Yin Cao, ScD, MPH

Yin Cao, ScD, MPH

Primary Academic Title

Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine

Research Interest

Dr. Cao’s research group specializes in systems and translational cancer epidemiology with an overarching goal to develop precision-based cancer prevention/control strategies. Our current projects incorporate novel high-throughput technologies (genomics, microbiome, proteomics, accelerometers) into large-scale collaborative population-based/clinical studies to address provocative questions in gastrointestinal cancer prevention, including but not limited to the etiology of sporadic cancers among younger adults, the biological basis for cancer disparity, and the role of host-microbial interactions in carcinogenesis. Dr. Cao holds secondary appointment in the Division of Gastroenterology in the Department of Medicine.


  • 2013: ScD, epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
  • 2009: MPH, epidemiology, Columbia University, New York


  • 2013 - 2015: Postdoctoral fellow, nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Selected Research Publications

Being Breastfed in Infancy and Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Precursor Lesions.
  • Yuan C, Wang QL, Kim H, [...] Cao Y, [...] Ng K
  • Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2024
Plasma Proteomic Signature Predicts Myeloid Neoplasm Risk.
  • Tran D, Beeler JS, Liu J, [...] Cao Y, Bolton KL
  • Clin Cancer Res 2024
Charting the path forward to combat gastrointestinal cancers.
  • Oduyale O, Cao Y
  • Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2024
Body size and risk of colorectal cancer molecular defined subtypes and pathways: Mendelian randomization analyses.
  • Papadimitriou N, Qu C, Harrison TA, [...] Cao Y, [...] Murphy N
  • EBioMedicine 2024
Overcoming Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Rectal Cancer Treatment.
  • Fritz CDL, Oduyale O, Cao Y
  • JAMA Netw Open 2024
Red-flag signs and symptoms for earlier diagnosis of early-onset colorectal cancer.
  • Fritz CDL, Otegbeye EE, Zong X, [...] Cao Y
  • J Natl Cancer Inst 2023
Sleep Behaviors, Genetic Predispositions, and Risk of Esophageal Cancer.
  • Wang X, Tian R, Zong X, [...] Cao Y
  • Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2023

View All Publications