Gradient

Senior Scientists

Kirsten (Ke) Zu, Ph.D., Sc.D., M.P.H.
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Education

Sc.D., Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health

M.P.H., Quantitative Methods, Harvard School of Public Health

Ph.D., Pathology, State University of New York at Buffalo

B.S., Cell Biology and Genetics, Peking University, China

Expertise

  • Risk Assessment
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Nutrition
  • Cancer Pathology

Kirsten (Ke) Zu, Ph.D., Sc.D., M.P.H.

Senior Epidemiologist

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Dr. Zu is a senior epidemiologist whose primary responsibilities at Gradient include conducting original epidemiology research and human health risk assessment, and critically evaluating epidemiology literature.  Prior to joining Gradient, Dr. Zu was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health where she managed and analyzed data from two large prospective cohort studies and collaborated with pathologists and physicians on various tumor biomarker assessments.  Dr. Zu has authored and co-authored original research articles, review articles, and book chapters on a variety of topics, including weight-of-evidence analyses of several chemicals, human health risk assessment, nutritional epidemiology, and cancer epidemiology.  

Education

Sc.D., Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health

M.P.H., Quantitative Methods, Harvard School of Public Health

Ph.D., Pathology, State University of New York at Buffalo

B.S., Cell Biology and Genetics, Peking University, China

Expertise

  • Risk Assessment
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Nutrition
  • Cancer Pathology

Services

Representative Projects

Air Pollution Epidemiology:  Conducted a time series study to evaluate whether increases in ambient ozone concentrations are associated with increased rates of hospitalization for asthma in Texas.

Cross-sectional Study:  Conducted a cross-sectional analysis to evaluate whether pulmonary radiographic changes such as pleural plaques are associated with impaired lung function.

Safety Evaluation of Food Additives:  Comprehensively reviewed animal toxicity, pharmacokinetic, and human clinical data for benzoates, and derived Chemical-specific Adjustment Factors (CSAFs) for the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI).

Regulatory Comments:  Provided written and oral comments to the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) on clinical and epidemiology studies and their bearing on US EPA’s development of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for nitrogen oxides.
Bias/Uncertainty Analysis:  Critically reviewed epidemiology evidence on exposure to captan and risk of multiple myeloma, and quantitatively evaluated the impact of recall bias in exposure assessment on the findings of case-control epidemiology studies.

Weight-of-evidence Analysis:  Conducted comprehensive weight-of-evidence analyses of epidemiology, animal toxicology, controlled human exposure, and mechanistic studies to evaluate the impact of both short-term and long-term exposures to ozone on cardiovascular health outcomes.

Dose-response Analysis:  Conducted meta-regressions on published epidemiology data to evaluate the dose-response relationships between oral exposure to inorganic arsenic in drinking water and risks of bladder cancer and lung cancer.

Systematic Review and Meta-analysis:  Conducted meta-analyses of epidemiology data on exposure to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), gastric cancer, and prostate cancer.

Product Safety Evaluation:  Assessed the dermal and ocular safety of a personal care product using both product-level test data and ingredient-level hazard classification data.

Selected Publications

Zu, K; Liu, X; Shi, L; Tao, G; Loftus, CT; Lange, S; Goodman, JE.  2017. "Concentration-response of short-term ozone exposure and hospital admissions for asthma in Texas." Environ. Int. 104 : 139-145.

Lynch, HN; Zu, K; Kennedy, EM; Lam, T; Liu, X; Pizzurro, DM; Loftus, CT; Rhomberg, LR.  2017. "Quantitative assessment of lung and bladder cancer risk and oral exposure to inorganic arsenic: Meta-regression analyses of epidemiological data." Environ. Int. 106 : 178-206.

Zu, K; Tao, G; Goodman, JE.  2016. "Pleural plaques and lung function in the Marysville worker cohort: A re-analysis." Inhal. Toxicol. 28 : 514-519.

Goodman, JE; Prueitt, RL; Sax, SN; Pizzurro, DM; Lynch, HN; Zu, K; Venditti, FJ.  2015. "Ozone exposure and systemic biomarkers: Evaluation of evidence for adverse cardiovascular health impacts." Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 45 : 412-452.

Goodman, JE; Loftus, CT; Zu, K.  2015. "2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, gastric cancer, and prostate cancer: Meta-analyses of the published literature." Ann. Epidemiol. 25 : 626-636.

Goodman, JE; Petito Boyce, C; Pizzurro, DM; Rhomberg, LR.  2014. "Strengthening the foundation of next generation risk assessment." Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 68 : 160-170.

Zu, K; Mucci, L; Rosner, BA; Clinton, SK; Loda, M; Stampfer, MJ; Giovannucci, E.  2014. "Dietary lycopene, angiogenesis, and prostate cancer: A prospective study in the prostate-specific antigen era." J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 106 : djt430.

Pizzurro, DM; Dao, K; Costa, LG.  2014. "Astrocytes protect against diazinon- and diazoxon-induced inhibition of neurite outgrowth by regulating neuronal glutathione." Toxicology 318 : 59-68.

Pizzurro, DM; Dao, K; Costa, LG.  2014. "Diazinon and diazoxon impair the ability of astrocytes to foster neurite outgrowth in primary hippocampal neurons." Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 274 : 372-382.