Habibul Ahsan, M.D., MMedSc.
Louis Block Professor
Department of Health Studies
Department of Human Genetics
Department of Medicine, Section of Genetic Medicine
Associate Director, Cancer Research Center
Committee on Cancer Biology
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
Fax: (773) 834-0139

Research Description

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.

Dept. of Health Studies Profile


Selected Publications

Genome-wide association studies and heritability estimates of body mass index related phenotypes in bangladeshi adults.
Scannell Bryan M, Argos M, Pierce B, Tong L, Rakibuz-Zaman M, Ahmed A, Rahman M, Islam T, Yunus M, Parvez F, Roy S, Jasmine F, Baron JA, Kibriya MG, Ahsan H
(2014) PLoS One. 2014 Aug 18;9(8):e105062. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105062. eCollection 2014. 25133637 (Full Text)

Genome-wide association study of smoking behaviours among Bangladeshi adults.
Argos M, Tong L, Pierce BL, Rakibuz-Zaman M, Ahmed A, Islam T, Rahman M, Paul-Brutus R, Rahaman R, Roy S, Jasmine F, Kibriya MG, Ahsan H
(2014 May) J Med Genet. 2014 May;51(5):327-33. doi: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2013-102151. Epub 2014 Mar 24. 24665060 (Full Text)

A genome-wide association study of early-onset breast cancer identifies PFKM as a novel breast cancer gene and supports a common genetic spectrum for breast cancer at any age.
Ahsan H, Halpern J, Kibriya MG, Pierce BL, Tong L, Gamazon E, McGuire V, Felberg A, Shi J, Jasmine F, Roy S, Brutus R, Argos M, Melkonian S, Chang-Claude J, Andrulis I, Hopper JL, John EM, Malone K, Ursin G, Gammon MD, Thomas DC, Seminara D, Casey G, Knight JA, Southey MC, Giles GG, Santella RM, Lee E, Conti D, Duggan D, Gallinger S, Haile R, Jenkins M, Lindor NM, Newcomb P, Michailidou K, Apicella C, Park DJ, Peto J, Fletcher O, dos Santos Silva I, Lathrop M, Hunter DJ, Chanock SJ, Meindl A, Schmutzler RK, Muller-Myhsok B, Lochmann M, Beckmann L, Hein R, Makalic E, Schmidt DF, Bui QM, Stone J, Flesch-Janys D, Dahmen N, Nevanlinna H, Aittomaki K, Blomqvist C, Hall P, Czene K, Irwanto A, Liu J, Rahman N, Turnbull C, Dunning AM, Pharoah P, Waisfisz Q, Meijers-Heijboer H, Uitterlinden AG, Rivadeneira F, Nicolae D, Easton DF, Cox NJ, Whittemore AS
(2014 Apr) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Apr;23(4):658-69. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0340. Epub 2014 Feb 3. 24493630 (Full Text)

Arsenic metabolism efficiency has a causal role in arsenic toxicity: Mendelian randomization and gene-environment interaction.
Pierce BL, Tong L, Argos M, Gao J, Farzana J, Roy S, Paul-Brutus R, Rahaman R, Rakibuz-Zaman M, Parvez F, Ahmed A, Quasem I, Hore SK, Alam S, Islam T, Harjes J, Sarwar G, Slavkovich V, Gamble MV, Chen Y, Yunus M, Rahman M, Baron JA, Graziano JH, Ahsan H
(2013 Dec) Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Dec;42(6):1862-71. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyt182. 24536095 (Full Text)

Exploring genome-wide DNA methylation profiles altered in hepatocellular carcinoma using Infinium HumanMethylation 450 BeadChips.
Shen J, Wang S, Zhang YJ, Wu HC, Kibriya MG, Jasmine F, Ahsan H, Wu DP, Siegel AB, Remotti H, Santella RM
(2013 Jan) Epigenetics. 2013 Jan;8(1):34-43. doi: 10.4161/epi.23062. Epub 2012 Dec 3. 23208076 (Full Text)

Better cancer biomarker discovery through better study design.
Rundle A, Ahsan H, Vineis P
(2012 Dec) Eur J Clin Invest. 2012 Dec;42(12):1350-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2012.02727.x. Epub 2012 Sep 23. 22998109 (Full Text)

Genome-wide aberrant DNA methylation of microRNA host genes in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Shen J, Wang S, Zhang YJ, Kappil MA, Chen Wu H, Kibriya MG, Wang Q, Jasmine F, Ahsan H, Lee PH, Yu MW, Chen CJ, Santella RM
(2012 Nov) Epigenetics. 2012 Nov;7(11):1230-7. doi: 10.4161/epi.22140. Epub 2012 Sep 13. 22976466 (Full Text)

Interpretation of genome-wide infinium methylation data from ligated DNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded paired tumor and normal tissue.
Jasmine F, Rahaman R, Roy S, Raza M, Paul R, Rakibuz-Zaman M, Paul-Brutus R, Dodsworth C, Kamal M, Ahsan H, Kibriya MG
(2012) BMC Res Notes. 2012 Feb 22;5:117. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-117. 22357164 (Full Text)

A genome-wide study of cytogenetic changes in colorectal cancer using SNP microarrays: opportunities for future personalized treatment.
Jasmine F, Rahaman R, Dodsworth C, Roy S, Paul R, Raza M, Paul-Brutus R, Kamal M, Ahsan H, Kibriya MG
(2012) PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31968. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031968. Epub 2012 Feb 20. 22363777 (Full Text)

Genome-wide association study identifies chromosome 10q24.32 variants associated with arsenic metabolism and toxicity phenotypes in Bangladesh.
Pierce BL, Kibriya MG, Tong L, Jasmine F, Argos M, Roy S, Paul-Brutus R, Rahaman R, Rakibuz-Zaman M, Parvez F, Ahmed A, Quasem I, Hore SK, Alam S, Islam T, Slavkovich V, Gamble MV, Yunus M, Rahman M, Baron JA, Graziano JH, Ahsan H
(2012) PLoS Genet. 2012;8(2):e1002522. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002522. Epub 2012 Feb 23. 22383894 (Full Text)

Unidentified genetic variants influence pancreatic cancer risk: an analysis of polygenic susceptibility in the PanScan study.
Pierce BL, Tong L, Kraft P, Ahsan H
(2012 Jul) Genet Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;36(5):517-24. doi: 10.1002/gepi.21644. Epub 2012 May 29. 22644738

Genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Shen J, Wang S, Zhang YJ, Kappil M, Wu HC, Kibriya MG, Wang Q, Jasmine F, Ahsan H, Lee PH, Yu MW, Chen CJ, Santella RM
(2012 Jun) Hepatology. 2012 Jun;55(6):1799-808. doi: 10.1002/hep.25569. Epub 2012 Apr 24. 22234943 (Full Text)