University at Buffalo Distinguished Professor to Chair American Association for Cancer Research Group

Published April 16, 2015

Jo Freudenheim, PhD, distinguished professor and interim chair in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been elected to chair the Molecular Epidemiology Group of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The Molecular Epidemiology Group (MEG) is a transdisciplinary association of scientists within the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which works to bring together those with an interest in using population science to study cancer etiology and outcomes using molecular tools. The MEG website states that the Mission of the Molecular Epidemiology Group of the AACR (MEG/AACR) is to, “foster and strengthen team-based, trans-disciplinary research to develop a more integrated understanding of cancer etiology and outcomes in human populations.”

“I am honored to have this leadership role in MEG, “says Freudenheim. “It’s a group with a strong tradition of providing bridges for the work of epidemiologists, basic scientists and clinicians to move our understanding of cancer prevention, etiology and treatment forward.”

More specifically, MEG members are responsible for: facilitating the multidisciplinary approach to the study of cancer and chronic disease etiology; promoting the incorporation of molecular and biochemical concepts and techniques into well-designed epidemiologic studies; providing an ongoing forum for the scholarly discussion and development of sound approaches to the conduct and interpretation of molecular epidemiologic studies; fostering partnerships and collaborations with scientist in other disciplines; and sponsoring scientific and educational programs that will advance the field, including MEG.

Freudenheim’s research focuses on breast cancer epidemiology including an examination of breast tumor characteristics and of factors related to disparities in breast cancer. Recent work includes investigation of alterations in tumor DNA methylation related to exposures including early life exposures, alcohol consumption and body weight. Other work includes a study in Puerto Rico examining life course in relation to breast cancer risk in a population with low but increasing rates of disease.

The UB School of Public Health and Health Professions offers graduate degree level programs and is the home to five departments; biostatistics, exercise and nutrition sciences, community health and health behavior, rehabilitation science and epidemiology and environmental health. It is one of only a few schools across the country that includes health-related professions as an integral component of the public health educational and research system. The SPHHP is located on the South Campus of University at Buffalo in Kimball Tower.  For more information about the school, visit www.sphhp.buffalo.edu.