December 14, 2018

L. Joseph Su, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Professor, Department of Epidemiology
UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health

Research Interest Statement

My research team conducts and plans population-based research in areas of lifestyle, dietary intakes and environmental factors associated with cancer risk. I am particularly interested in addressing these etiological factors that may lead to cancer prevention and control efforts addressing cancer disparity in underserved minority populations. My research integrates traditional epidemiological questionnaire-based survey methodology with innovative laboratory assays, such as metallomics (trace metal exposure panel), metabolomics, epigenomics and genetic polymorphisms to address exposure assessments and intermediate disease biomarker that lead to cancers in population.

My focuses have been on how nutrients, non-nutrient dietary components and contaminants in foods, such as heavy metals and pesticide/herbicide residue, affect cancer development. I am also involved in secondary data analysis of national survey data, such as National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and collaborating with cancer registry in cancer surveillance.

I recently took over leadership of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute-supported Arkansas Rural Community Health Study cohort, previously known as the Spit for the Cure. This prospective cohort of more than 26,000 women was recruited from every county inArkansas, where every participant donated a DNA sample and completed a brief questionnaire at the time of enrollment from 2007-2012. This valuable resource, with ongoing prospective follow-up efforts, is a great resource for researchers to learn more about factors on cancer health disparity in this largely rural state.

In the meantime, I continue my research on prostate cancer utilizing the North Carolina – Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project resources I helped establish. Archived biospecimens and rich questionnaire data ranging from health history, lifestyle factors, detailed dietary behavior, health care utilization, health beliefs, etc. are available for analysis.

Grants

Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program

Understanding the etiologic factors between cadmium exposure and mammographic density in an underserved population in Arkansas

09/01/2016 – 06/30/2019

Role: Principal Investigator

$249,997*

 

UAMS Center for Tobacco Research Pilot Research Program

Tobacco product use and health indicators among long-haul truck drivers

07/01/2017– 06/30/2019

Role: Principal Investigator

$15,000*

 

National Cancer Institute (R15CA231510)

Genetic variability in DHFR and folic acid supplementation as novel risk factors for aggressive prostate cancer

09/06/2018 – 08/31/2021

Role: Principal Investigator

$389,213* (direct)

 

UAMS Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Pilot Award

Online survey on knowledge and attitude toward HPV vaccination among young adults in Arkansas Delta through social media promotion

10/1/2018 – 9/30/2019

Role: Principal Investigator

$10,000*

 

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (U54MD002329)

Arkansas Center for Health Disparities (ARCHD): An NIMHD COR. Project 1: Reducing Tobacco Smoke Exposures among Low Income Children and Women Caregivers in the Arkansas Delta Region (PI: Fagan/Raczynski)

09/23/2017 – 04/30/2022

Role: Co-Investigator

$590,289* (direct)

 

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (U54MD002329)

Arkansas Center for Health Disparities (ARCHD): Pilot Project: Novel molecular biomarkers of previous radiation exposure and radiation-induced health effects in Northwest Arkansas Marshallese (PI: Koturbash/Raczynski)

09/01/2018 – 08/31/2019

Role: Co-Investigator and Primary Mentor

$50,000* (direct)

 

UAMS Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Pilot Award

THRIVE (Together On The Highway To Rejoice In Health As Victors Enfolded In Strength): Adaptation of two evidence-based programs to develop weight loss and quality of life interventions for breast cancer survivors (PI: Yeary)

07/01/2017– 06/30/2019

Role: Co-Investigator

$10,000*

 

UAMS COPH Center for the Study of Tobacco

Metabolomic Profiling from the Arkansas Cardiovascular Health Examination Survey (PI: Hsu)

07/01/2017– 06/30/2019

Role: Co-Investigator

$15,000*

 

Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program

THRIVE: Together On The Highway To Rejoice In Health As Victors Enfolded In Strength (PI: Yeary)

09/01/2017– 08/31/2019

Role: Co-Investigator

$250,000*

* cancer-related annual direct costs

Collaborators

Dr. Su collaborates with many internal and external researchers.

Opportunities for Collaboration

  • My survey research team can design and process scannable questionnaires using plain paper and gel pen, with relatively inexpensive data entry and output to most popular databases. My team can also facilitate the setup and output online survey using REDCap or Lime Survey. We can assist in epidemiologic study design and conduct interviews.
  • My research laboratory located at the Cancer Institute is equipped with analytical chemistry instruments, such as Thermo Fisher iCAP RQ IC-ICP-MS with dual auto-sampler for trace metal measurement, an AppliedBiosystems PCR 9700 PCR System, a Waters UPLC system, an Alliance HPLC systems, a TaqMan 7900HT, a Maxwell DNA extraction system and an Alpha Innotech FluorChem SP imaging system. I welcome mutual-interest collaboration.
  • Arkansas Rural Community Health (ARCH) study cohort has baseline questionnaire data and salivary DNA from all participants. This resource is open to all Cancer Institute investigators, upon the approval from ARCH Executive Committee.
  • In collaboration with Drs. Claudia Barone, Erna Boone, Amy Hester and Linda Cullers and nurse practitioner Patricia Franklin, we have been capturing data using our scannable survey system on patients in the UAMS Tobacco Cessation Clinic. This data may be used for research upon the approval of the research team.

  

You Might Not Know That

As a trained nutritional scientist who was born in Taiwan and lived in New Orleans and several other cities, I am a foodie who loves to try a variety of ethnic foods. You may see some of my reviews on Yelp. I love to cook, too. Please share your excellent recipes with me.

Recent Cancer-Related Publications

  1. O’Connor SN, Tao J, Su LJ. Comparison of Compliance with Cervical Cancer Screening among Women aged 18 and above in Arkansas and the United States. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice. Accepted for publication, November 2018.
  2. Hsu PC, Kadlubar SA, Su LJ, Acheampong D, Rogers LJ, Runnells G, McElfish PA, Schootman M. County poverty levels influence genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in African American and European American women. Translational Cancer Research. Accepted for publication, October, 2018.
  3. Schneider L, Su LJ, Arab L, Bensen JT, Farnan L, Fontham ETH, Hussey J, Merchant AT, Mohler JL, Steck SE. Dietary Patterns Based on the Mediterranean Diet and DASH Diet are Inversely Associated with High Aggressive Prostate Cancer in PCaP. Annals of Epidemiology. Sep 5. pii: S1047-2797(18)30283-7.
  4. Poggiogalle E, Cherry KE, Su LJ, Kim S, Myers L, Welsh DA, Pellett A, Jazwinski SM, Ravussin E. Body composition, IGF 1 status and physical functionality in nonagenarians: Implications for osteosarcopenia. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Aug 24. pii: S1525-8610(18)30389-X.
  5. Joshi KP, Atwal D, Ravilla R, Tao J, Su LJ, Makhoul I, Hutchins L, Mahmoud F. Outcomes of Immunotherapy in Advanced Melanoma in Relation to Age. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 36: 187, 2018.
  6. Potischman N, Fang L, Hao L, Bailey R, Berrigan D, Berry RJ, Brodie A, Chao A, Chen J, Dodd K, Feng Y, Ma G, He Y, Fan J, Kimlin M, Kitahara C, Linet M, Li Z, Liu A, Liu Y, Sampson J, Su LJ, Sun J, Tasevska N, Yang L, Yang R, Zhang Q, Wang N, Wang L, Wang Y. The Chinese Children and Families Cohort Study. Nutrition Today. 53(3):104-114, 2018.
  7. Allott EH, Farnan L, Steck SE, Arab L, Su LJ, Fontham ETH, Mohler JL, Bensen JT. Statin use, high cholesterol and prostate cancer progression; results from HCaP-NC. Prostate. 78(11):857-864, 2018.
  8. Steck SE, Omofuma OO, Su LJ, Maise AA, Woloszynska-Read A, Johnson CS, Zhang H, Bensen JT, Fontham ETH, Mohler JL, Arab L. Calcium, Magnesium, and Whole Milk Intake and High-Aggressive Prostate Cancer in the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 107(5):799-807.
  9. Kamel MH, Alobuia WM, Su LJ, Davis R. Incidence of Metastasis and PSA levels at Diagnosis in Gleason 3+4 vs 4+3 Prostate Cancer. Accepted for publication. Urology Annals. 10(2):203-208, 2018.
  10. Kamel MH, Tao J, Su LJ, Khalil MI, Bissada NK, Schurhamer B, Spiess PE, Davis R. Survival outcomes of organ sparing surgery, partial penectomy, and total penectomy in pathological T1/T2 penile cancer: Report from the National Cancer Data Base. Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations. Urol Oncol. 36(2):82.e7-82.e15, 2018.
  11. Holt A, Delongchamp B, Williams CS, Tao J, Balamurugan A, Su LJ, Adolph SS, Baker G. Arkansas Cancer Facts and Figures, 2017. Arkansas Department of Health. Little Rock, Arkansas. November, 2017.Tao J, Montgomery BEE, Marshall SA, Stahr S, Wells TL, Wu H, Henry-Tillman R, Su LJ. High Incidence and Mortality of Cervical Cancer in the Southern United States. Epidemiology Journal International. 1(1):1-7, June 2017.
  12. McElfish PA, Narcisse R, , Long CR, Ayers BL, Hawley N, Aitaoto N, Riklon S, Su LJ, Ima, SZ, Schulz T, Kadlubar SA. Leveraging community-based participatory research capacity to recruit Pacific Islanders into a genetics study. Journal of Community Genetics. Oct;8(4):283-291 2017.
  13. Pelucchi C, Rosato V, Bracci PM, Li D, Neale RE, Lucenteforte E, Serraino D, Anderson KE, Fontham ETH, Holly EA, Hassan MM, Polesel J, Bosetti C, Strayer L, Su LJ, Boffetta P, Duell EJ, La Vecchia C. Dietary acrylamide and the risk of pancreatic cancer in the International Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PANC4). Annals of Oncology. 28(2): 408-414, 2017.
  14. Allott EH, Arab L, Su LJ, Farnan L, Fontham ETH, Mohler JL, Bensen JT, Steck SE. Saturated fat intake and prostate cancer aggressiveness: results from the population-based North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 20(1):48-54, 2017.
  15. Oral E, Brennan C, Simonsen N, Berken J, Su LJ, Mohler JL, Bensen JT, Fontham ETH. Unit Nonresponse in a Population-based Study of Prostate Cancer. PLoS ONE. 11(12):e0168364, 2016.
  16. Hsieh YH, Peterson CM, Raggio A, Keenan MJ, Martin RJ, Ravussin E, Marco ML. Impact of Different Fecal Processing Methods on Assessments of Bacterial Diversity in the Human Intestine. Front Microbiol. 20;7:1643, 2016.
  17. Su LJ, Stahr SD, Kadlubar SA, Chiang TC, Wong HK. Tanning Bed Use, Risk of Melanoma and Opportunity for Prevention with Sulforaphane. Translational Cancer Research. 5:S944-S950 2016.
  18. Antwi S, Steck SE, Su LJ, Hebert JR, Zhang H, Fontham ETH, Smith G, Bensen JT, Mohler JL, Arab L. Carotenoid Intake and Adipose Tissue Carotenoid Levels in Relation to Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness among African-American and European-American Men in the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP). The Prostate. 76(12):1053-66, 2016.
  19. Vance TM, Wang Y, Su LJ, Fontham ETH, Bensen JT, Mohler JL, Chen MH, Chun OK. Dietary total antioxidant capacity is inversely associated with prostate cancer aggressiveness in a population-based study. Nutrition and Cancer. 68(2):214-24, 2016.
  20. Allott EH, Farnan L, Steck SE, Arab L, Su LJ, Mishel M, Fontham ETH, Mohler JL, Bensen JT. Statin use and prostate cancer aggressiveness: results from the population-based North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. Published OnlineFirst January 27, 2016; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0631.
  21. Vance TM, Azabdaftari G, Pop EA, Lee SG, Su LJ, Fontham ETH, Bensen JT, Steck SE, Arab L, Mohler JL, Chen MH, Koo SI, Chun OK. Intake of dietary antioxidants is inversely associated with biomarkers of oxidative stress among men with prostate cancer. British Journal of Nutrition. 115(1):68-74, 2016.
  22. Vance TM, Azabdaftari G, Pop EA, Lee SG, Su LJ, Fontham ETH, Bensen JT, Steck SE, Arab L, Mohler JL, Chen MH, Koo SI, Chun OK. Thioredoxin 1 in Prostate Tissue is Associated with Gleason Score, Erythrocyte Antioxidant Enzyme Activity, and Dietary Antioxidants. Prostate Cancer. 2015:728046, 2015.
  23. Antwi SO, Steck SE, Su LJ, Hébert JR, Zhang H, Fontham ET, Smith GJ, Bensen JT, Mohler JL, Arab L. Dietary, supplement, and adipose tissue tocopherol levels in relation to prostate cancer aggressiveness among African and European Americans: The North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP). The Prostate. 75(13):1419-35, 2015.
  24. Steck SE, Arab L, Zhang H, Bensen JT, Fontham ET, Johnson CS, Mohler JL, Smith GJ, Su LJ, Trump DL, Woloszynska-Read A. Association between Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D, Ancestry and Aggressive Prostate Cancer among African Americans and European Americans in PCaP. PLoS One. 10(4):e0125151, 2015.
  25. McGuinn LA, Ghazarian AA, Su LJ, Ellison GL. Urinary bisphenol A and age at menarche among adolescent girls: Evidence from NHANES 2003-2010. Environmental Research. 136: 381-386, 2015.
  26. Zanetti KA, Mette E, Maruvada P, Milner JM, Moore SC, Nicastro HL, Ross SA, Sampson JN, Verma M, Su LJ. The Future of Metabolomic Profiling in Population-Based Research: Opportunities and Challenges. Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Techniques. 5(3), 2014.
  27. Su LJ, Maruvada P, Moore SC, Fiehn O, Wishart D, O’Keefe SJ, Zanetti KA. The use of metabolomics in population-based study. Advance in Nutrition. 5(6):785-8, 2014.
  28. Su LJ, Fontham ETH. Prostate cancer: An occupational hazard? Future Oncology. 10(6):903-6.
  29. Haznadar M, Mette E, Maruvada P, Milner J, Moore SC, Nicastro HL, Sampson JN, Verma M, Su LJ, Zanetti KA. Perspective on the Use of Metabolomics in Epidemiology Studies. Metabolomics. 10(2), DOI:10.1007/s11306-014-0636-z, 2014.
  30. Verma M, Rogers S, Divi RL, Schully SD, Nelson S, Su LJ, Ross S, Pilch S, Winn DM, Khoury MJ. Epigenetic Research in Cancer Epidemiology: Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 23(2):223-33, 2014.