Doctorate degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of Hong Kong, which was the joint Ph.D. in Environmental Medicine at New York University, with three years of training in cancer and toxicology at Sun Yat-sen University and five years of medical training. Hold excellent presentation and writing skills with a strong publication record. My primary research interests focus on the epidemiology of urologic cancer, specifically kidney cancer, to broaden the understanding of what causes kidney cancer.
Doctor of Philosophy, University Of Hong Kong (2019)
Master of Philosophy, Sun Yat-Sen University (2015)
B of Medicine and B of Surgery, Unlisted School (2012)
Ph.D., The University of Hong Kong, Epidemiology and Biostatistics (2019)
Short-term association of fine particulate matter and its constituents with oxidative stress, symptoms and quality of life in patients with allergic rhinitis: A panel study.
2023; 182: 108319
Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and its specific constituents might exacerbate allergic rhinitis (AR) conditions. However, the evidence is still inconclusive.We conducted a panel study of 49 patients diagnosed with AR > 1 year prior to the study in Taiyuan, China, to investigate associations of individual exposure to PM2.5 and its constituents with oxidative parameters, symptoms, and quality of life among AR patients. All participants underwent repeated assessments of health and PM exposure at 4 time points in both the heating and nonheating seasons from June 2017 to January 2018. AR patients' oxidative parameters were assessed using nasal lavage, and their subjective symptoms and quality of life were determined through in-person interviews using a structured questionnaire. Short-term personal exposure to PM2.5 and its constituents was estimated using the time-microenvironment-activity pattern and data from the nearest air sampler, respectively. We applied mixed-effects regression models to estimate the short-term effects of PM2.5 and its constituents.The results showed that exposure to PM2.5 and its constituents, including BaP, PAHs, SO42-, NH4+, V, Cr, Cu, As, Se, Cd, and Pb, was significantly associated with increased oxidative stress, as indicated by an increase in the malondialdehyde (MDA) index. Exposure to PM2.5 and its components (V, Mn, Fe, Zn, As, and Se) was associated with decreased antioxidant activity, as indicated by a decrease in the superoxide dismutase (SOD) index. Additionally, increased visual analog scale (VAS) and rhinoconjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire (RQLQ) scores indicated that exposure to PM2.5 and its constituents exacerbated inflammatory symptoms and affected quality of life in AR patients.Exposure to PM2.5 and specific constituents, could exacerbate AR patients' inflammatory symptoms and adversely affect their quality of life in the heavily industrialized city of Taiyuan, China. These findings may have potential biological and policy implications.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.envint.2023.108319
View details for PubMedID 37980881
Associations between maternal exposure to perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) and infant birth weight: a meta-analysis.
Environmental science and pollution research international
The objective of this study was to determine the associations between maternal exposure to PFASs and infant birth weight and to explore evidence for a possible dose-response relationship. Four databases including PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Medline before 20 September 2022 were systematically searched. A fixed-effect model was used to estimate the change in infant birth weight (g) associated with PFAS concentrations increasing by 10-fold. Dose-response meta-analyses were also conducted when possible. The study follows the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). A total of 21 studies were included. Among these studies, 18 studies examined the associations between PFOA and birth weight, 17 studies reported PFOS, and 11 studies discussed PFHxS. Associations between PFHxS (ES = -5.67, 95% CI: -33.92 to 22.59, P = 0.694) were weaker than those for PFOA and PFOS (ES = -58.62, 95% CI: -85.23 to -32.01, P < 0.001 for PFOA; ES = -54.75, 95% CI: -84.48 to -25.02, P < 0.001 for PFOS). The association was significantly stronger in the high median PFOS concentration group (ES = -107.23, 95% CI: -171.07 to -43.39, P < 0.001) than the lower one (ES = -29.15, 95% CI: -63.60 to -5.30, P = 0.097; meta-regression, P = 0.045). Limited evidence of a dose-response relationship was found. This study showed negative associations between maternal exposure to PFASs and infant birth weight. Limited evidence of a dose-response relationship between exposure to PFOS and infant birth weight was found. Further studies are needed to find more evidence.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11356-023-28458-0
View details for PubMedID 37458883
Sex-specific relationships between prenatal exposure to metal mixtures and birth weight in a Chinese birth cohort.
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety
2023; 262: 115158
Birth weight is an indicator linking intrauterine environmental exposures to later-life diseases, and intrauterine metal exposure may affect birth weight in a sex-specific manner. We investigated sex-specific associations between prenatal exposure to metal mixtures and birth weight in a Chinese birth cohort. The birth weight of 1296 boys and 1098 girls were recorded, and 10 metals in maternal urine samples collected during pregnancy were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Bayesian Kernel Machine Regression was used to estimate the association of individual metals or metal mixtures and birth weight for gestational age (BW for GA). The model showed a sex-specific relationship between prenatal exposure to metal mixtures and BW for GA with a significant negative association in girls and a non-significant positive association in boys. Cadmium (Cd) and nickel (Ni) were positively and negatively associated with BW for GA in girls, respectively. Moreover, increasing thallium (Tl) concentration lowered the positive association between Cd and BW for GA and enhanced the negative association between Ni and BW for GA in girls. When exposure to other metals increased, the positive association with Cd diminished, whereas the negative association with Ni or Tl increased. Our findings provide evidence supporting the complex effects of intrauterine exposure to metal mixtures on the birth weight of girls and further highlight the sex heterogeneity in fetal development influenced by intrauterine environmental factors.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2023.115158
View details for PubMedID 37348214
Transcriptomic analysis of World Trade Center particulate Matter-induced pulmonary inflammation and drug treatments.
2023; 177: 108027
Over 400,000 people are estimated to have been exposed to World Trade Center particulate matter (WTCPM) since the attack on the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. Epidemiological studies have found that exposure to dust may cause respiratory ailments and cardiovascular diseases. However, limited studies have performed a systematic analysis of transcriptomic data to elucidate the biological responses to WTCPM exposure and the therapeutic options. Here, we developed an in vivo mouse exposure model of WTCPM and administered two drugs (i.e., rosoxacin and dexamethasone) to generate transcriptomic data from lung samples. WTCPM exposure increased the inflammation index, and this index was significantly reduced by both drugs. We analyzed the transcriptomics derived omics data using a hierarchical systems biology model (HiSBiM) with four levels, including system, subsystem, pathway, and gene analyses. Based on the selected differentially expressed genes (DEGs) from each group, WTCPM and the two drugs commonly affected the inflammatory responses, consistent with the inflammation index. Among these DEGs, the expression of 31 genes was affected by WTCPM exposure and consistently reversed by the two drugs, and these genes included Psme2, Cldn18, and Prkcd, which are involved in immune- and endocrine-related subsystems and pathways such as thyroid hormone synthesis, antigen processing and presentation, and leukocyte transendothelial migration. Furthermore, the two drugs reduced the inflammatory effects of WTCPM through distinct pathways, e.g., vascular-associated signaling by rosoxacin, whereas mTOR-dependent inflammatory signaling was found to be regulated by dexamethasone. To the best of our knowledge, this study constitutes the first investigation of transcriptomics data of WTCPM and an exploration of potential therapies. We believe that these findings provide strategies for the development of promising optional interventions and therapies for airborne particle exposure.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.envint.2023.108027
View details for PubMedID 37321070
Groundwater constituents and the incidence of kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer incidence demonstrates significant geographic variation suggesting a role for environmental risk factors. This study sought to evaluate associations between groundwater exposures and kidney cancer incidence.The authors identified constituents from 18,506 public groundwater wells in all 58 California counties measured in 1996-2010, and obtained county-level kidney cancer incidence data from the California Cancer Registry for 2003-2017. The authors developed a water-wide association study (WWAS) platform using XWAS methodology. Three cohorts were created with 5 years of groundwater measurements and 5-year kidney cancer incidence data. The authors fit Poisson regression models in each cohort to estimate the association between county-level average constituent concentrations and kidney cancer, adjusting for known risk factors: sex, obesity, smoking prevalence, and socioeconomic status at the county level.Thirteen groundwater constituents met stringent WWAS criteria (a false discovery rate <0.10 in the first cohort, followed by p values <.05 in subsequent cohorts) and were associated with kidney cancer incidence. The seven constituents directly related to kidney cancer incidence (and corresponding standardized incidence ratios) were chlordane (1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.10), dieldrin (1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07), 1,2-dichloropropane (1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.05), 2,4,5-TP (1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.05), glyphosate (1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04), endothall (1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03), and carbaryl (1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03). Among the six constituents inversely related to kidney cancer incidence, the standardized incidence ratio furthest from the null was for bromide (0.97; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99).This study identified several groundwater constituents associated with kidney cancer. Public health efforts to reduce the burden of kidney cancer should consider groundwater constituents as environmental exposures that may be associated with the incidence of kidney cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.34898
View details for PubMedID 37287332
Joint analysis of m6A and mRNA expression profiles in the testes of idiopathic nonobstructive azoospermia patients.
Frontiers in endocrinology
2022; 13: 1063929
Growing evidence has indicated that epigenetic factors might be associated with the pathophysiology of idiopathic nonobstructive azoospermia (iNOA). As the most common RNA modification, N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methylation has recently attracted more attention in the regulation of spermatogenesis; however, its role in the mechanisms of iNOA is still unclear.To determine the differential expression of mRNA and m6A methylation status in the testes of iNOA patients.Testes tissues from diagnosed iNOA and controlled obstructive azoospermia (OA) patients were collected and grouped according to the histological examinations. Total RNA was isolated and quantified by an m6A RNA Methylation Quantification Kit. The expression level of mRNAs was detected by qRT-PCR analysis. Differentially expressed m6A genes were analyzed using the human ArrayStar m6A epitranscriptomic microarray, and bioinformatics analyses were applied.A total of 36 iNOA and 8 controlled patients were included. The global expression of m6A in the iNOA group was significantly decreased. A dosage relationship was observed between the m6A decline and the degree of impaired spermatogenesis, with the successive process of normal spermatogeneis, hypospermatogenesis (HP), maturation arrest (MA), and Sertoli cell-only syndrome (SO). Four down-expressed genes (BDNF, TMEM38B, RPL3L, and C22orf42) displayed significantly lower expression of m6A methylation. Additionally, they also showed a gradually down-expressed tendency in the three groups (OA, HP, SO/MA groups). Moreover, m6A reader EIF3A was approved to have differential expression through microarrays analysis, which was consistent with the result from the qRT-PCR test.The m6A expression was gradually downregulated in the testes tissue from iNOA patients in accordance with the degree of spermatogenic dysfunction. The determined differential expression of mRNA and m6A methylation status may represent potentially novel molecular targets for the mechanism study of iNOA in the epigenetic level, which could benefit the understanding of the pathophysiology of iNOA.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fendo.2022.1063929
View details for PubMedID 36589848
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9798116
Crosstalk of necroptosis and pyroptosis defines tumor microenvironment characterization and predicts prognosis in clear cell renal carcinoma.
Frontiers in immunology
2022; 13: 1021935
Pyroptosis and necroptosis are two recently identified forms of immunogenic cell death in the tumor microenvironment (TME), indicating a crucial involvement in tumor metastasis. However, the characteristics of necroptosis and pyroptosis that define tumor microenvironment and prognosis in ccRCC patients remain unknown. We systematically investigated the transcriptional variation and expression patterns of Necroptosis and Pyroptosis related genes (NPRGs). After screening the necroptosis-pyroptosis clusters, the potential functional annotation for clusters was explored by GSVA enrichment analysis. The Necroptosis-Pyroptosis Genes (NPG) scores were used for the prognosis model construction and validation. Then, the correlations of NPG score with clinical features, cancer stem cell (CSC) index, tumor mutation burden (TMB), TME, and Immune Checkpoint Genes (ICGs) were also individually explored to evaluate the prognosis predictive values in ccRCC. Microarray screenings identified 27 upregulated and 1 downregulated NPRGs. Ten overall survival associated NPRGs were filtered to construct the NPG prognostic model indicating a better prognostic signature for ccRCC patients with lower NPG scores (P< 0.001), which was verified using the external cohort. Univariate and multivariate analyses along with Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated that NPG score prognostic model could be applied as an independent prognostic factor, and AUC values of nomogram from 1- to 5- year overall survival with good agreement in calibration plots suggested that the proposed prognostic signature possessed good predictive capabilities in ccRCC. A high-/sNPG score is proven to be connected with tumor growth and immune-related biological processes, according to enriched GO, KEGG, and GSEA analyses. Comparing patients with a high-NPG score to those with a low-NPG score revealed significant differences in clinical characteristics, growth and recurrence of malignancies (CSC index), TME cell infiltration, and immunotherapeutic response (P< 0.005), potentially making the NPG score multifunctional in the clinical therapeutic setting. Furthermore, AIM2, CASP4, GSDMB, NOD2, and RBCK1 were also found to be highly expressed in ccRCC cell lines and tumor tissues, and GASP4 and GSDMB promote ccRCC cells' proliferation, migration, and invasion. This study firstly suggests that targeting the NPG score feature for TME characterization may lend novel insights into its clinical applications in the prognostic prediction of ccRCC.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1021935
View details for PubMedID 36248876
Incidence trends and disparities in Helicobacter pylori related malignancy among US adults, 2000-2019.
Frontiers in public health
2022; 10: 1056157
Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is closely related to the carcinogenesis of gastric cancer (GC) and gastric non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). However, the systemic trend analysis in H. pylori-related malignancy is limited. We aimed to determine the national incidence trend in non-cardia GC, cardia GC, and gastric NHL in the US during 2000-2019.Method: In this population-based study, we included 186,769 patients with a newly diagnosed H. pylori-related malignancy, including non-cardia GC, cardia GC, and gastric NHL from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Registry from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2019. We determined the age-adjusted incidence of three H. pylori-related malignancies respectively. Average annual percentage change (AAPC) in 2000-2019 was calculated to describe the incidence trends. Analyses were stratified by sex, age, race and ethnicity, geographic location and SEER registries. We also determined the 5-year incidence (during 2015-2019) by SEER registries to examine the geographic variance.Results: The incidence in non-cardia GC and gastric NHL significantly decreased during 2000-2019, while the rate plateaued for cardia GC (AAPCs, -1.0% [95% CI, -1.1%-0.9%], -2.6% [95% CI, -2.9%-2.3%], and -0.2% [95% CI, -0.7%-0.3%], respectively). For non-cardia GC, the incidence significantly increased among individuals aged 20-64 years (AAPC, 0.8% [95% CI, 0.6-1.0%]). A relative slower decline in incidence was also observed for women (AAPC, -0.4% [95% CI, -0.6%-0.2%], P for interaction < 0.05). The incidence of cardia GC reduced dramatically among Hispanics (AAPC, -0.8% [95% CI, -1.4%-0.3%]), however it increased significantly among nonmetropolitan residents (AAPC, 0.8% [95% CI, 0.4-1.3%]). For gastric NHL, the decreasing incidence were significantly slower for those aged 20-64 years (AAPC, -1.5% [95% CI, -1.9-1.1%]) and Black individuals (AAPC, -1.3% [95% CI, -1.9-1.1%]). Additionally, the highest incidence was observed among Asian and the Black for non-cardia GC, while Whites had the highest incidence of cardia GC and Hispanics had the highest incidence of gastric NHL (incidence rate, 8.0, 8.0, 3.1, and 1.2, respectively) in 2019. Geographic variance in incidence rates and trends were observed for all three H. pylori-related malignancies. The geographic disparities were more pronounced for non-cardia GC, with the most rapid decline occurring in Hawaii (AAPC, -4.5% [95% CI, -5.5-3.6%]) and a constant trend in New York (AAPC 0.0% [95% CI, -0.4-0.4%]), the highest incidence in Alaska Natives, and the lowest incidence among Iowans (14.3 and 2.3, respectively).Conclusion: The incidence of H. pylori-related cancer declined dramatically in the US between 2000 and 2019, with the exception of cardia GC. For young people, a rising trend in non-cardia GC was noted. Existence of racial/ethnic difference and geographic diversity persists. More cost-effective strategies of detection and management for H. pylori are still in demand.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fpubh.2022.1056157
View details for PubMedID 36518580