Melinda Aldrich, MPH, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Thoracic Surgery, with a secondary appointment in the Division of Epidemiology within the Department of Medicine. Her research program focuses on predictors of both pulmonary function and lung cancer and she co-leads the TREAT Lung Cancer research team, an experienced multidisciplinary team with expertise in epidemiology, genetics, biostatistics, and lung cancer.

Alexander Bick, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and a physician-scientist working in the field of human genomics. His scientific observations have advanced our understanding of the genetic basis for cardiovascular disease, characterized molecular disease mechanisms and identified both the promise and limitations of translating genomic findings into routine medical practice. He has a particular interest in understanding how the interplay between inherited germline genetic factors and acquired somatic mutations contributes to disease. His approach has been highly collaborative and multidisciplinary – combining human genomics and statistical genetics with in-vitro and in-vivo characterization of model systems and human samples. 

Qiuyin Cai, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory. His research over the past 25 years has focused on investigating the contribution of host susceptibility and lifestyle factors in the etiology and outcome of cancer and other chronic diseases. He has been consistently funded by NIH and DOD since 2002, serving as the PI for 8 major research grants and as a key co-investigator for many other NIH-funded research grants.  

Qi Dai, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, has 26 years of experience conducting large epidemiologic studies of cancer and other chronic diseases with a research focus primarily centered on investigation of nutrient-nutrient (e.g. magnesium, calcium and vitamin D) and gene-nutrition interactions. He has been the PI for five R01/U01 projects to investigate nutrient-phytochemical (i.e. antioxidants and polyphenols), nutrient-nutrient (i.e. magnesium and calcium), nutrient (i.e. magnesium and calcium)-gene, and phytochemical (i.e. polyphenols)-gene interactions in the etiology of colorectal neoplasia and breast cancer. 

Todd Edwards, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and the Associate Director of Graduate Studies for the VUMC Epidemiology PhD Program, as well as the Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute. His primary research interest is in mapping genetic mutations to traits in human populations using statistical tools, designing epidemiology studies, and relating molecular biology discoveries to clinical practice. He has also developed novel statistical methods for genetic association and next-generation resequencing studies. He is experienced in conducting genetic studies of complex traits, as well as working with electronic medical records data in BioVU. He is a member of the proposal review committee for BioVU access and an avid user of the resource, which is also available to MAGEC fellows.  

Debra Friedman, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, E. Bronson Ingram Chair in Pediatric Oncology, and co-leader of the Cancer Health Outcomes and Control research program at VICC, directs the Research, Resources, Education, Advocacy, Clinical Care, Health Promotion (REACH) for Survivorship Program. Her research interests lie in cancer care delivery and outcomes for patients and survivors.    

Xingyi Guo, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, and a secondary faculty member of the Department of Biomedical Information. He is the primary bioinformatician for multiple genetic epidemiologic studies and has led or played a critical role in multiple genetic epidemiologic and large genomics studies at the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center. Dr. Guo has solid training and extensive experience in multiple disciplines including bioinformatics, genetic epidemiology and functional genomics, solid knowledge of computational biology and extensive experience in performing integrative analyses for genetic and genomic data. He has worked on several NIH-funded genome-scale studies and performed bioinformatics analyses on whole genome sequencing, microarray/RNA-seq expression, ChIP-seq, and DNase-seq data with the goal of elucidating disease mechanisms in the cell biology, genetics and genomics fields. He has also performed an integrative analysis of RNA-seq, DNA methylation and somatic mutations to identify downstream dysregulated target genes that are affected by a recurrent somatic driver mutation in cancers. Currently, he is the PI for a transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) in colorectal cancer funded by NIH (R37CA227130-01A1, MERIT).

Douglas Heimburger, MD, MS, is a Professor of Medicine and Associate Director for Education and Training in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH). As an internist, physician nutrition specialist, and global health scientist, he directs VIGH’s education and training programs for Vanderbilt students and trainees, including the Global Health Track in Vanderbilt’s Master of Public Health Program. He has had continuous NIH support as PI or Co-PI for 30+ years, particularly for training in NCD research and global health capacity building, and is the Associate Program Director and joint PI for the MAGEC program. His research has focused on nutritionally-related non-communicable diseases, including nutritional factors in cancer prevention and the identification of causes of short- and long-term complications and comorbidities of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

Andreana N. Holowatyj, PhD, MSCI, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC). Her team focuses on improving clinical care and outcomes for patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers. Her research program spans from etiology to disparities and survivorship, using a unique cells-to-society approach with both patient studies and laboratory-based projects. Dr. Holowatyj has also served on the Expert Panel for the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging Manual: Ninth Edition on Cancers of the Appendix and the FightCRC Advocacy Organization Early-Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Workgroup. She was named the Inaugural Chair for the Scientific Advisory Board for the Appendix Cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (ACPMP) Research Foundation, and is a member the Board of Directors for VICC's Young Adult Cancer Program.

Bingshan Li, PhD, Associate Professor of Genetic Statistics, has a research focus in developing statistical methods and computational tools for genetics and genomics studies and applying these tools for mapping genes associated with human diseases, including psychiatric disorders and cancer.

Loren Lipworth, ScD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Epidemiology. Her research utilizes both large-scale population-based cohorts and electronic medical record databases. She is a Co-Investigator of the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS), a large prospective cohort study of over 86,000 primarily low income black and white participants from the southeastern United States, whose extensive data and biospecimen repository provide a unique resource for the study of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease, including unexplained racial disparities. She is a Co-Investigator of several ongoing studies of obesity-related biomarkers and metabolite profiles associated with diabetes, cardiometabolic and renal traits, and cancer, as well as studies of lifestyle and genetic factors that contribute to the high incidence of end-stage renal disease in blacks and whites in the SCCS.

Jirong Long, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, is a genetic epidemiologist. Her research has primarily focused on the genetics of cancer and other chronic diseases. Recently, she has expanded her research to investigate the role of microbiota in cancer and diabetes risk. She has published more than 170 papers. She has served as PI/joint-PI or a key co-investigator for multiple genetic epidemiologic studies funded by NIH. Currently, she leads deep-sequencing data analysis for multiple NIH-funded research projects at the VEC.

Harvey Murff, MD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt University. His research interests include colorectal cancer screening and health disparities, chemoprevention of colorectal cancer, and the impact of genetic factors and dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids on inflammation and cancer risk. He is currently working on using n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids to reduce pre-term labor risk in pregnant smokers. Dr. Murff has received support for his research from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Murff is a practicing General Internist at the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Tuya Pal, MD, is the Associate Director for Cancer Health Disparities and an Ingram Professor of Cancer Research. Her research is focused on identification of basic or clinical research: genetic risk factors that place individuals at a higher risk for cancer, as well as strategies to reduce this risk, including efforts focused in underserved populations. Her research spans both the cancer prevention and control continuum as well as the care delivery continuum. Since 2005, she has led multiple studies to investigate the etiology of early onset breast cancer in black women. Since she created "" Inherited Cancer Registry (ICARE) Initiative in 2010, she has led multiple efforts to better understand the provision of clinical cancer genetic services across diverse populations, healthcare settings, and providers, at both the patient and provider level.

Ben Park, MD, PhD, is the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer, Co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program, Associate Director for Translational Research, and Director of Precision Oncology at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC). Dr. Park is also a Professor of Medicine and the Associate Director for Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Medicine's Division of Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Park's research is dedicated to finding a cure for all types of breast cancer by investigating mutated and altered genes responsible for the development and progression of breast cancer, as well as genes that lead to drug resistance. He is actively involved with the VICC Breast Cancer Research Program’s clinical research team to translate his research into clinical practice and patient care.

Maureen Sanderson, PhD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Meharry Medical College (MMC), is the Senior Epidemiologist for the U54 Cancer Center Partnership between Meharry Medical College, VU, and Tennessee State University, and the Scientific Director for the Meharry CHC-CNP, both funded by the NCI. She has 12 years’ experience as PI for etiologic and intervention studies of prostate, breast, and cervical cancer funded by the NCI, NCMHD, Department of Defense and CDC conducted in South Carolina with a focus on African Americans and in South Texas with a focus on Mexican Americans.

Martha Shrubsole, PhD, Research Professor of Medicine, Director of the Vanderbilt Survey Research Shared Resource, has over 15 years of experience in conducting large-scale epidemiologic studies of cancer. A major focus of her research is to identify modifiable dietary factors and to understand carcinogenesis biomarkers, particularly one-carbon metabolism, epigenetic, microbiomial and inflammation biomarkers, in colorectal neoplasia risk. 

Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, investigates independent and/or interactive effects of environmental exposures, lifestyle factors, and host susceptibility in the development of cancers, diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease, as well as lifestyle and genetic determinants for breast cancer survival and quality of life among cancer survivors. She has been the Principal Investigator for multiple NIH-funded epidemiological studies, including two cohort studies--the Shanghai Men’s Health Study and Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, a grant to develop a Vietnam Center of Research Excellence, and the MAGEC training program. She has published over 750 research papers or book chapters.

Staci Sudenga, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology whose research focus is on infections and infection-related cancers. Her research goal is to conduct clinical cohort studies to identify the biological mechanisms for which infections can cause cancer. She was recently awarded a K07 Career Development Award from the NCI to evaluate the potential biological importance of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in patients with pre-malignant anal lesions and anal cancer. She was also awarded a CCSG P30 supplement to evaluate the potential biological importance of immunosenescence and risk of lung cancer among HIV-positive and –negative individuals. She will examine whether immunosenescence in HIV-positive increases the risk for lung cancer at a younger age compared to older HIV-negative individuals.

Digna Velez-Edwards, PhD, is a genetic epidemiologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her primary research is focused on understanding the genetic determinants of racial disparities and the role of gene and environment interactions in the risk for complex diseases, with a specific interest in fibroproliferative disorders, with two concurrent R01 grants. She also has extensive experience both conducting and designing studies that utilize electronic medical record (EMR) data and BioVU data.

Gong Yang, MD, MPH, Research Professor of Medicine, has extensive experience in conducting large cohort studies of cancer epidemiology, nutritional epidemiology, and molecular epidemiology. He has served as the PI or a co-investigator for more than 10 NIH-funded research projects and authored or co-authored more than 260 publications. Currently, he is the PI of an R01 grant to investigate the role of estrogen and phytoestrogen in lung cancer development and prognosis. 

Fei Ye, PhD, an Associate Professor of Biostatistics, is the Principal Investigator on two NCI/NHGRI supported projects and a Co-Investigator on a variety of NIH-supported projects, mainly in the areas of chronic diseases and cancer research. She has extensive experience in study design and the statistical analysis of clinical, epidemiological, and high-dimensional genomic, transcriptomic, metabolomic, and proteomic studies (e.g., siRNA/shRNA, miRNA, microarray/NanoString gene expression, real-time PCR, metabolic, MALDI-TOF, and RNA-seq data).

Danxia Yu, PhD, is an Assistant Professor whose major research interests include epidemiology and prevention of chronic disease through a healthy diet and lifestyle; biomarkers and metabolomics in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease; and diet-gut microbiota interactions and host cardiometabolic health. She played an important role in an international lung cancer cohort consortium involving nearly two million study participants from the US, Europe, and Asia. 

Wei Zheng, MD, PhD,  is an epidemiologist with a major research focus on evaluating environmental exposures, lifestyle factors, genetics, and biomarkers for cancer risk. He is a professor and Director of the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center and serves as Associate Director for Population Sciences Research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Dr. Zheng has directed more than 20 large population-based studies and six international research consortia. He is the PI the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, an NCI-funded large prospective cohort study of approximately 75,000 women, and a key founding investigator (currently the contact PI) for the Southern Community Cohort Study (~85,000 participants), a landmark study funded by NCI to investigate determinants of racial disparities in incidence and mortality of cancer and other chronic diseases. He also serves as the contact PI for the Southern Environmental Health Study, a new cohort study with a major focus on investigating the exposome for risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Currently, he leads the largest breast cancer genetic consortium in African-ancestry women and the largest breast and colorectal cancer genetic consortia in Asians with a combined sample size of nearly 500,000 study participants. Dr. Zheng has served as the primary mentor for more than 80 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior investigators and helped many of them develop their independent research career.