Biomedical Research Education & Training
Faculty Member

Epplein, Meira, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

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Phone Number: 615-936-2145

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Epplein, Meira's picture
Academic history
BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC
MA, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
MS, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI

Office Address   Mailing Address

2525 West End Ave, 6th floor, Nashville, TN 37203

Research Keywords
Cancer epidemiology; Modifiable risk factors; Health disparities; Gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori

Research Description
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.

Epplein, M, Bostick, RM, Mu, L, Ogino, S, Braithwaite, D, Kanetsky, PA. Challenges and opportunities in international molecular cancer prevention research: An ASPO Molecular Epidemiology and the Environment and International Cancer Prevention Interest Groups Report. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 23(11), 2613-7, 2014

Epplein, M, Burk, RF, Cai, Q, Hargreaves, MK, Blot, WJ. A prospective study of plasma Selenoprotein P and lung cancer risk among low-income adults. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 23(7), 1238-44, 2014

Epplein, M, Peek, RM, Blot, WJ. Helicobacter pylori Biomarkers and Risk of Colorectal Oncogenesis--Response. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 23(2), 366, 2014

Epplein, M, Zheng, W, Li, H, Peek, RM, Correa, P, Gao, J, Michel, A, Pawlita, M, Cai, Q, Xiang, YB, Shu, XO. Diet, Helicobacter pylori strain-specific infection, and gastric cancer risk among Chinese men. Nutr Cancer, 66(4), 550-7, 2014

Epplein, M, Pawlita, M, Michel, A, Peek, RM, Cai, Q, Blot, WJ. Helicobacter pylori protein-specific antibodies and risk of colorectal cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2013

Epplein, M, Xiang, YB, Cai, Q, Peek, RM, Li, H, Correa, P, Gao, J, Wu, J, Michel, A, Pawlita, M, Zheng, W, Shu, XO. Circulating cytokines and gastric cancer risk. Cancer Causes Control, 2013

Kweon, SS, Shu, XO, Xiang, Y, Cai, H, Yang, G, Ji, BT, Li, H, Gao, YT, Zheng, W, Epplein, M. Intake of Specific Nonfermented Soy Foods May Be Inversely Associated with Risk of Distal Gastric Cancer in a Chinese Population. J Nutr, 2013

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

Epplein, M, Zheng, W, Xiang, YB, Peek, RM, Li, H, Correa, P, Gao, J, Michel, A, Pawlita, M, Cai, Q, Shu, XO. Prospective study of Helicobacter pylori biomarkers for gastric cancer risk among Chinese men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 21(12), 2185-92, 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, 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, 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, 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 PMCID:2811221

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

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, 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 PMCID:2755047

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 PMCID:2727180

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 PMCID:2615384

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 PMCID:2750110

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 PMCID:2715873

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 PMCID:2692753

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 PMCID:2680496

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 PMCID:2727194

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

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