About Us

About Us

Co-Chairs

Rena_thumb.jpgRena Conti, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology and Public Health Sciences. Her work largely focuses on the economics and regulation of the pharmaceutical industry. She is interested in understanding the supply of, demand for, and prices of drugs and diagnostics, and has content expertise in the treatment of cancer, mental health, and a number of other diseases commonly treated in the specialty setting. She is currently working on a national study of the impact of specialty provider consolidation of pricing and outcomes. 

Rena can be reached at rconti@uchicago.edu.

Dezheng_thumb.jpgDezheng Huo, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. His research interests focus on the genetic, molecular, and environmental factors underlying differences in etiology, prognosis, and treatment of cancers, particularly as they relate to breast cancer in underserved populations. Although he works on research of other cancer types, most of his ongoing projects are related to breast cancer, including: 1) a replication and fine-mapping study of breast cancer susceptibility loci in women of African ancestry, 2) a genome-wide association study of breast cancer in women of African ancestry in order to identify novel common genetic variants, 3) a whole-genome sequencing study of breast cancer in order to identify moderate-penetrance of novel genetic variants, 4) molecular epidemiologic studies on microRNA in breast cancer detection and prognosis, and 5) systemic investigations of treatment utilization and health disparity in breast cancer patients using national databases.

Dezheng can be reached at dhuo@uchicago.edu.

Fabrice_thumb.jpgFabrice Smieliauskas, Ph.D., is a health economist and health services researcher (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Public Health Sciences. His research centers on biomedical technologies with a focus on precision cancer therapies, lung cancer screening, and orthopedic devices. One of his main research themes is the use of these technology classes and the value they provide in the health care system. A second theme is identifying systematic ways that technological changes such as basic biological science, the development of new technologies, and the use of technologies in the health care system influence one another to accelerate or reduce translation of science to real-world clinical practice. His findings serve to optimize the translational research enterprise. 

Fabrice can be reached at fsmiel@uchicago.edu.

Core Members

Habib_thumb.jpgHabibul Ahsan, M.D., M.Med.Sc is the Louis Block Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, Director of the University of Chicago's Center for Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, and Associate Director of the University of Chicago's Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research interests focus on studying the inter-relationships between environmental and genomic factors in cancer and other diseases and exploiting information on these relationships at a population level in developing and evaluating prevention interventions in humans.  Specifically, his research integrates the environmental, nutritional, and life-style factors with measures of host factors and modern molecular genomics (involving DNA, RNA and protein variations) to understand the etiology, pathogenesis, prognosis and prevention of cancer and other disorders of national and international public health significance.  He has published extensively on the molecular epidemiology and prevention of health effects of arsenic exposure and also on the molecular and genetic epidemiology of breast and other cancers. 

Habibul can be reached at habib@uchicago.edu 

Brisa_thumb.jpgBriseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, Ph.D., M.P.H, M.Phil., is an epidemiologist (Assistant Research Professor) in the Department of Public Health Sciences. She studies the causes and outcomes of thyroid cancer, and has published extensively on the descriptive trends for thyroid cancer as well as its potential environmental and hormone disrupting causes.  Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute in the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. She received her graduate training at Yale University.

Brisa can be reached at brisa@uchicago.edu.

Brian_0_thumb.jpgBrian Chiu, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. His major research interests are the interplay between diet and other lifestyle characteristics, environmental exposures, and genetic factors in the development and outcome of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma, and exploiting this information in cancer prevention in the population. His current research projects involve integrating epidemiological data with cytogenetic and molecular markers to identify risk factors for NHL among 1,400 NHL cases and 3,200 population-based controls; a prognostic cohort of 772 NHL patients to investigate the influence of lifestyle and host-, tumor-, and treatment-related factors on survival; and evaluating racial/ethnic disparities in the incidence and survival of hematopoietic cancers. Brian is a member of the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph) and International Multiple Myeloma Consortium to study risk factors for NHL and multiple myeloma. He is also collaborating with the US National Cancer Institute and a group of international investigators in a multi-center case-control study of lymphoid neoplasms in Eastern Asia.

Brian can be reached at bchiu@health.bsd.uchicago.edu 

Jonas_thumb.jpgJonas DeSouza, M.D., is a practicing medical oncologist (Assistant Professor) in the Section of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine. He specializes in the treatment of head, neck, and thyroid cancers. His research focuses on the value of cancer care, and on the development and incorporation of measurements of financial burden into clinical practice and decision-making. His group has just developed and validated the COmprehensive Score for financial Toxicity (COST) Patient-Reported Outcome, and created its registry, www.costofcancercare.org.

Jonas can be reached at jdesouza@uchicago.edu.

Raymon_thumb.jpgRaymon H. Grogan, M.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery as well as the Director of the Endocrine Surgery Research Program. His work largely focuses on the prevention and control of thyroid cancer in addition to its impact on survivors. He is interested in changing the way thyroid cancer is perceived by the larger public and medical community, as well as how it is treated.  He is currently working on the North American Thyroid Cancer Survivorship Study (NATCSS), which he co-founded with his epidemiology colleague Brisa Kilfoy. More information about the NATCSS can be found at www.natcss.uchicago.edu. 

Raymon can be reached at rgrogan@surgery.bsd.uchicago.edu.

Yasmin_thumb.jpgYasmin Hasan, M.D., is a radiation oncologist who specializes in the treatment of breast and gynecologic cancers. She uses highly targeted, localized radiation techniques -- such as brachytherapy and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) -- to minimize damage to the healthy tissue surrounding a malignancy. Dr. Hasan's research focuses on finding patterns in breast cancer and gynecologic cancer outcomes, with the goal of developing preventative therapies and improving definitive treatment. She is an accomplished author and has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and contributed to book chapters on the role of external beam radiation in the management of malignant diseases.

Yasmin can be reached at yhasan@bsd.uchicago.edu

Tara_thumb.jpgTara Henderson, M.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and the Director of the Childhood Cancer Survivors Center. She specializes in the diagnosis and medical treatment of patients with pediatric cancers, and researches the development of and screening for second cancers in childhood cancer survivors. Although treatment of childhood malignancies has become increasingly successful with a current overall cure rate approaching 80 percent, there are sometimes long-term toxic late effects of chemotherapy and radiation during critical periods of development, including second cancers and damage to vital organ systems. Dr. Henderson is interested in characterizing these second cancers and those who may be susceptible so that early and appropriate screening regimens can be developed.

Tara can be reached at thenderson@peds.bsd.uchicago.edu

Brandon_thumb.jpgBrandon Pierce, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. His research focuses on  the interrelated roles of genetic, molecular, and environmental factors in cancer risk and prognosis. His research interests include (1) telomere length as a biomarker of aging and cancer risk, (2) methods for assessing causal relationships among risk factors, biomarkers, and disease, (3) genome-wide association studies, and (4) susceptibility to the effects of environmental exposure to arsenic, a known carcinogen.  The long-term goals of his work are to understand toxicity mechanisms and disease biology, and to improve our ability to predict disease and target interventions to high-risk sub-populations.

Brandon can be reached at brandonpierce@uchicago.edu.