogenous and exogenous) and lifestyle factors such as obesity and alcohol consumption, with risk of breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men and other cancers in both. For example, using data from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-II, my research recently showed that heavy alcohol intake increases the risk of pancreatic cancer (Arch Int Med 2010). In another analysis using data from a longitudinal cohort study of young adult black and white men, my research showed that previously observed changes in BMI during young adulthood modulate age-related changes in SHBG and total testosterone, but not bioavailable testosterone (Obesity 2007).


Dr. Jo L. FreudenheimJo L. Freudenheim, Chairperson-Elect

Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Preventive and Social Medicine
 State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y.

My research is focused on an integrated understanding of breast cancer epidemiology at the molecular, tissue, individual and population levels. With a background in nutrition and epidemiology, much of my research has focused on nutritional factors in relation to carcinogenesis, working toward an understanding of mechanism. In addition, I have an interest in early life exposures as they relate to cancer in adulthood. I have led interdisciplinary teams working toward a clearer comprehension of breast carcinogenesis, examining genetic factors and other molecular markers of exposure including methylation in relation to breast cancer outcomes, and to molecular characteristics of breast tumors.


Dr. Johanna LampeJohanna W. Lampe, Ph.D., R.D., Past Chairperson

Full Member, Cancer Prevention
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Wash.

I have a broad interest in nutrition, molecular epidemiology, cancer etiology and prevention, and microbiology. My research goal is to understand relationships between diet and cancer by studying the combined effects of diet, human genetic variation, and gut microbial variation on biomarkers of cancer susceptibility. Using intervention studies, we have shown that polymorphisms in biotransformation-enzyme genes produce different metabolizing phenotypes, several of which are modulated by diet. Further, we study how gut microbial community influences cancer-related biomarkers and exposure to dietary bioactives. These data cast light on some complex associations found in observational studies of diet and cancer.


Dr. Jonine L. BernsteinJonine L. Bernstein, Ph.D. (2013-2015)

Attending and Member, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y.

My core research is focused on breast cancer and gliomas, and on understanding cancer risk and progression to identify those at highest risk because of genetic and biologic factors, environmental exposures, or a combination of both. I am also working on developing and validating biomarkers of breast cancer. I serve as the overall principal investigator of the international, 25-center WECARE (Women’s Environmental Cancer Radiation and Epidemiology) Study designed to examine the interaction of treatment and genetic predisposition in breast cancer etiology and prognosis. Currently, I co-chair the newly formed international NCI-sponsored Consortium of Contralateral Breast Cancer (CCBC).


Dr. David C. ChristianiDavid C. Christiani, M.D. (2014-2016)

Elkan Blount Professor of Environmental Genetics
Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

My major research interest lies in the interaction between human genes and the environment. In the field of molecular epidemiology of cancer, I have studied lung and esophageal cancer, among others. I am also very active in environmental and genetic epidemiology studies internationally. I am a founding member of MEG and of the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO).

Dr. Jonine D. Figueroa

Jonine D. Figueroa, Ph.D. (2014-2016) 

Tenure-Track Investigator, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.

I leverage my laboratory expertise and apply molecular techniques in epidemiologic studies to delineate the mechanisms involved in causation and progression of breast and bladder cancers. My recent bladder cancer research includes a genomewide association study in which we are identifying novel genetic variants worthy of intensive pursuit in epidemiological, genetic mapping, clinical and laboratory investigations. I am also investigating etiologic heterogeneity of breast cancer and evaluating new markers in various types of breast tissues that may clarify risk factor associations. My aim is to help explain the biologic mechanisms that ultimately give rise to cancer and develop better tools for risk assessment or prevention strategies.


Mark E. Sherman, M.D. (2013-2015)

Chief, Breast and Gynecological Research Group
National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Md.