Research/Areas of Interest: Causes & early detection of cancer


  • Doctor of Science in Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, USA, 1998
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania, USA, 1992


My research over the past decade has largely focused on understanding the etiology of pancreatic, brain and bladder cancers. Currently, my research focus is on the role of inflammation, infection and the immune system in the development of cancer, with a special interest in the role of periodontal disease and the oral microbiome. Numerous studies suggest that the immune response to common infections or allergens may play a role in the etiology of pancreatic cancer and new technologies have allowed us to make huge strides in measuring bacteria and the immune response in large population settings. I am currently PI on several large research grants on pancreatic and lung cancer - these grants focus on the role of immune response and DNA methylation in cancer risk (both based on human populations). Findings from these projects should provide valuable insight into processes leading to cancer development and may enhance our ability to stratify individuals into high-risk groups for early disease detection.