Indian to lead US varsity’s cancer prevention, control research

Washington, Dec 3 (IANS) The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre has appointed Bhramar Mukherjee as associate director for population science research. He will oversee work on cancer causes, prevention, care delivery and outcomes.

“As a biostatistician and epidemiologist, I can bring a lot to this role,” a university release quoted Mukherjee as saying.

“We live in a very data-driven world. There are tremendous opportunities, both within the University of Michigan and nationally around big data – using medical records and mining large datasets to manage patient outcomes and care,” she said.

“Groundbreaking prevention and health communications research is happening today by using social media and mobile sensors. Data is helping us to better understand disparities in cancer care, delivery and outcomes.”

Mukherjee is John D. Kalbfleisch Collegiate professor of biostatistics and professor of epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health. She also serves as the associate chair for biostatistics.

Her cancer research has focused on how the interaction between genes and the environment impacts cancer risk. She has studied the roles of diet, physical activity and lifestyle factors, and their interplay with the genetic architecture of an individual.

“I am so impressed with Mukherjee. She is a stellar researcher in biostatistics, epidemiology and disparities. These are key issues for our cancer centre to address,” said Ted Lawrence, distinguished professor of Oncology and director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Mukherjee plans to foster and facilitate cross-collaboration within the population sciences programme in the cancer centre and across various other units at the University of Michigan, something she has done frequently as a biostatistician.

The associate director for population science position was last held by Stephen B. Gruber, who is now the director of the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

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