Xuehong Zhang

Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition

Department of Nutrition

Dr. Xuehong Zhang is a cancer epidemiologist with training in clinical medicine and nutrition.  He has extensive experience in conducting cohort and case-control studies and international consortia.  He integrates epidemiology, lifestyles, nutrition, pathology, and –omic techniques to conduct multidisciplinary investigations.  The overall theme of his research program is to identify dietary, lifestyle, genetic, and biological determinants of cancer and determine whether these factors inform early detection and diagnosis, as well as survival among cancer survivors.  Specifically, his research areas are as following:

  1. Primary prevention of cancer: identify new etiological factors for both colorectal neoplasia and liver cancer;  integration new technologies into longitudinal cohorts to better understand the biological mechanisms underlying exposures and cancer associations.
  2. Secondary prevention: conduct biomarker research to inform early detection and diagnosis of liver cancer by leveraging clinical patient cohorts and general population.
  3. Tertiary prevention: identify new dietary, lifestyle, and biological factors alone or in combination of existing treatments to improve quality of life among cancer survivors.

Letter to Editors

  1. Zhang X, Giovannucci EL. Letters to the Editor. Re: A Trial of Calcium and Vitamin D for the Prevention of Colorectal Adenomas. N Engl J Med. 2016 Feb 25;374(8):791.
  2. Yang W, Giovannucci E, Zhang X. Whole Grains and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma-Missing the Forest for the Trees?-In Reply. JAMA Oncol. 2019 Aug 8. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2988.
  3. Zheng X, Wu K, Song M, Ogino S, Fuchs CS, Chan AT, Giovannucci EL, Cao Y*, Zhang X*. Yogurt consumption and risk of conventional and serrated precursors of colorectal cancer. Gut. 2019 Jun 17. pii: gutjnl-2019-318374.

Book chapters

3rd edition of Textbook of Cancer Epidemiology by Oxford University (December 2017). Xuehong Zhang, Eunyoung Cho, Hans-Olov Adami, Chapter 25, Kidney cancer


  1. Zhang X, Wu K, Giovannucci EL, ,,, Wei EK. Early life body size and risk of colorectal cancer in US women and men – results from two large cohort studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015;24(4):690-7.
  2. Momen-Heravi F, Babic A, Tworoger S, ,,, Zhang X. Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and colorectal cancer incidence: results from the Nurses’ Health Study. Int J Cancer. 2017 Feb 1;140(3):646-652. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30486.
  3. Yang W, Ma Y, Liu Y, ,,, Zhang X. Intake of whole grains and dietary fiber and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma among U.S. adults. JAMA Oncology. 2019 Feb 21. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.7159.
  4. Ma Y, Yang W, Simon TG, ,,, Zhang X. Dietary patterns and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma among US men and women. Hepatology. 2018 Dec 1. doi: 10.1002/hep.30362.
  5. Yang W, Ma Y, Smith-Warner SA, ,,, Zhang X. Calcium intake and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Dec 13. pii: clincanres.2965.2018. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-2965.
  6. McCullough ML, Zoltick ES, Weinstein SJ, ,,, Zhang X, Willett WC, Gail MH, Ziegler RG, Smith-Warner SA. Circulating Vitamin D and Colorectal Cancer Risk: An International Pooling Project of 17 Cohorts. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Jun 14. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djy087.
  7. Petrick JL, Thistle JE, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Zhang X, ,,, Campbell PT, McGlynn KA. Body Mass Index, Diabetes and Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma Risk: The Liver Cancer Pooling Project and Meta-analysis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Sep 3. doi: 10.1038/s41395-018-0207-4.