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Research Interests

Lifang Hou, MD, MS, PhD is a Professor of Preventive Medicine. With a multidisciplinary background in medicine, basic science, and epidemiology, Dr. Hou’s research interest lies in integrating traditional epidemiologic methods with the ever-advancing molecular techniques in multi-disciplinary research focusing on identifying key molecular markers and understanding their potential impact on disease etiology, detection, and prevention. Dr. Hou’s major research efforts to date have focused on two areas: 1) identification of risk factors that may cause chronic diseases; and 2) identification of biomarkers that serve as indicators of an individual’s past exposure to disease risk factors and/or predict future disease risks and/or prognosis. The environmental/lifestyle risk factors that Dr. Hou has studied include air pollution, pesticides, overweight, physical inactivity, and reproductive factors in relation to chronic diseases. The biomarkers that Dr. Hou has investigated include genetic factors (i.e., polymorphisms, telomere length shortening, mitochondria DNA copy number variations); and epigenetic factors (i.e., DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA profiling). Her over-arching research goal is to understand the biological mechanisms linking environmental risk factors with subclinical or clinical disease development, which ultimately lead to development of effective strategies for prevention of chronic diseases. In addition to being a PI of several NIH funded grants, Dr. Hou is the co-director and Co-PI of the Northwestern Consortium for Early Phase Cancer Prevention Trials of the Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) Consortia, National Cancer Institute (http://prevention.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/management/consortia).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

MD, PhD, University of Tsukuba

… → 2001

Research interests

  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Environmental Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Digestive Cancer (esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum)

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