Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Research


The CEPC is comprised of Ph.D. and M.D. researcher from the Departments of Public Health Sciences, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Surgical Oncology, Supportive Oncology, and the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research, and its mission is to promote interdisciplinary cancer research by translating research discoveries into novel clinical advances to improve the standard of care in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer and to maximize quality of life in cancer survivors.


Christine Neslund Dudas
Christine Neslund-Dudas, PhD 
Associate Scientist, Cancer Epidemiology
Co-Leader, Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Program
Steven Chang MD
Steven Chang, MD 
Co-Leader, Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Program
Samantha Tam
Samantha Tam, MD 
Associate Leader, Implementation Science and Health Services Research


Kathy Gusas
Administrative Secretary
HFCI Research Administration
Punith Shetty, MPH
Research Project Manager
Public Health Sciences


Eric Adjei Boakye, PhD
Assistant Scientist, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: HPV vaccination, Patient-reported outcomes, Health disparities/Social determinants of health, Cancer survivor's psychosocial outcomes improvements
Indra Adrianto
Indra Adrianto, PhD
Associate Scientist, Bioinformatics
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Multiomics approaches for disease risk prediction, Single-immune cell transcriptomics and epigenomics, Predictive modeling of patient outcomes
Gwen Alexander, PhD
Assistant Scientist, Health Behavior
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Behavior change interventions, Cancer communication, Survey design, Program evaluation
Jordan Braciszewski PhD
Jordan Braciszewski, PhD
Associate Scientist
Center for Health Services Research
Research Interests: Health psychology, Tobacco cessation, Intervention studies
Benjamin Rybicki
George Divine, PhD
Senior Scientist, Biostatistics
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: The Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test, Sample size estimation
Sunita Ghosh, PhD
Senior Scientist, Biostatistics
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Cancer epidemiology, Statistical design and analysis for clinical trials, Predictive analysis, Prognostic study design and analysis, Longitudinal and Missing data analysis
Eric Adjei Boakye
Christine Johnson, MPH, PhD
Senior Scientist, Epidemiology
Chair, Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Early life exposures, Microbiome, Asthma
Lois Lamerato
Lois Lamerato, PhD
Senior Scientist, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Health services research, Health economics and outcomes research, Vaccine effectiveness and safety
Gwen Alexander
Albert Levin, PhD
Senior Scientist, Biostatistics
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Genetic-epidemiological study design, Statistical methods for disease gene mapping, DNA analysis of copy number & gene expression data
Mei Lu PhD
Mei Lu, PhD
Senior Scientist, Biostatistics
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests:Clinical trial DCC management, Comparative effectiveness statistical methods, Risk-model design and validation, Chronic hepatitis
Christine Neslund-Dudas, PhD
Associate Scientist, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Cancer epidemiology, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer & Lung Cancer Screening, Cancer disparities
Laila Poisson, PhD
Senior Scientist, Biostatistics
Vice-Chair, Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Disease progression, Molecular marker identification, Statistical and study design education
Gwen Alexander
Benjamin Rybicki, PhD
Senior Scientist, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Prostate cancer biomarkers, Sarcoidosis genetics, Genetic epidemiology methods, Case-control studies
Sudha Sadasivan, MPH, PhD
Research Scientific Program Director
Hematology Oncology
Research Interests: Research program development, Lung cancer, Lung disease, Biobanking
Santarossa Sara 21
Sara Santarossa, PhD
Assistant Scientist
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Patient-centered research, Qualitative and mixed-methods design, Digital technologies, Knowledge translation and exchange
Laila Poisson PhD
Wan-Ting Su, PhD
Assistant Scientist, Medical Informatics
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: EHR Data-driven risk predictive modeling of health outcomes, Women's health, Cancer informatics, Natural language processing
Laura Susick, PhD
Assistant Scientist
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Breast cancer, Health outcomes, Research development
Benjamin Rybicki
Menghua Tao, PhD
Assistant Scientist, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Cancer epidemiology, Nutrition epidemiology, Health disparity, Clinical care research
Ivana Vaughn, PhD
Assistant Scientist, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Gerontology, Health services research and economic evaluation, Pharmacoepidemiology and health outcomes research, Implementation science
Theresa Zatirka, MPH
Principal Management Engineer
Clinical and Quality Transform
Research Interests: Patient reported outcomes
Qiong Zhang, MS
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Geospacial analysis

Clinical Faculty

Clinton Brawner, PhD
Clinical Bioscientific Staff
Preventive Cardio
Research Interests: Exercise testing & training in heart disease, Fitness outcomes, Cardiopulmonary exercise testing in clinical trials, Cardiac rehabilitation outcomes
Benjamin Rybicki
Steven Chang, MD
Chair- Otolaryngology
Research Interests: Cancer treatment quality, Outcomes with specific attention to survivorship, Clinical trials focused on improving survival for head and neck cancer patients
Dhananjay Chitale
Dhananjay Chitale, MD
Vice Chair – Pathology
Research Interests: Precision medicine, Tumor genomic testing
Lamont Jones MD
Lamont Jones, MD
Vice Chair – Otolaryngology
Research Interests: Keloid treatment and pathogenesis, Keloid biomarkers, Keloids as a tumorigenesis model, Clinical trial disparities
Tom Mikkelsen
Tom Mikkelsen, MD
Medical Director – Precision Medicine
Precision Medicine Program
Research Interests: Brain cancer, Precision medicine
Ikenna Okereke
Ikenna Okereke, MD
Cardiac Thoracic Surgeon
Thoracic Surgery
Research Interests: Lung cancer, Racial and socioeconomic disparities, Geospatial exposures
Michael Simoff
Michael Simoff, MD
Pulmonary Medicine
Research Interests: Lung cancer screening
Monique Swain MD
Monique Swain, MD
Director – Residency Training Program
Research Interests: Breast Cancer, Disparities
Laila Poisson PhD
Samantha Tam, MD
Vice Chair – Otolaryngology
Research Interests: Health services cancer research, Cancer care delivery, Patient-reported outcomes
Eleanor Walker MD
Eleanor Walker, MD
Medical Director – Breast Radiation Oncology
Radiation Oncology
Research Interests: Breast cancer, Prostate cancer, Disparities
Wu Vivian 19
Vivian Wu, MD
Research Interests: HPV in head and neck cancer, Skin cancer of the head, Exosomes

Doctoral Students

Ian Loveless, MS
Public Health Sciences
Research Interests: Single cell sequencing analysis, dimensionality reduction, and multimodal data integration

Global Health

Doreen Dankerlui, MPH
Doreen Dankerlui
Research Grant/Contract Manager
Global Health Initiative
Research Interests: Global health, Community-based participatory research, Black/African American disparities
Sreenidhi V. Srinivasan, PhD
V. Sreenidhi Srinivasan, PhD
Associate Scientist
Global Health Initiatives
Research Interests: Women's health, Patient-centered research, Qualitative and mixed-methods design

Major Research Initiatives

  • Drs. Benjamin Rybicki and Christine Neslund-Dudas are leading the effort to recruit a prospective cohort of more than 16,000 patients at HFHS which will be part of a national cohort of 200,000 cancer-free adults, 30-70 years of age.

    The NCI-funded national cohort will be recruited from multiple Integrated Health Care Systems across the US. The goal of this study is to conduct broad-based, high quality and impactful research to determine novel complex causes of cancer and translate this knowledge into more effective means of cancer prevention and control. Using medical histories, environment, biospecimens, and personal and vital record follow-up, a complete understanding of the natural history of cancer will be obtained so that precision prevention approaches, based on the environmental and genetic profiles of an individual, can be developed. An application process is available to any researcher wishing to use the resources and data generated from the cohort.
  • Henry Ford Health, led by site-PI Christine Neslund-Dudas PhD, is one of 10 health systems that make up three distinct research centers within the NCI funded PROSPR network.

    The goal of PROSPR is to better understand and improve the cancer screening process in community healthcare settings in the United States. PROSPR is conducting multi-level observational research to evaluate the quality and outcomes of screening processes for cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer. Each PROSPR Research Center (PRC) conducts organ-specific research and participates in trans-PROSPR research projects. Henry Ford Health is part of the PROSPR-Lung team known as LOTUS.
  • Lung Cancer Screening Optimization in the U.S (LOTUS) is a project of the NCI PROSPR Network. This network includes multiple health care systems conducting research to better understand how to improve the cancer screening process in community healthcare settings.

    Healthy Lung Study

    Comparing Smoking Cessation Interventions Among Underserved Patients Referred for Lung Cancer Screening
    Regular: The goal of this clinical trial is to test the effectiveness of four different interventions in helping underserved patients quit smoking. This study will also evaluate if different interventions work better for specific groups, for example for people of different races, ethnicities, incomes, and degrees of tobacco dependence. This trial will include 3,200 current smokers from underserved groups who are referred for lung cancer screening at one of four health systems: (1) University of Pennsylvania Health System, (2) Geisinger Health System, (3) Kaiser Permanente South California, and (4) Henry Ford Health. We will follow all patients for up to 18 months measuring if they have stopped using tobacco for 6 months straight and whether the interventions change any of a number of patient-reported factors that advisors indicated were important to measure, such as quality of life, urge to smoke, motivation to quit, and anxiety. These stakeholder advisors, including patients, doctors, community leaders, and other partners, helped design this trial in many other ways, and will continue to be involved throughout this study. Partners will draw from their experiences and networks to drive the study's success. At the end of this trial, health systems will be able to make better choices about which interventions to include in their lung cancer screening programs to help underserved, high-risk patients quit smoking

    Which heading? Building A Knowledge-Bank For Analyzing Glioma Outcomes

    Henry Ford Health’s Hermelin Brain Tumor Center (HBTC) is home to a clinically annotated brain tumor bank, from which 240 glioma cases have already been molecularly and clinically profiled by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Dr. Laila Poisson’s current work (NCI R01CA222146) seeks to expand the molecular and clinical profiling to 550 glioma cases (WHO grade II-IV), with a focus on therapeutic outcomes, recurrent disease, and extended survival, which were not captured in the TCGA project. She has constructed an interdisciplinary team of collaborators with clinical and informatics expertise. Molecular data will be generated by exome sequencing and DNA methylation array. Together this will provide somatic alterations, copy number variants, and the methylome for the included specimens. Clinical annotation from the tumor bank, including long-term follow-up and therapy regimens, is being added to each of the profiled glioma cases.

    The resulting comprehensively annotated tumor bank will be an invaluable resource for queries of clinical-molecular associations and the progression of disease, made available to researchers at Henry Ford Health and beyond. Dr. Poisson is particularly interested in addressing two analytical aims: (1) to design statistical models of prognosis and therapy response among modern diagnosis classes using retrospective records; and (2) to identify genomic differences, per patient, arising over the course of treatment and progression, which are expected to impact therapy decisions and inform standard treatments strategies. With her team, she will also explore the genomic patterns and clinical response of patients with exceptional survival, which may indicate differential molecular diagnosis or suggest therapeutic avenues for extending survival in others.

  • The All of Us Research Program (AoURP) is a cutting-edge collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to advance precision medicine. Precision medicine is health care that is based on the individual.

    It takes into account factors like where someone lives, their activities, and family health history. Precision medicine’s goal is to be able to tell people the best ways to stay healthy. If someone does get sick, precision medicine may help health care teams find the treatment that will work best. The promise of Precision Medicine in the U.S. can be most effectively realized on a large scale in the next decades if a research infrastructure is established and accessible to scientists across the nation and includes a large and engaged study population with comprehensive health and lifestyle histories linked to biospecimen.

    To get there we are creating a research community of one million people who will share their unique health data. This will include answering survey questions and many timepoints and sharing electronic health records. Some participants may also be asked to provide blood or urine samples. Critically, this population must be diverse, representing minority and other subgroups underrepresented in biomedical research. The health data we gather from participants will be stored in a database. Approved researchers can access this data to explore how factors like environment, lifestyle, and genes, can impact health. This may help develop new medical treatments that are unique to individuals and enable a future of precision medicine for all of us.

    Locally, AoURP is a joint venture with Henry Ford Health’s Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research and our consortium partners at 5 other health systems across the country.

Get Involved

Join our Research Team

We welcome, and at times actively recruit, researchers to Henry Ford Health to contribute to our Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control research work.

Donate to Cancer Research

The Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Program relies on grant and philanthropic funding and so appreciates and carefully uses such gifts.

Become a Patient Advisor

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research is a new approach to research that empowers patients and their families to ask questions, be involved and actively participate in studies that improve quality of life for current and future patients. Henry Ford Health currently has over 400 patient advisors and is actively recruiting more.


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