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  • Dr. Derrick G Lee, PhD, GStat


Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics, St. Francis Xavier University


Affiliated Scientist, Cancer Control Research, BC Cancer
Associated Researcher, Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health

Research Interests:

Cancer epidemiology, biostatistics, gene-environment interactions in cancer, occupational exposures, statistical modeling.

Nature vs Nurture: Interplay of genetics and environmental exposure in cancer

Trained as a statistician with interest in cancer epidemiology, my primary research focuses on identifying environmental and genetic risk factors for cancer and potential interactions between genetic mutations and environmental exposures, particularly in breast cancer and colorectal cancer. I’m also interested in epidemiological and biostatistical methodologies, occupational exposure assessment methods, and applications of bioinformatics and statistical learning in statistical genetics.

What brought you to your current institution?

I grew up in Newfoundland, where I did my undergraduate degree at Memorial University, and headed westward to BC to complete both my MSc and PhD at the University of British Columbia. Although the mountains were what first drew me to BC, the east coast was always my home, and StFX presented the perfect opportunity to return to the Atlantic while getting the chance to help build its new Health program.

Hometown: St. John’s, NL

Learn More about my research:

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

I am an Associate Member and BHCRI CRTP Scientific Review Committee member





St. Francis Xavier University, 2323 Notre Dame Ave, Antigonish NS, B2G 2W5


Hapgood G, Ben-Neriah S, Mottok A, Lee DG, Kridel R, Sehn LH, Villa D, Conners JM, Gascoyne RD, Feldman A, Scott DW, Farinha P, Steidl C, Slack G, Savage KJ. Identification of high-risk DUSP22-rearranged ALK-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma. British Journal of Haematology. ( First published: March 14, 2019.

Lee DG, Burstyn I, Lai AS, Grundy A, Friesen MC, Aronson KJ, Spinelli JJ. Women’s occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and risk of breast cancer. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (2019) 76(1):22-29

Schuetz JM, Grundy A, Shi J, Richardson H, Lee DG, Kobayashi LC, Lai AS, Burstyn I, Aronson KJ, Spinelli JJ, Brooks-Wilson AR. Genetic variants in genes related to inflammation, apoptosis and autophagy in breast cancer risk. PloS one. (2019) 14(1):e0209010.

Boyle T, Fritschi L, Kobayashi LC, Heyworth JS, Lee DG, Si S, Aronson KJ, Spinelli JJ. Sedentary work and the risk of breast cancer in pre-and post-menopausal women: A pooled analysis of two case-control studies. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (2016) 73(11):735-41.

Chahal D, Lee DG, Toyota B. Survival and tumor recurrence in patients with brain metastases treated by surgical resection with or without adjuvant whole brain radiation therapy. Journal of Radiation Oncology. (2016) 5(2):213-19.

Lee DG, Lavoué J, Spinelli JJ, Burstyn I. Statistical modeling of occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons using OSHA data. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. (2015) 12(10):729-42.

Burstyn I, Slutsky A, Lee DG, Singer AB, An Y, Michael YL. Beyond crosswalks: reliability of exposure assessment following automated coding of free-text job descriptions for occupational epidemiology. Annals of Occupational Hygiene. (2014) 58(4):482-92.

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