Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Hou Named Co-Director of International Relations

Lifang Hou, MD, PhD, has been appointed Co-Director of International Relations for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.  Dr. Hou brings her extensive experience in identifying molecular biomarkers predictive of cancer risk, her interest in training the next generation of scientists, and a broad international research portfolio to her new role.

Dr. Hou is Chief of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention and Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Lurie Cancer Center. She joined Northwestern in 2007 as Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine after serving as Research Associate at the National Cancer Institute.

As Co-Director, Hou joins Director of International Relations, Sarki Abdulkadir, MD, PhD, in providing leadership to expand the Lurie Cancer Center’s global alliances. Their goals include facilitation and enhancing recruitment of international patients, and exchanges between international collaborating institutions with the Lurie Cancer Center and Northwestern University. Developing a Chinese Visiting Scholar Program, is another planned initiative; coordinating with Northwestern University labs to host young scientists from China. 

The International Program at the Lurie Cancer Center aims to serve as nucleus for population science-based cancer research at Northwestern. “Lifang’s global view on scientific collaboration will help us maximize these opportunities to spark scientific discovery,” said Lurie Cancer Center Director, Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD. “We look forward to her leadership in developing international collaborations for multiple studies with a particular focus on cancers with population disparities “

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 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.  Her research has been funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. 

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