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

Cohort profile: the ChicagO Multiethnic Prevention and Surveillance Study (COMPASS).
Aschebrook-Kilfoy B, Kibriya MG, Jasmine F, Stepniak L, Gopalakrishnan R, Craver A, Zakin P, Tasmin S, Kim KE, Goss KH, List M, LeBeau M, Ahsan H. Cohort profile: the ChicagO Multiethnic Prevention and Surveillance Study (COMPASS). BMJ Open. 2020 09 16; 10(9):e038481.
PMID: 32938600

Determinants of telomere length across human tissues.
Demanelis K, Jasmine F, Chen LS, Chernoff M, Tong L, Delgado D, Zhang C, Shinkle J, Sabarinathan M, Lin H, Ramirez E, Oliva M, Kim-Hellmuth S, Stranger BE, Lai TP, Aviv A, Ardlie KG, Aguet F, Ahsan H. Determinants of telomere length across human tissues. Science. 2020 09 11; 369(6509).
PMID: 32913074

Gravidity, parity, blood pressure and mortality among women in Bangladesh from the HEALS cohort.
Shih YH, Scannell Bryan M, Parvez F, Uesugi KH, Shahriar M, Ahmed A, Islam T, Ahsan H, Argos M. Gravidity, parity, blood pressure and mortality among women in Bangladesh from the HEALS cohort. BMJ Open. 2020 08 26; 10(8):e037244.
PMID: 32847913

Tobacco and marijuana use and their association with serum prostate-specific antigen levels among African American men in Chicago.
Press DJ, Pierce B, Lauderdale DS, Aschebrook-Kilfoy B, Lin Gomez S, Hedeker D, Wright NE, Fantus RJ, Bettencourt L, Ahsan H, Eggener S. Tobacco and marijuana use and their association with serum prostate-specific antigen levels among African American men in Chicago. Prev Med Rep. 2020 Dec; 20:101174.
PMID: 33088675

Genetic Determinants of Reduced Arsenic Metabolism Efficiency in the 10q24.32 Region Are Associated With Reduced AS3MT Expression in Multiple Human Tissue Types.
Chernoff M, Tong L, Demanelis K, Vander Griend D, Ahsan H, Pierce BL. Genetic Determinants of Reduced Arsenic Metabolism Efficiency in the 10q24.32 Region Are Associated With Reduced AS3MT Expression in Multiple Human Tissue Types. Toxicol Sci. 2020 08 01; 176(2):382-395.
PMID: 32433756

The Association Between Smoking and Gut Microbiome in Bangladesh.
Nolan-Kenney R, Wu F, Hu J, Yang L, Kelly D, Li H, Jasmine F, Kibriya MG, Parvez F, Shaheen I, Sarwar G, Ahmed A, Eunus M, Islam T, Pei Z, Ahsan H, Chen Y. The Association Between Smoking and Gut Microbiome in Bangladesh. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 07 16; 22(8):1339-1346.
PMID: 31794002

Arsenic exposure associated T cell proliferation, smoking, and vitamin D in Bangladeshi men and women.
Burchiel SW, Lauer FT, Factor-Litvak P, Liu X, Islam T, Eunus M, Abu Horayara M, Islam MT, Rahman M, Ahmed A, Cremers S, Nandakumar R, Ahsan H, Olopade C, Graziano J, Parvez F. Arsenic exposure associated T cell proliferation, smoking, and vitamin D in Bangladeshi men and women. PLoS One. 2020; 15(6):e0234965.
PMID: 32574193

Quantifying the association of low-intensity and late initiation of tobacco smoking with total and cause-specific mortality in Asia.
Yang JJ, Yu D, Shu XO, Freedman ND, Wen W, Rahman S, Abe SK, Saito E, Gupta PC, He J, Tsugane S, Gao YT, Xiang YB, Yuan JM, Tomata Y, Tsuji I, Sugawara Y, Matsuo K, Ahn YO, Park SK, Chen Y, Pan WH, Pednekar M, Gu D, Sawada N, Cai H, Li HL, Koh WP, Wang R, Zhang S, Kanemura S, Ito H, Shin MH, Wu PE, Yoo KY, Ahsan H, Chia KS, Boffetta P, Inoue M, Kang D, Potter JD, Zheng W. Quantifying the association of low-intensity and late initiation of tobacco smoking with total and cause-specific mortality in Asia. Tob Control. 2020 Jun 16.
PMID: 32546664

ChicagO Multiethnic Prevention and Surveillance Study (COMPASS): Increased Response Rates Among African American Residents in Low Socioeconomic Status Neighborhoods.
Press DJ, Aschebrook-Kilfoy B, Lauderdale D, Stepniak E, Gomez SL, Johnson EP, Gopalakrishnan R, Smieliauskas F, Hedeker D, Bettencourt L, Anselin L, Ahsan H. ChicagO Multiethnic Prevention and Surveillance Study (COMPASS): Increased Response Rates Among African American Residents in Low Socioeconomic Status Neighborhoods. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2020 Jun 15.
PMID: 32542493

Assessing the impact of arsenic metabolism efficiency on DNA methylation using Mendelian randomization.
DiGiovanni A, Demanelis K, Tong L, Argos M, Shinkle J, Jasmine F, Sabarinathan M, Rakibuz-Zaman M, Sarwar G, Islam MT, Shahriar H, Islam T, Rahman M, Yunus M, Graziano J, Gamble MV, Ahsan H, Pierce BL. Assessing the impact of arsenic metabolism efficiency on DNA methylation using Mendelian randomization. Environ Epidemiol. 2020 Apr; 4(2):e083.
PMID: 32337471

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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