As a cancer epidemiologist with a focus on modifiable risk factors, particularly among ethnically diverse populations, I seek to understand the variations in lifestyle including, but not limited to, prevalence of infection, aspirin use, diet, physical activity, and anthropometry 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 world'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, including African Americans and Asian Americans, 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.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Population-based cohort studies of type 2 diabetes and stomach cancer risk in Chinese men and women. Xu HL, Tan YT, Epplein M, Li HL, Gao J, Gao YT, Zheng W, Shu XO, Xiang YB (2015) Cancer Sci 106(3): 294-8
    › Primary publication · 25557005 (PubMed) · PMC4374033 (PubMed Central)
  2. Challenges and opportunities in international molecular cancer prevention research: An ASPO Molecular Epidemiology and the Environment and International Cancer Prevention Interest Groups Report. Epplein M, Bostick RM, Mu L, Ogino S, Braithwaite D, Kanetsky PA (2014) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23(11): 2613-7
    › Primary publication · 25277796 (PubMed) · PMC4221505 (PubMed Central)
  3. A prospective study of plasma Selenoprotein P and lung cancer risk among low-income adults. Epplein M, Burk RF, Cai Q, Hargreaves MK, Blot WJ (2014) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23(7): 1238-44
    › Primary publication · 24762559 (PubMed) · PMC4082447 (PubMed Central)
  4. Diet, Helicobacter pylori strain-specific infection, and gastric cancer risk among Chinese men. Epplein M, Zheng W, Li H, Peek RM, Correa P, Gao J, Michel A, Pawlita M, Cai Q, Xiang YB, Shu XO (2014) Nutr Cancer 66(4): 550-7
    › Primary publication · 24666234 (PubMed) · PMC4068395 (PubMed Central)
  5. Helicobacter pylori Biomarkers and Risk of Colorectal Oncogenesis--Response. Epplein M, Peek RM, Blot WJ (2014) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23(2): 366
    › Primary publication · 24285842 (PubMed) · PMC3946073 (PubMed Central)
  6. Circulating cytokines and gastric cancer risk. Epplein M, Xiang YB, Cai Q, Peek RM, Li H, Correa P, Gao J, Wu J, Michel A, Pawlita M, Zheng W, Shu XO (2013) Cancer Causes Control 24(12): 2245-50
    › Primary publication · 24052422 (PubMed) · PMC3828746 (PubMed Central)
  7. Helicobacter pylori protein-specific antibodies and risk of colorectal cancer. Epplein M, Pawlita M, Michel A, Peek RM, Cai Q, Blot WJ (2013) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 22(11): 1964-74
    › Primary publication · 24045925 (PubMed) · PMC3828745 (PubMed Central)
  8. Intake of specific nonfermented soy foods may be inversely associated with risk of distal gastric cancer in a Chinese population. Kweon SS, Shu XO, Xiang Y, Cai H, Yang G, Ji BT, Li H, Gao YT, Zheng W, Epplein M (2013) J Nutr 143(11): 1736-42
    › Primary publication · 23986366 (PubMed) · PMC3796344 (PubMed Central)
  9. Prospective study of Helicobacter pylori biomarkers for gastric cancer risk among Chinese men. Epplein M, Zheng W, Xiang YB, Peek RM, Li H, Correa P, Gao J, Michel A, Pawlita M, Cai Q, Shu XO (2012) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 21(12): 2185-92
    › Primary publication · 23035179 (PubMed) · PMC3518572 (PubMed Central)
  10. Neighborhood socio-economic characteristics, African ancestry, and Helicobacter pylori sero-prevalence. Epplein M, Cohen SS, Sonderman JS, Zheng W, Williams SM, Blot WJ, Signorello LB (2012) Cancer Causes Control 23(6): 897-906
    › Primary publication · 22527167 (PubMed) · PMC3475203 (PubMed Central)
  11. The association of cigarette smoking with gastric cancer: the multiethnic cohort study. Nomura AM, Wilkens LR, Henderson BE, Epplein M, Kolonel LN (2012) Cancer Causes Control 23(1): 51-8
    › Primary publication · 22037905 (PubMed) · PMC4166441 (PubMed Central)
  12. Helicobacter pylori prevalence and circulating micronutrient levels in a low-income United States population. Epplein M, Signorello LB, Zheng W, Cai Q, Hargreaves MK, Michel A, Pawlita M, Fowke JH, Correa P, Blot WJ (2011) Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 4(6): 871-8
    › Primary publication · 21436385 (PubMed) · PMC3107911 (PubMed Central)
  13. Race, African ancestry, and Helicobacter pylori infection in a low-income United States population. Epplein M, Signorello LB, Zheng W, Peek RM, Michel A, Williams SM, Pawlita M, Correa P, Cai Q, Blot WJ (2011) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 20(5): 826-34
    › Primary publication · 21357376 (PubMed) · PMC3089670 (PubMed Central)
  14. Quality of life after breast cancer diagnosis and survival. Epplein M, Zheng Y, Zheng W, Chen Z, Gu K, Penson D, Lu W, Shu XO (2011) J Clin Oncol 29(4): 406-12
    › Primary publication · 21172892 (PubMed) · PMC3058286 (PubMed Central)
  15. Gastric cancer: an infectious disease. Piazuelo MB, Epplein M, Correa P (2010) Infect Dis Clin North Am 24(4): 853-69, vii
    › Primary publication · 20937454 (PubMed) · PMC2954127 (PubMed Central)
  16. Complex hyperplasia with and without atypia: clinical outcomes and implications of progestin therapy. Reed SD, Newton KM, Garcia RL, Allison KH, Voigt LF, Jordan CD, Epplein M, Swisher E, Upson K, Ehrlich KJ, Weiss NS (2010) Obstet Gynecol 116(2 Pt 1): 365-373
    › Primary publication · 20664397 (PubMed) · PMC2949551 (PubMed Central)
  17. Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of distal gastric cancer in the Shanghai Women's and Men's Health studies. Epplein M, Shu XO, Xiang YB, Chow WH, Yang G, Li HL, Ji BT, Cai H, Gao YT, Zheng W (2010) Am J Epidemiol 172(4): 397-406
    › Primary publication · 20647333 (PubMed) · PMC2950795 (PubMed Central)
  18. Association of maternal and intrauterine characteristics with age at menarche in a multiethnic population in Hawaii. Epplein M, Novotny R, Daida Y, Vijayadeva V, Onaka AT, Le Marchand L (2010) Cancer Causes Control 21(2): 259-68
    › Primary publication · 19862633 (PubMed) · PMC2811221 (PubMed Central)
  19. Plasma carotenoids, retinol, and tocopherols and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Multiethnic Cohort Study: a nested case-control study. Epplein M, Shvetsov YB, Wilkens LR, Franke AA, Cooney RV, Le Marchand L, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN, Goodman MT (2009) Breast Cancer Res 11(4): R49
    › Primary publication · 19619335 (PubMed) · PMC2750110 (PubMed Central)
  20. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and risk of gastric adenocarcinoma: the multiethnic cohort study. Epplein M, Nomura AM, Wilkens LR, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN (2009) Am J Epidemiol 170(4): 507-14
    › Primary publication · 19584132 (PubMed) · PMC2727180 (PubMed Central)
  21. Association of plasma micronutrient levels and urinary isoprostane with risk of lung cancer: the multiethnic cohort study. Epplein M, Franke AA, Cooney RV, Morris JS, Wilkens LR, Goodman MT, Murphy SP, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN, Le Marchand L (2009) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 18(7): 1962-70
    › Primary publication · 19531680 (PubMed) · PMC2755047 (PubMed Central)
  22. Incidence of endometrial hyperplasia. Reed SD, Newton KM, Clinton WL, Epplein M, Garcia R, Allison K, Voigt LF, Weiss NS (2009) Am J Obstet Gynecol 200(6): 678.e1-6
    › Primary publication · 19393600 (PubMed) · PMC2692753 (PubMed Central)
  23. Progestin therapy of complex endometrial hyperplasia with and without atypia. Reed SD, Voigt LF, Newton KM, Garcia RH, Allison HK, Epplein M, Jordan D, Swisher E, Weiss NS (2009) Obstet Gynecol 113(3): 655-662
    › Primary publication · 19300331 (PubMed) · PMC2680496 (PubMed Central)
  24. Urinary isothiocyanates; glutathione S-transferase M1, T1, and P1 polymorphisms; and risk of colorectal cancer: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Epplein M, Wilkens LR, Tiirikainen M, Dyba M, Chung FL, Goodman MT, Murphy SP, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN, Le Marchand L (2009) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 18(1): 314-20
    › Primary publication · 19124514 (PubMed) · PMC2715873 (PubMed Central)
  25. Endometrial hyperplasia risk in relation to recent use of oral contraceptives and hormone therapy. Epplein M, Reed SD, Voigt LF, Newton KM, Holt VL, Weiss NS (2009) Ann Epidemiol 19(1): 1-7
    › Primary publication · 19064186 (PubMed) · PMC2615384 (PubMed Central)
  26. Risk of complex and atypical endometrial hyperplasia in relation to anthropometric measures and reproductive history. Epplein M, Reed SD, Voigt LF, Newton KM, Holt VL, Weiss NS (2008) Am J Epidemiol 168(6): 563-70; discussion 571-6
    › Primary publication · 18682485 (PubMed) · PMC2727194 (PubMed Central)
  27. Association of Helicobacter pylori infection and diet on the risk of gastric cancer: a case-control study in Hawaii. Epplein M, Nomura AM, Hankin JH, Blaser MJ, Perez-Perez G, Stemmermann GN, Wilkens LR, Kolonel LN (2008) Cancer Causes Control 19(8): 869-77
    › Primary publication · 18369531 (PubMed) · PMC2799111 (PubMed Central)
  28. Trends in the incidence rates of nasopharyngeal carcinoma among Chinese Americans living in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco metropolitan area, 1992-2002. Sun LM, Epplein M, Li CI, Vaughan TL, Weiss NS (2005) Am J Epidemiol 162(12): 1174-8
    › Primary publication · 16282240 (PubMed)
  29. Smoking-adjusted lung cancer incidence among Asian-Americans (United States). Epplein M, Schwartz SM, Potter JD, Weiss NS (2005) Cancer Causes Control 16(9): 1085-90
    › Primary publication · 16184474 (PubMed)
  30. A sister's risk: family history as a predictor of preeclampsia. Carr DB, Epplein M, Johnson CO, Easterling TR, Critchlow CW (2005) Am J Obstet Gynecol 193(3 Pt 2): 965-72
    › Primary publication · 16157095 (PubMed)
  31. Genetic services for familial cancer patients: a follow-up survey of National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers. Epplein M, Koon KP, Ramsey SD, Potter JD (2005) J Clin Oncol 23(21): 4713-8
    › Primary publication · 16034046 (PubMed)