Research Team

Principal Investigators

Habibul Ahsan, MD, the principal investigator of COMPASS, the Louis Block Professor of Public Health Sciences, Medicine, and Human Genetics, the associate director for population research at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, and director of the Center for Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at the University of Chicago. He is an internationally known epidemiologist, and his research focuses on the effects of environmental agents, and their interaction with genetic and other factors in the development of cancer and other disorders. He has been conducting a series of large population studies both in the U.S. and overseas to examine the role of environmental and lifestyle factors, genetics and their interplay in the development of cancers, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Dr. Ahsan's research led to major discoveries in identifying health risks of environmental arsenic exposure and genetic risk factors for breast cancer. He is also evaluating strategies for prevention of cancer and chronic diseases through effective and affordable means.

Michelle Le Beau, PhD, the co-principal investigator of COMPASS, is the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Medicine, director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, and director of the Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory. Cytogenetics is a branch of genetics that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the cell, especially the chromosomes. Dr. Le Beau is an international leader in cancer cytogenetics and genetics, and a leading authority on blood cancers. Her groundbreaking research led to the discovery that there are several distinct genetic subtypes of therapy-related leukemias, which are leukemias that develop as a result of therapies for other cancers. Her current research focus is on therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia. Dr. Le Beau’s entire career has focused on cancer research, and she has extensive experience in building interdisciplinary research programs, developing the careers of young scientists, and overseeing the administration of large peer-reviewed grants. She also currently serves as president of the American Association of Cancer Institutes.

Co-Investigators

  • Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, PhD, is a research associate (assistant professor) of public health sciences. Dr. Aschebrook-Kilfoy’s main area of research is environmental and molecular epidemiology of cancer and chronic diseases.
  • Kathleen Cagney, PhD, is an associate professor of sociology and health studies. Dr. Cagney’s main area of research is race and ethnic differences in access to health care as well as neighborhood effects on health.
  • Brian Chiu, PhD, is an associate professor of epidemiology. His main area of research is epidemiologic and molecular studies of hematopoietic cancers, particularly lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
  • Dezheng Huo, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of epidemiology. Dr. Huo's research interests focus on the genetic, molecular, and environmental factors underlying differences in etiology, prognosis, and treatment of cancers, particularly as they relate to breast cancer in underserved populations.
  • Muhammad Kibriya, MD, PhD, is a research associate (assistant professor) at the Center for Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. Dr. Kibriya’s research focuses on the molecular and genetic determinants of cancer and chronic diseases.
  • Diane Lauderdale, PhD, is a professor of epidemiology. Dr. Lauderdale’s main research areas are in social epidemiology and epidemiologic methods in relation disease prevention.
  • Brandon Pierce, PhD, is an assistant professor of epidemiology. Dr. Pierce’s main area of research is in genetic and molecular epidemiology of cancer and chronic diseases.
  • Geoffrey Greene, PhD, is the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor and chair of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research. Dr. Greene studies female steroid hormones and the molecular mechanisms by which they regulate development, differentiation and/or cellular proliferation and survival in hormone responsive tissues and cancers.
  • Mark Lingen, DDS, PhD, is aa associate professor of pathology and director of Comprehensive Cancer Center Human Tissue Resource Center. Dr. Lingen’s research focuses on molecular diagnostics and biobanking in relation to cancer prevention and control.
  • Karen Kim, MD, is a professor of medicine and director of Comprehensive Cancer Center's Office of Community Engagement and Cancer Disparities (OCECD). Dr. Kim's research explores prevention for colon cancer and screening methods for populations with average and high risk.
  • Olunfunmilayo Olopade, MD, is the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, and the director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics. She studies familial forms of cancers, molecular mechanisms of tumor progression in high-risk individuals as well as genetic and epigenetic factors contributing to disparities in cancer outcomes in diverse populations.
  • Lainie Ross, MD, PhD, is the Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum Professor of Clinical Medical Ethics and co-director of the Institute for Translational Medicine. Her research interests focus on ethnical aspects of biomedical and human health research.
  • Christopher Sola Olopade, MD, MPH, is a professor of family medicine and medicine, and clinical director of the Center for Global Health. His research focuses on determining appropriate or best practices for asthma management through collaborative and multi-center clinical research projects.
  • Doriane Miller, MD, is an associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Community Health and Vitality. Dr. Miller's research focuses on the intersection of health disparities and race.
  • Andrea King, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control program at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. King’s research interests focus on addiction research, particularly cigarette and alcohol use and cancer prevention.
  • Marshall Chin, MD, is the Richard Parrillo Family Professor of Medicine and associate chief and director of research in the Section of General Internal Medicine. He also directs the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research. Dr. Chin primarily investigates how to improve diabetes outcomes in real-world settings.
  • Marcy List, PhD, is the associate director for administration at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. She also serves as scientific director for the Cancer Clinical Trials Office (CCTO)