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Ellen Chang

Key Documents

Contact Information

  • Academic Offices
    Personal Information
    Email Tel (650) 688-6734


Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Managing Scientist (Consultant), Exponent, Inc., Health Sciences Practice (2012 - present)
  • Research Scientist, Cancer Prevention Institute of California (formerly the Northern California Cancer Center) (2005 - 2012)
  • Chief Epidemiologist, Asian Liver Center at Stanford University (2006 - 2011)

Professional Education

Post-doc: Karolinska Institute, Medical Epidemiology & Biostatistics (2005)
Sc.D.: Harvard School of Public Health, Epidemiology (2003)
A.B.: Harvard College, English & American Lit. & Lang. (1998)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

• Hodgkin lymphoma: Dr. Chang and colleagues found that variation in inflammatory genes may also be associated with risk of Hodgkin lymphoma risk, and she is currently pursuing other studies of genetic susceptibility and gene-environment interactions in Hodgkin lymphoma development. Previously, in a population-based case-control study led by Dr. Nancy Mueller of the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Chang investigated how determinants of childhood social environment and infection were associated with Hodgkin lymphoma risk, and how serum levels of antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)and other risk factors varied between EBV-positive and EBV-negative Hodgkin lymphoma. Also, using data from Swedish population registries, Dr. Chang studied the association of sibship size with Hodgkin lymphoma risk, and examined seasonal patterns in the incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma among children and young adults.

• Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Much of Dr. Chang’s research has aimed to clarify the roles of immune function, genetic susceptibility, and environmental exposures in the development of non-Hodgkin lymphomas. She led a study of vitamin D, ultraviolet radiation, and risk of lymphoid malignancies in the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort study of over 130,000 female California public school teachers and administrators. Much of Dr. Chang’s previous research was based within a population-based case-control study of malignant lymphoma in Denmark and Sweden, led by Prof. Mads Melbye of the Statens Serum Institute and Prof. Hans-Olov Adami of the Karolinska Institute. Dr. Chang's research in this study included investigations of the roles of viral and bacterial infections, diet and alcohol, tobacco smoking, childhood social environment, body mass index, medication use, family history of hematopoietic malignancy, prior autoimmune disease, and genetic susceptibility in the development of non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas.

• Hepatocellular carcinoma: Dr. Chang worked with Drs. Samuel So, Mei-Sze Chua, and colleagues at the Asian Liver Center at Stanford to investigate the etiology and prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma. Part of their research involved translating genomic and proteomic data into useful clinical biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition, Dr. Chang played an active role in the Asian Liver Center’s community-based outreach and education programs aiming to prevent hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians and Pacific Islanders. Dr. Chang also partnered with Dr. Mindie Nguyen of the Stanford Hepatology Clinic and colleagues at the Stanford Human Immune Monitoring Center to investigate the role of cytokines in chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

• Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Dr. Chang is part of an international team of collaborators (in China, the U.S., and Sweden) conducting a large, population-based case-control study of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Southeast China, where this malignancy is endemic. The study aims to elucidate the interactions of genetic susceptibility, environmental exposures, and viral infection (with EBV) in the development of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

• Lung cancer in non-smokers: Dr. Chang collaborated with Drs. Scarlett Lin Gomez and Heather Wakelee of the Stanford Cancer Center on several studies of lung cancer in non-smokers. Dr. Chang led a pilot study to identify motivations and deterrents for participation in health research studies among Asian/Pacific Islander and Latina women, with the goal of eventually developing a population-based case-control study of non-smoking-associated lung cancer in these population groups with a low prevalence of smoking. In addition, Drs. Chang, Gomez, and Wakelee have collaborated on studies of lung cancer survival in non-smokers and in Asians/Pacific Islanders.


Graduate and Fellowship Program Affiliations



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