Tongzhang Zheng DSc

Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health)

Biographical Info

Tongzhang Zheng is the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology. He also holds Adjunct Professor positions at Lanzhou University in China, Dundee University in Great Britain and the Huazhong Science and Technology University in China. He is a Senior Research Scientist with the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France. He was the Chairman (or Head) for the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and was a Senior Advisor to the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Dr. Zheng currently directs two NIH Fogarty training programs at Yale in partnership with the Chinese Institute of National Environmental Health Sciences and China’s National Cancer Center to train Chinese scientists in environmental health, environmental epidemiology, biostatistics, cancer epidemiology and genetics.

Dr. Zheng earned a Sc.D. in epidemiology from Harvard University, with minors in environmental health sciences and biostatistics, and a medical degree from the Tongji Medical School, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Dr. Zheng has authored or co-authored over 300 articles/book chapters and co-edited the textbook, Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He has served on several committees for the National Academy of Sciences and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO), including the Committees to Review the Worker and Public Health Activities Program Administered by the Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services; the Expert Panel on Persian Gulf War and Health; the Human Health Effects from Chernobyl Radiation Exposure; Circadian Disruption and Human Health; and the Hair Dye Exposure and Human Cancer Risk. He has also served on several editorial boards including the European Journal of Cancer, Journal of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics, Journal of Environmental and Public Health, and Journal of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention.

Zheng is the principal investigator for several epidemiological studies in the United States, including epidemiological studies of breast cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, multiple myeloma and testis cancer. He has conducted or collaborated various epidemiological studies in China including epidemiological studies of breast cancer; liver cancer; lung cancer; asthma; air pollution and adverse birth outcomes; He is currently building three large cohort studies by collaborating with the scientists from China National Cancer Center and several universities in China (including Jingchuan Metal Exposure Cohort Study; A Cohort Study in Kailuan Coal Industry; and A Birth Cohort Study of Prenatal Exposure and Children's Health); stove intervention and respiratory diseases; air pollution intervention during Beijing Olympics and human health; prenatal exposure to metals, organochlorines and PAHs and low birth weights; and an experimental study of prenatal exposure to circadian disruption and development in rats.


International Activity

  • International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph)
    Switzerland; Sweden; Spain; Singapore; Norway; New Zealand; Netherlands; Italy; Germany; France(2013)
    The goal of the InterLymph is to enhance collaboration among epidemiologists studying lymphoma, provide a forum for the exchange of research ideas, and create a framework for collaborating on analyses that pool data from multiple lymphoma studies. The countries involved include Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
  • A Cohort Study in Kailuan Coal Industry
    China(2012)
    This study includes 30,000 coal miners as exposed cohort and 100,000 nonexposed workers of the industry as internal controls. 60,000 study subjects have completed baseline interviews and donated blood samples. The study will follow-up the study subjects every two years.
  • The Asia Cohort Consortium (ACC)
    China(2012)
    The consortium seeks to understand the relationship between genetics, environmental exposures, and the etiology of disease through the establishment of a cohort, or population laboratory, of at least 1 million healthy people around the world who will be followed over time to various disease endpoints, including cancer.
  • A Birth Cohort Study of Prenatal Exposure and Children’s Health,
    China(2011)
    We are building a birth cohort study by collaborating with several Chinese universities and women and children's hospitals to test the “fetal origin” hypothesis for human diseases. So far, a total of 27,000 mother-infant pairs have been recruited, maternal blood, cord blood, and placental samples have been collected. The prospective cohort study will follow up the participants to monitor children's diseases, pubertal development and long-term health impacts.
  • International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium (http://inhance.iarc.fr)
    China; France(2011)
    INHANCE consortium was established in 2004 to study the etiology of head and neck cancer by pooling individual subject data from its member epidemiologic studies. INHANCE includes over 35 studies, which, when taken collectively, provide questionnaire data on over 25,000 cases and over 35,000 controls. The consortium combined questionnaire data into a centralized database with standardization to allow for pooled analyses.
  • Jingchuan Metal Exposure Cohort Study
    China(2011)
    This study involves 50,000 workers exposed to nickel, copper, cobalt and zinc. All of the subjects have been interviewed and donated blood samples. The study will follow-up the subjects every two years by interviewing and collecting blood samples.
  • Research Training for Study of Air Pollution Control in China
    Beijing, China(2011)
    China's extraordinary, rapid economic development has brought severe environmental deterioration which can have major global impacts through emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and through large scale transport of pollution. The primary goal of this program is to build a center of excellence in research and teaching in environmental health sciences within the Chinese National Institute of Environmental Health and Related Product Safety (IEHS), which is mandated by the central government to be responsible for China's environmental health and monitoring. The program is (1) training scientists urgently needed in the IEHS to develop appropriate strategies to better understand and more effectively respond to the emerging threat from the vast environmental pollution and deterioration in China and (2) building an infrastructure that will allow IEHS to function as a national center for teaching and research in environmental health sciences. The training will emphasize principles and methods in six major areas: environmental health, environmental epidemiology and molecular epidemiology, risk assessment, intervention trials and biostatistics.
  • Research Training for Cancer Epidemiology & Biostatistics in China
    Beijing, China(2011)
    Following the rapid economic development and the severe environmental deterioration during the past three decades, human cancer risk has been increasing rapidly in China. Cancer now is the number one killer in China. The primary goal of this program is to build a center of excellence in research and teaching in cancer studies within the Cancer Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CI-CAMS, the designated China National Cancer Center), which is mandated by the central government to be responsible for China's cancer prevention and control. The program is (1) training scientists urgently needed in the CI-CAMS to develop appropriate strategies to better understand and more effectively respond to the emerging threat from the increasing cancer burden in China (2) building an infrastructure that will allow CI-CAMS to function as a national center for teaching and research in cancer-related studies and (3) strengthening China's National Cancer Registration Office to function as a national center of excellence for coordinating and monitoring China's cancer registration.
  • Sexual Maturation in Chinese Girls
    China(2008 - 2009)
    This study investigates the current status of age at puberty and menarche among school girls aged 8-14 and tries to identify the factors affecting age at puberty and menarche.
  • The Northeastern Breast Cancer Research Consortium
    United States(1994 - 2000)
    A US consortium to study the etiology of breast cancer, particularly the risk linked to organochlorines.

Education & Training

D.Sc.
Harvard University (1990)

Honors & Recognition

  • Honorary M.A., Yale University
    (2007)

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