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Doratha Byrd, PhD, MPH

Program: Cancer Epidemiology


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


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.


  • 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 Sep. Pubmedid: 34477829.
  • 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.1-14. Pubmedid: 34296959.
  • 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.