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Doratha Byrd, PhD, MPH

Program: Cancer Epidemiology

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Dr. Byrd's research focuses on elucidating the interrelationships among modifiable dietary and lifestyle exposures, the microbiome, and cancer risk and progression.  Her long term goal is to use multilevel approaches to address cancer disparities with her etiological microbiome research.


    • Cancer Epidemiology
    • Gastrointestinal Oncology
    • Cancer Epidemiology Program

Education & Training


  • Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, PhD - Epidemiology
  • University of Florida, MPH - Epidemiology

Dr. Byrd completed her Ph.D. in epidemiology at Emory University, where her dissertation research focused on the development and validation of novel, inflammation biomarker panel-weighted dietary and lifestyle inflammation scores, and their associations with colorectal neoplasms.  She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute, where she was actively involved in conducting multiple studies to establish the best, standard methods for collecting fecal samples for 16S rRNA and shotgun metagenomic microbiome studies. As a logical next step of this work, she extended her methodological findings to application in etiological investigations of the interrelationships among diet, colonic mucosal and fecal microbes, microbiome-related metabolites, and cancer risk and progression. In January 2021, she joined the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute as an Assistant Member in the Cancer Epidemiology Program, where she is continuing her methodological and etiological microbiome research.  Her long-term goal is to use multilevel approaches to address cancer disparities with her etiological diet and microbiome research.


  • Crowder SL, Jim HSL, Hogue S, Carson TL, Byrd DA. Gut microbiome and cancer implications: Potential opportunities for fermented foods. BBA. Reviews on cancer. 2023 May.1878(3):188897. Pubmedid: 37086870.
  • Byrd DA, Fan W, Greathouse KL, Wu MC, Xie H, Wang X. The intratumor microbiome is associated with microsatellite instability. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2023 May. Pubmedid: 37192013.
  • Byrd DA, Vogtmann E, Ortega-Villa AM, Wan Y, Gomez M, Hogue S, Warner A, Zhu B, Dagnall C, Jones K, Hicks B, Albert PS, Murphy G, Sinha R. Prospective and Cross-sectional Associations of the Rectal Tissue Microbiome with Colorectal Adenoma Recurrence. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2023 Mar.32(3):435-443. Pubmedid: 36525653. Pmcid: PMC9992132.
  • Zouiouich S, Byrd DA, Hua X, Karwa S, Wan Y, Shi J, Humphrey GC, Ackermann GL, Knight R, Abnet CC, Vogtmann E, Sinha R. Stability of the Fecal and Oral Microbiome over 2 Years at -80°C for Multiple Collection Methods. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2023 Mar.32(3):444-451. Pubmedid: 36649143.
  • Carson TL, Byrd DA, Smith KS, Carter D, Abaskaron M, Little RB, Holmes ST, Pol WJV, Lefkowitz EJ, Morrow CD, Fruge AD, Gomez M. A case-control study of the association between the gut microbiota and colorectal cancer: exploring the roles of diet, stress, and race. Res Sq. 2023 Jan. Pubmedid: 36711747. Pmcid: PMC9882682.
  • Wu Z, Byrd DA, Wan Y, Ansong D, Clegg-Lamptey JN, Wiafe-Addai B, Edusei L, Adjei E, Titiloye N, Dedey F, Aitpillah F, Oppong J, Vanderpuye V, Osei-Bonsu E, Dagnall CL, Jones K, Hutchinson A, Hicks BD, Ahearn TU, Shi J, Knight R, Biritwum R, Yarney J, Wiafe S, Awuah B, Nyarko K, Figueroa JD, Sinha R, Garcia-Closas M, Brinton LA, Vogtmann E. The oral microbiome and breast cancer and nonmalignant breast disease, and its relationship with the fecal microbiome in the Ghana Breast Health Study. Int J Cancer. 2022 Oct.151(8):1248-1260. Pubmedid: 35657343. Pmcid: PMC9420782.
  • Byrd DA, Gomez M, Hogue S, Murphy G, Sampson JN, Vogtmann E, Albert P, Freedman ND, Sinha R, Loftfield E. Circulating Bile Acids and Adenoma Recurrence in the Context of Adherence to a High-Fiber, High-Fruit and Vegetable, and Low-Fat Dietary Intervention. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2022 Oct.13(10):e00533. Pubmedid: 36113023. Pmcid: PMC9624497.
  • Penley MJ, Byrd DA, Bostick RM. Associations of Evolutionary-Concordance Diet and Lifestyle Pattern Scores with Incident, Sporadic Colorectal Adenoma in a Pooled Case-Control Study. Nutr Cancer. 2022 Jun.74(6):2075-2087. Pubmedid: 35102803.
  • Wolf PG, Byrd DA, Cares K, Dai H, Odoms-Young A, Gaskins HR, Ridlon JM, Tussing-Humphreys L. Bile Acids, Gut Microbes, and the Neighborhood Food Environment-a Potential Driver of Colorectal Cancer Health Disparities. mSystems. 2022 Feb.7(1):e0117421. Pubmedid: 35103491. Pmcid: PMC8805634.
  • Kumar NB, Hogue S, Pow-Sang J, Poch M, Manley BJ, Li R, Dhillon J, Yu A, Byrd DA. Effects of Green Tea Catechins on Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention: The Role of the Gut Microbiome. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Aug.14(16). Pubmedid: 36010981. Pmcid: PMC9406482.
  • McCullough LE, Byrd DA. Total Energy Intake: Implications for Epidemiologic Analyses. Am J Epidemiol. 2022 Apr. Pubmedid: 35419586.
  • Byrd DA, Sinha R, Weinstein SJ, Albanes D, Freedman ND, Sampson J, Loftfield E. An investigation of cross-sectional associations of a priori-selected dietary components with circulating bile acids. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Nov.114(5):1802-1813. Pubmedid: 34477829. Pmcid: PMC8574696.
  • Sinha R, Zhao N, Goedert JJ, Byrd DA, Wan Y, Hua X, Hullings AG, Knight R, Breda SV, Mathijs K, de Kok TM, Ward MH. Effects of processed meat and drinking water nitrate on oral and fecal microbial populations in a controlled feeding study. Environ Res. 2021 Jun.197:111084. Pubmedid: 33785324. Pmcid: PMC8388086.
  • Gao Y, Byrd DA, Prizment A, Lazovich D, Bostick RM. Associations of Novel Lifestyle- and Whole Foods-Based Inflammation Scores with Incident Colorectal Cancer Among Women. Nutr Cancer. 2021 Jul.74(4):1356-1369. Pubmedid: 34296959. Pmcid: PMC9281615.
  • Li Z, Gao Y, Byrd DA, Gibbs DC, Prizment AE, Lazovich D, Bostick RM. Novel Dietary and Lifestyle Inflammation Scores Directly Associated with All-Cause, All-Cancer, and All-Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Risks Among Women. J Nutr. 2021 Apr.151(4):930-939. Pubmedid: 33693725. Pmcid: PMC8030700.
  • Boyd P, Lowry M, Morris KL, Land SR, Agurs-Collins T, Hall K, Byrd DA, Perna FM. Health Behaviors of Cancer Survivors and Population Controls From the National Health Interview Survey (2005-2015). JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2020 Oct.4(5):pkaa043. Pubmedid: 33134825. Pmcid: PMC7583145.
  • Byrd DA, Judd S, Flanders WD, Hartman TJ, Fedirko V, Bostick RM. Associations of Novel Dietary and Lifestyle Inflammation Scores with Incident, Sporadic Colorectal Adenoma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 Nov.29(11):2300-2308. Pubmedid: 32856603. Pmcid: PMC7641945.
  • Loftfield E, Herzig KH, Caporaso JG, Derkach A, Wan Y, Byrd DA, Vogtmann E, Männikkö M, Karhunen V, Knight R, Gunter MJ, Järvelin MR, Sinha R. Association of Body Mass Index with Fecal Microbial Diversity and Metabolites in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 Nov.29(11):2289-2299. Pubmedid: 32855266. Pmcid: PMC7642019.
  • Byrd DA, Judd SE, Flanders WD, Hartman TJ, Fedirko V, Agurs-Collins T, Bostick RM. Associations of Novel Dietary and Lifestyle Inflammation Scores With Incident Colorectal Cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2020 Jun.4(3):pkaa009. Pubmedid: 32455332. Pmcid: PMC7236782.
  • Byrd DA, Sinha R, Hoffman KL, Chen J, Hua X, Shi J, Chia N, Petrosino J, Vogtmann E. Comparison of Methods To Collect Fecal Samples for Microbiome Studies Using Whole-Genome Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing. mSphere. 2020 Feb.5(1). Pubmedid: 32250964. Pmcid: PMC7045388.
  • Byrd DA, Carson TL, Williams F, Vogtmann E. Elucidating the role of the gastrointestinal microbiota in racial and ethnic health disparities. Genome Biol. 2020 Aug.21(1):192. Pubmedid: 32746938. Pmcid: PMC7397581.
  • Byrd DA, Chen J, Vogtmann E, Hullings A, Song SJ, Amir A, Kibriya MG, Ahsan H, Chen Y, Nelson H, Knight R, Shi J, Chia N, Sinha R. Reproducibility, stability, and accuracy of microbial profiles by fecal sample collection method in three distinct populations. PLoS One. 2019 Nov.14(11):e0224757. Pubmedid: 31738775. Pmcid: PMC6860998.
  • Byrd DA, Judd SE, Flanders WD, Hartman TJ, Fedirko V, Bostick RM. Development and Validation of Novel Dietary and Lifestyle Inflammation Scores. J Nutr. 2019 Dec.149(12):2206-2218. Pubmedid: 31373368. Pmcid: PMC6887697.
  • Mai V, Waugh S, Byrd D, Simpson D, Ukhanova M. Novel encapsulation improves recovery of probiotic strains in fecal samples of human volunteers. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2017 Feb.101(4):1419-1425. Pubmedid: 27796434.
  • Byrd DA, Agurs-Collins T, Berrigan D, Lee R, Thompson FE. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Dietary Intake, Physical Activity, and Body Mass Index (BMI) Among Cancer Survivors: 2005 and 2010 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2017 Dec.4(6):1138-1146. Pubmedid: 28078657.


  • Title: Elucidating Gut Microbiome-Tumor Immunity Interactions in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer
    Sponsor: Moffitt Cancer Center
    PI: Byrd, D.
  • Title: Investigating the Role of the Gut Microbiome and Systemic Immunity in Breast Cancer Disparities
    Sponsor: Moffitt Cancer Center
    PI: Byrd, D.
  • Title: CARES-REACH (Colorectal Cancer Awareness, Research, Education and Screening-Rural Expansion, Access and Capacity for Health) - Establishing a Biobank of Fecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT) for Gut Microbiome Measurement in a Racially/Ethnically and Geographically Diverse Population
    Sponsor: Nat Institutes of Health
    PI (Contact): Gwede, C., PI (MPI): Meade, C., Project PI: Byrd, D.