• 7343 Citations
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Personal profile

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).

Education/Academic qualification

MD, PhD, University of Tsukuba, Japan

… → 2001


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

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Grants 2001 2024

Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
Cardiac Myocytes

Research Output 2000 2019

Association of clinical outcomes in metastatic breast cancer patients with circulating tumour cell and circulating cell-free DNA

Ye, Z., Wang, C., Wan, S., Mu, Z., Zhang, Z., Abu-Khalaf, M. M., Fellin, F. M., Silver, D. P., Neupane, M., Jaslow, R. J., Bhattacharya, S., Tsangaris, T. N., Chervoneva, I., Berger, A., Austin, L., Palazzo, J. P., Myers, R. E., Pancholy, N., Toorkey, D., Yao, K. & 10 othersKrall, M., Li, X., Chen, X., Fu, X., Xing, J., Hou, L., Wei, Q., Li, B., Cristofanilli, M. & Yang, H., Jan 1 2019, In : European Journal of Cancer. 106, p. 133-143 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Circulating Neoplastic Cells
Breast Neoplasms
Disease-Free Survival

Author Correction: Magnesium intake and mortality due to liver diseases: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Cohort (Scientific Reports, (2017), 7, 1, (17913), 10.1038/s41598-017-18076-5)

Wu, L., Zhu, X., Fan, L., Kabagambe, E. K., Song, Y., Tao, M., Zhong, X., Hou, L., Shrubsole, M. J., Liu, J. & Dai, Q., Dec 1 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, 6983.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access
Nutrition Surveys
Liver Diseases

Correction: Accelerated DNA methylation age and the use of antihypertensive medication among older adults [Aging, (Albany NY), 10, (2018), (3210-3228)] doi: 10.18632/aging.10162

Gao, X., Colicino, E., Shen, J., Just, A. C., Nwanaji-Enwerem, J. C., Coull, B., Lin, X., Vokonas, P., Zheng, Y., Hou, L., Schwartz, J. & Baccarelli, A. A., May 15 2019, In : Aging. 11, 9, 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

DNA Methylation
Antihypertensive Agents
4 Citations (Scopus)

DNA methylation GrimAge strongly predicts lifespan and healthspan

Lu, A. T., Quach, A., Wilson, J. G., Reiner, A. P., Aviv, A., Raj, K., Hou, L., Baccarelli, A. A., Li, Y., Stewart, J. D., Whitsel, E. A., Assimes, T. L., Ferrucci, L. & Horvath, S., Jan 1 2019, In : Aging. 11, 2, p. 303-327 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DNA Methylation
Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1

Impacts of air pollution, temperature, and relative humidity on leukocyte distribution: An epigenetic perspective

Gao, X., Colicino, E., Shen, J., Kioumourtzoglou, M. A., Just, A. C., Nwanaji-Enwerem, J. C., Coull, B., Lin, X., Vokonas, P., Zheng, Y., Hou, L., Schwartz, J. & Baccarelli, A. A., May 1 2019, In : Environment International. p. 395-405 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
relative humidity
atmospheric pollution
pollution exposure