Lifang Hou, MD, PhD, has been appointed Director of Global Health for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Dr. Hou brings her extensive experience in identifying risk factors and molecular biomarkers predictive of cancer risk and mortality, her interest in training the next generation of scientists, and a broad international research portfolio to this role.
Dr. Hou is Chief of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Lurie Cancer Center.
The Director of Global Health provides leadership in coordinating and expanding global alliances and partnerships of the Lurie Cancer Center and facilitates the global research efforts of its members. In coordination with Northwestern Medicine’s International Patient Services Department, this strategic position expands referring physician relationships from overseas, as well as patient referrals. Sarki A.
Abdulkadir, MD, PhD, will continue to strengthen and promote the Lurie Cancer Center’s initiatives as Co-Director of Global Health.
Background in Global Research
Dr. Hou’s research focuses on identifying molecular biomarkers that may predict cancer risk, progression, and mortality in various populations, thus providing potential tools for early cancer detection and prevention. Most recently, she has been conducting studies using cutting-edge, high-throughput technologies to examine the role of epigenetic biomarkers in the etiology and prediction of cancer and related chronic disease.
Dr. Hou has collaborated with researchers around the world to study populations within and beyond the United States, including Africans, African Americans, Asians, Caucasians, and Latinos, and is currently expanding her research to the Arabic populations as well.
She was recently named a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel, a working group of the National Cancer Advisory Board that advises the National Cancer Institute (NCI). As a member, she will help inform the scientific direction and goals at the NCI of Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative to accelerate cancer research.
Both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have consistently funded Dr. Hou’s research. ■