People

Habibul Ahsan, MBBS

Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor

Dean, Population and Precision Health

Director, Institute for Population and Precision Health

Director, Chicago Center for Health and Environment

Associate Director of Population Research, Comprehensive Cancer Center



I am Dean for Population and Precision Health and Director of the Institute for Population and Precision Health. Trained in medicine, epidemiology, environmental health and genomics, my research expertise encompasses large-scale population-based studies assessing environmental disease risks and their modifying factors including social, biological and other disparity-related factors. My research interests focus on studying the inter-relationships between environmental and genomic factors in cancer and other diseases and exploiting information on these relationships at a population level in developing and evaluating prevention interventions in humans. Specifically, my research integrates the environmental, nutritional and life-style factors with measures of host factors and modern molecular genomics (involving DNA, RNA and protein variations) to understand the etiology, pathogenesis, prognosis and prevention of cancer and other disorders of national and international public health significance. In addition to applied and translational studies, my research directly addresses environmental health disparity and their prevention avenues. Findings from many of my environmental health studies have had EHS policy implications nationally and internationally. Currently, I lead the only NIEHS-funded Environmental Health Core Center in Chicago. I am leading a large team of scientists to establish a prospective multiethnic cohort in Chicago involving extensive environmental data and a biobank to address health disparity related research questions. As part of these responsibilities, I have built multidisciplinary multi-institutional teams, promoted collaborations, mentored junior and mid-level faculties, and managed large staff and budgets. I serve on numerous national and international panels including a current 4-year term on the NIEHS Advisory Board and a 3-year term on an NAS panel evaluating EPA policy on arsenic.

Columbia University
New York
Postdoc - Epidemiology
1995

University of Western Australia
Australia
MMedSc - Epidemiology
1992

University of Western Australia
Australia
PGDip - Public Health
1990

Institute for Postgraduate Medicine & Research, Dhaka University
Bangladesh
MBBS(MD) - Medicine
1988

A mass-balance model to assess arsenic exposure from multiple wells in Bangladesh.
Huhmann LB, Harvey CF, Navas-Acien A, Graziano J, Slavkovich V, Chen Y, Argos M, Ahsan H, van Geen A. A mass-balance model to assess arsenic exposure from multiple wells in Bangladesh. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2021 Oct 08.
PMID: 34625714

Interaction between Microsatellite Instability (MSI) and Tumor DNA Methylation in the Pathogenesis of Colorectal Carcinoma.
Jasmine F, Haq Z, Kamal M, Raza M, da Silva G, Gorospe K, Paul R, Strzempek P, Ahsan H, Kibriya MG. Interaction between Microsatellite Instability (MSI) and Tumor DNA Methylation in the Pathogenesis of Colorectal Carcinoma. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Oct 01; 13(19).
PMID: 34638440

Large-scale cis- and trans-eQTL analyses identify thousands of genetic loci and polygenic scores that regulate blood gene expression.
Võsa U, Claringbould A, Westra HJ, Bonder MJ, Deelen P, Zeng B, Kirsten H, Saha A, Kreuzhuber R, Yazar S, Brugge H, Oelen R, de Vries DH, van der Wijst MGP, Kasela S, Pervjakova N, Alves I, Favé MJ, Agbessi M, Christiansen MW, Jansen R, Seppälä I, Tong L, Teumer A, Schramm K, Hemani G, Verlouw J, Yaghootkar H, Sönmez Flitman R, Brown A, Kukushkina V, Kalnapenkis A, Rüeger S, Porcu E, Kronberg J, Kettunen J, Lee B, Zhang F, Qi T, Hernandez JA, Arindrarto W, Beutner F. Large-scale cis- and trans-eQTL analyses identify thousands of genetic loci and polygenic scores that regulate blood gene expression. Nat Genet. 2021 09; 53(9):1300-1310.
PMID: 34475573

Coffee and tea consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer: a pooled analysis of prospective studies from the Asia Cohort Consortium.
Shin S, Lee JE, Loftfield E, Shu XO, Abe SK, Rahman MS, Saito E, Islam MR, Tsugane S, Sawada N, Tsuji I, Kanemura S, Sugawara Y, Tomata Y, Sadakane A, Ozasa K, Oze I, Ito H, Shin MH, Ahn YO, Park SK, Shin A, Xiang YB, Cai H, Koh WP, Yuan JM, Yoo KY, Chia KS, Boffetta P, Ahsan H, Zheng W, Inoue M, Kang D, Potter JD, Matsuo K, Qiao YL, Rothman N, Sinha R. Coffee and tea consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer: a pooled analysis of prospective studies from the Asia Cohort Consortium. Int J Epidemiol. 2021 Sep 01.
PMID: 34468722

Association of Sleep Duration With All- and Major-Cause Mortality Among Adults in Japan, China, Singapore, and Korea.
Svensson T, Saito E, Svensson AK, Melander O, Orho-Melander M, Mimura M, Rahman S, Sawada N, Koh WP, Shu XO, Tsuji I, Kanemura S, Park SK, Nagata C, Tsugane S, Cai H, Yuan JM, Matsuyama S, Sugawara Y, Wada K, Yoo KY, Chia KS, Boffetta P, Ahsan H, Zheng W, Kang D, Potter JD, Inoue M. Association of Sleep Duration With All- and Major-Cause Mortality Among Adults in Japan, China, Singapore, and Korea. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Sep 01; 4(9):e2122837.
PMID: 34477853

Urinary arsenic and relative telomere length in 5-7 year old children in Bangladesh.
Farzan SF, Shahriar M, Kibriya MG, Jasmine F, Sarwar G, Slavkovic V, Graziano JH, Ahsan H, Argos M. Urinary arsenic and relative telomere length in 5-7 year old children in Bangladesh. Environ Int. 2021 11; 156:106765.
PMID: 34273872

Erratum: "Rare, protein-altering variants in AS3MT and arsenic metabolism efficiency: a multi-population association study".
Delgado DA, Chernoff M, Huang L, Tong L, Chen L, Jasmine F, Shinkle J, Cole SA, Haack K, Kent J, Umans J, Best LG, Nelson H, Vander Griend D, Graziano J, Kibriya MG, Navas-Acien A, Karagas MR, Ahsan H, Pierce BL. Erratum: "Rare, protein-altering variants in AS3MT and arsenic metabolism efficiency: a multi-population association study". Environ Health Perspect. 2021 May; 129(5):59003.
PMID: 34038222

Household biomass fuel use is associated with chronic childhood malnutrition: Result from a nationwide cross-sectional survey in Bangladesh.
Ahmed S, Ibrahimou B, Kader SB, Chowdhury MAH, Ahsan H, Yunus M. Household biomass fuel use is associated with chronic childhood malnutrition: Result from a nationwide cross-sectional survey in Bangladesh. Indoor Air. 2021 Nov; 31(6):2167-2175.
PMID: 33913211

Autophagy of the m6A mRNA demethylase FTO is impaired by low-level arsenic exposure to promote tumorigenesis.
Cui YH, Yang S, Wei J, Shea CR, Zhong W, Wang F, Shah P, Kibriya MG, Cui X, Ahsan H, He C, He YY. Autophagy of the m6A mRNA demethylase FTO is impaired by low-level arsenic exposure to promote tumorigenesis. Nat Commun. 2021 04 12; 12(1):2183.
PMID: 33846348

Rare, Protein-Altering Variants in AS3MT and Arsenic Metabolism Efficiency: A Multi-Population Association Study.
Delgado DA, Chernoff M, Huang L, Tong L, Chen L, Jasmine F, Shinkle J, Cole SA, Haack K, Kent J, Umans J, Best LG, Nelson H, Griend DV, Graziano J, Kibriya MG, Navas-Acien A, Karagas MR, Ahsan H, Pierce BL. Rare, Protein-Altering Variants in AS3MT and Arsenic Metabolism Efficiency: A Multi-Population Association Study. Environ Health Perspect. 2021 04; 129(4):47007.
PMID: 33826413

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Member
ASCO Annual Meeting Planning Committee
2015 - 2017

Member
NAEHSC-National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council (NIEHS Council)
2015 - 2019

Member
NAS Scientific Panel on Toxicological Assessment of Arsenic
2012 - 2016

Associate Editor
Genetic Epidemiology
2006 - 2011