Most of Jo Freudenheim's research has focused on cancer epidemiology, using epidemiologic tools to understand carcinogenesis at the population, individual, tissue and molecular levels in order to better prevent and control the disease. With a background in clinical nutrition, she has worked extensively on understanding diet and dietary patterns in relation to risk of disease and to disease prognosis. Recent work includes a study in Western New York as well as one with collaborators at the University of Puerto Rico to study breast cancer among Puerto Rican women. The latter study is focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms for the increases in incidence seen there. In addition, Freudenheim has a longstanding interest in life course epidemiology, examining the role of exposures in early life on adult chronic diseases including cancer. The work in Puerto Rico includes an examination of early life diet and physical activity in breast cancer risk. With collaborators at The Ohio State University, she is also involved in a study of the biology of healthy breast tissues using tissues collected from reduction mammoplasties. Finally, she is also doing research comparing effects of electronic cigarettes and cigarettes to never use of both among healthy young people.
270D Farber Hall
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Jo Freudenheim, PhD, is a UB Distinguished Professor and professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health. She received a doctorate degree in nutritional sciences and a master's degree in preventive medicine from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She subsequently came to UB for postdoctoral training in cancer epidemiology and was appointed to the faculty in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health in 1987. Freudenheim is also adjunct professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and affiliated scientist at the Research Institute on Addictions. Her research focuses on breast cancer epidemiology and prognosis including an examination of breast tumor characteristics, of factors related to disparities in breast cancer among Puerto Rican women, the role of exposures during the life course and breast cancer risk, and the role of the microbiome in cancer risk. Recent work also includes research regarding alterations in lung tissue methylation with use of electronic cigarettes compared to smokers and never smokers.