Habibul Ahsan, M.D., MMedSc.


  • Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, Department of Medicine - Section of Human Medicine, Committee on Cancer Biology
  • Associate Director, Cancer Research Center


M.D., University of Dhaka, 1988

MMedSc., University of Western Australia


The University of Chicago
AMB N102A (MC 2007)
5841 South Maryland Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637


Phone:  (773) 834-9956


Dr. Ahsan’s research interests focus on the interplay between environmental and genetic factors in cancer and exploiting this information in cancer prevention in humans.  He published extensively on the molecular epidemiology of carcinogenic effects of arsenic exposure and also on the molecular and genetic epidemiology of hormonal etiology of breast cancer. His ongoing NIH-funded major research projects include: 1) a genome-wide association study to identify novel genes for early-onset breast cancer among 6,000 breast cancer cases and population/sister controls; 2) a prospective cohort study of 15,000 men and women in Bangladesh to investigate the intermediate- and long-term carcinogenic effects of environmental arsenic exposure from drinking water; 3) genetic susceptibility to arsenic-induced pre-malignant skin lesions and skin cancers among 3,000 cases and controls; and 4) a randomized clinical trial of vitamin E and selenium among 6,000 individuals with pre-malignant skin lesions for the prevention of cancers and deaths.


Journal Articles

Ahsan H, Neugut AI, Bruce JN (1995). Association of malignant brain tumors and cancers of other sites. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 13(12): 2931-2935.

Ahsan H, Neugut AI, Garbowski GC, Jacobson JS, Forde KA, Treat MR, Waye JD (1998). Family history of colorectal adenomatous polyps and increased risk for colorectal cancer.  Annals of Internal Medicine, 128(11): 900-905.

Ahsan H, Wang L-Y, Chen C-J, Tsai W-Y, Santella RM (2001).  Variability in aflatoxin-albumin adduct levels and effects of hepatitis B and C virus infection and glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 genotype.  Environmental Health Perspectives, 109(8): 833-837.

Ahsan H, Hodge SE, Heiman GA, Begg MD, Susser ES (2002). Relative risk for genetic associations: the case-parent triad as a variant of case-cohort design. International Journal of Epidemiology, 31: 669-678.

Ahsan H (2003). Placental genes and breast cancer: Can the offspring’s or father’s genotypes be predictive of mother’s risk?  Epidemiology, 14(2): 251-3.

Ahsan H, Rundle AG (2003). Measures of genotype versus gene products: promise and pitfalls in cancer prevention. Carcinogenesis, 24(9): 1429-1434.

Ahsan H and Thomas DC (2004). Lung Cancer Etiology: Independent and Joint Effects of Genetics, Tobacco, and Arsenic. JAMA, 292(24): 3026-3029.

Ahsan H, Whittemore AS, Chen Y, Senie RT, Hamilton SP, Wang Q, Gurvich I, Santella RM (2005).  Variants in estrogen-biosynthesis genes CYP17 and CYP19 and breast cancer risk: A family-based genetic association study. Breast Cancer Research, 7(1): R71-R81.

Greenlee H, Chen Y, Kabat GC, Wang Q, Kibriya M, Gurvich I, Sepkovic DW, Bradlow HL, Senie RT, Santella RM, Ahsan H (2006). Variants in estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism genes and urinary estrogen metabolites in women with a family history of breast cancer.  Breast Cancer Research & Treatment 2006 (July 19), Published Online.

Argos M, Kibriya MG, Jasmine F, Parvez MF, Ahsan H (2006).  Differential gene expression patterns in peripheral mononuclear cells by arsenic exposure from drinking water and arsenic-related skin lesions in Bangladesh population. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention, 15(7): 1367-1375.