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

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Nutrition
  • Cancer pathology and prevention
  • Molecular biology

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

Senior Epidemiologist

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Dr. Zu is an epidemiologist specializing in the design and statistical analysis of epidemiological studies and evaluating toxicological mechanistic studies.  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 cancer chemoprevention, 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

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Nutrition
  • Cancer pathology and prevention
  • Molecular biology

Services

Representative Projects

Times Series Epidemiology Study of Ozone and Asthma: Conducted a time series analysis to evaluate whether increases in ambient ozone concentrations are associated with increased rates of hospitalization for asthma in Texas.

Weight-of-Evidence Analysis of Ozone and Cardiovascular Health: 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 exposure to ozone on cardiovascular health outcomes.

Critical Review of Disaster Dust Epidemiology Literature: Critically reviewed epidemiology studies of a major disaster to evaluate the potential health risks from dust exposure in the affected populations.

Time Series Analyses of Particulate Matter and Health Effects: Conducted time series analyses to assess associations between PM emitted from a forest fire and total, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality in downwind populations.

Cross-Sectional Study of Pleural Plaques and Pulmonary Function: Evaluated statistical association between pleural plaques and pulmonary function based on employee medical records.

Regulatory Comment: 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.

Selected Publications

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; 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.

Sax, SN; Zu, K; Goodman, JE.  2013. "Air pollution and lung cancer in Europe (Letter)." Lancet Oncol. 14 : e439-e440.

Zu, K; Martin, NE; Fiorentino, M; Flavin, R; Lis, RT; Sinnott, JA; Finn, S; Penney, KL; Ma, J; Fazli, L; Gleave, ME; Bismar, TA; Stampfer, MJ; Pollak, MN; Loda, M; Mucci, LA; Giovannucci, E.  2013. "Protein expression of PTEN, insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR), and lethal prostate cancer: A prospective study." Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 22 : 1984-1996.

Zu, K; Giovannucci, E.  2009. "Smoking and aggressive prostate cancer: A review of the epidemiologic evidence." Cancer Causes Control 20 : 1799-1810.

Zu, K; Bihani, T; Lin, A; Park, YM; Mori, K; Ip, C.  2006. "Enhanced selenium effect on growth arrest by BiP/GRP78 knockdown in p53-null human prostate cancer cells." Oncogene 25 : 546-554.