Meira Epplein, PhD
2525 West End Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203
Meira Epplein is an Assistant Professor in the Epidemiology Division of the Department of Medicine, and is a member of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health and the Digestive Disease Research Center. After receiving her PhD, she spent 2 years at the University of Hawaii as a post-doctoral fellow as part of the program on Cancer Control Research Training in Multiethnic Hawaii. She is interested in modifiable risk factors for cancer incidence, and has a specific focus on racial disparities. In July of 2011 she was awarded a 5-year career development award from the National Cancer Institute to further her knowledge on infections, inflammation and cancer, and specifically to examine Helicobacter pylori subtypes, inflammation, and gastric cancer risk.
As a cancer epidemiologist with a focus on modifiable risk factors, particularly among ethnically diverse populations, I seek to understand the variations in lifestyle â€“ including, but not limited to, diet, physical activity, anthropometry, medication use, prevalence of infection â€“ among groups of individuals with differing risks of disease. Currently my work is focused on Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that lives in the lining of the stomach of approximately half of the worldâ€™s population, and the dual nature of its relationship with disease. Specifically, infection with H. pylori is the most well-established risk factor for gastric cancer, but only a fraction of infected individuals will develop cancer, and there is evidence that carriage of the bacteria is inversely related with esophageal adenocarcinoma, a very fatal cancer that is currently increasing in incidence, and possibly with asthma, allergies, and gastroesophageal reflux disease as well. H. pylori prevalence varies widely by geographic region (30% in the United States compared to 80-90% in East Asia and Africa, for example), and by racial/ethnic group within regions as well (minorities in the United States â€“ including African Americans and Asian Americans â€“ have infection rates as high as seen in developing countries). Currently I am exploring the epidemiologic triangle of bacteria-host-environment through studies investigating H. pylori genetic diversity, host characteristics (including race and ancestry and individual inflammatory response) and lifestyle factors (such as diet and medication use) to better pinpoint who is at highest risk of disease, so that we make take preventive measures, especially among groups of under-served individuals who may be at particularly high risk.
I also serve as the Associate Director of Graduate Studies for Vanderbiltâ€™s Institute of Medicine and Public Health, to help direct and shepherd our new epidemiology PhD program. In this role, I seek to create an environment where students are prepared to respond to and be successful in the myriad challenges in becoming independent investigators.
- Epplein, M, Cohen, SS, Sonderman, JS, Zheng, W, Williams, SM, Blot, WJ, Signorello, LB Neighborhood socio-economic characteristics, African ancestry, and Helicobacter pylori sero-prevalence. Cancer Causes Control, 23(6), 897-906, 2012.
- Nomura, AM, Wilkens, LR, Henderson, BE, Epplein, M, Kolonel, LN The association of cigarette smoking with gastric cancer: the multiethnic cohort study. Cancer Causes Control, 23(1), 51-8, 2012.
- Epplein, M, Signorello, LB, Zheng, W, Cai, Q, Hargreaves, MK, Michel, A, Pawlita, M, Fowke, JH, Correa, P, Blot, WJ Helicobacter pylori prevalence and circulating micronutrient levels in a low-income United States population. Cancer Prev Res (Phila), 4(6), 871-8, 2011.
- Epplein, M, Zheng, Y, Zheng, W, Chen, Z, Gu, K, Penson, D, Lu, W, Shu, XO Quality of life after breast cancer diagnosis and survival. J Clin Oncol, 29(4), 406-12, 2011.
- Epplein, M, Signorello, LB, Zheng, W, Peek, RM, Michel, A, Williams, SM, Pawlita, M, Correa, P, Cai, Q, Blot, WJ Race, African ancestry, and Helicobacter pylori infection in a low-income United States population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 20(5), 826-34, 2011.
- Epplein, M, Novotny, R, Daida, Y, Vijayadeva, V, Onaka, AT, Le Marchand, L Association of maternal and intrauterine characteristics with age at menarche in a multiethnic population in Hawaii. Cancer Causes Control, 21(2), 259-68, 2010.
- Reed, SD, Newton, KM, Garcia, RL, Allison, KH, Voigt, LF, Jordan, CD, Epplein, M, Swisher, E, Upson, K, Ehrlich, KJ, Weiss, NS Complex hyperplasia with and without atypia: clinical outcomes and implications of progestin therapy. Obstet Gynecol, 116(2 Pt 1), 365-73, 2010.
- Epplein, M, Shu, XO, Xiang, YB, Chow, WH, Yang, G, Li, HL, Ji, BT, Cai, H, Gao, YT, Zheng, W Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Risk of Distal Gastric Cancer in the Shanghai Women''s and Men''s Health Studies. Am J Epidemiol, 172(4), 397-406, 2010.
- Piazuelo, MB, Epplein, M, Correa, P Gastric cancer: an infectious disease. Infect Dis Clin North Am, 24(4), 853-69, vii, 2010.
- Epplein, M, Franke, AA, Cooney, RV, Morris, JS, Wilkens, LR, Goodman, MT, Murphy, SP, Henderson, BE, Kolonel, LN, Le Marchand, L Association of plasma micronutrient levels and urinary isoprostane with risk of lung cancer: the multiethnic cohort study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 18(7), 1962-70, 2009.
- Epplein, M, Reed, SD, Voigt, LF, Newton, KM, Holt, VL, Weiss, NS Endometrial hyperplasia risk in relation to recent use of oral contraceptives and hormone therapy. Ann Epidemiol, 19(1), 1-7, 2009.
- Reed, SD, Newton, KM, Clinton, WL, Epplein, M, Garcia, R, Allison, K, Voigt, LF, Weiss, NS Incidence of endometrial hyperplasia. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 200(6), 678.e1-6, 2009.
- Epplein, M, Nomura, AM, Wilkens, LR, Henderson, BE, Kolonel, LN Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and risk of gastric adenocarcinoma: the multiethnic cohort study. Am J Epidemiol, 170(4), 507-14, 2009.
- Epplein, M, Shvetsov, YB, Wilkens, LR, Franke, AA, Cooney, RV, Le Marchand, L, Henderson, BE, Kolonel, LN, Goodman, MT Plasma carotenoids, retinol, and tocopherols and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Multiethnic Cohort Study: a nested case-control study. Breast Cancer Res, 11(4), R49, 2009.
- Reed, SD, Voigt, LF, Newton, KM, Garcia, RH, Allison, HK, Epplein, M, Jordan, D, Swisher, E, Weiss, NS Progestin therapy of complex endometrial hyperplasia with and without atypia. Obstet Gynecol, 113(3), 655-62, 2009.
- Epplein, M, Wilkens, LR, Tiirikainen, M, Dyba, M, Chung, FL, Goodman, MT, Murphy, SP, Henderson, BE, Kolonel, LN, Le Marchand, L Urinary isothiocyanates; glutathione S-transferase M1, T1, and P1 polymorphisms; and risk of colorectal cancer: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 18(1), 314-20, 2009.
- Epplein, M, Nomura, AM, Hankin, JH, Blaser, MJ, Perez-Perez, G, Stemmermann, GN, Wilkens, LR, Kolonel, LN Association of Helicobacter pylori infection and diet on the risk of gastric cancer: a case-control study in Hawaii. Cancer Causes Control, 19(8), 869-77, 2008.
- Epplein, M, Reed, SD, Voigt, LF, Newton, KM, Holt, VL, Weiss, NS Risk of complex and atypical endometrial hyperplasia in relation to anthropometric measures and reproductive history. Am J Epidemiol, 168(6), 563-70; discussion 571-6, 2008.
- Carr, DB, Epplein, M, Johnson, CO, Easterling, TR, Critchlow, CW A sister''s risk: family history as a predictor of preeclampsia. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 193(3 Pt 2), 965-72, 2005.
- Epplein, M, Koon, KP, Ramsey, SD, Potter, JD Genetic services for familial cancer patients: a follow-up survey of National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers. J Clin Oncol, 23(21), 4713-8, 2005.
- Epplein, M, Schwartz, SM, Potter, JD, Weiss, NS Smoking-adjusted lung cancer incidence among Asian-Americans (United States). Cancer Causes Control, 16(9), 1085-90, 2005.
- Sun, LM, Epplein, M, Li, CI, Vaughan, TL, Weiss, NS Trends in the incidence rates of nasopharyngeal carcinoma among Chinese Americans living in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco metropolitan area, 1992-2002. Am J Epidemiol, 162(12), 1174-8, 2005.
- PhD Epidemiology, University of Washington 2007
- MS Epidemiology, University of Washington 2005
- MA International Studies/China, University of Washington 1997
- BA East Asian Studies, University of North Carolina 1994