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

Sleep Behaviors, Genetic Predispositions, and Risk of Esophageal Cancer.
  • Wang X, Tian R, Zong X, [...] Cao Y
  • Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2023
Clonal Hematopoiesis and Risk of Incident Lung Cancer.
  • Tian R, Wiley B, Liu J, [...] Cao Y
  • J Clin Oncol 2023
Gluten Intake and Risk of Digestive System Cancers in 3 Large Prospective Cohort Studies.
  • Wang Y, Cao Y, Lebwohl B, [...] Chan AT
  • Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022
Identifying colorectal cancer caused by biallelic MUTYH pathogenic variants using tumor mutational signatures.
  • Georgeson P, Harrison TA, Pope BJ, [...] Cao Y, [...] Buchanan DD
  • Nat Commun 2022
Frequency of Bowel Movements and Risk of Diverticulitis.
  • Jovani M, Ma W, Staller K, [...] Cao Y, [...] Chan AT
  • Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022

View All Publications