Patricia A. Cassano, MPH, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, Associate Professor of Public Health Weill Cornell Medical College, and Director of Graduate Studies for the Minor Field of Epidemiology in the Cornell University Graduate School.
Dr. Cassano is an epidemiologist with interests in nutrition and genetics; she has specialized expertise in the etiology of respiratory diseases.
Dr. Cassano has methodological expertise in the design, conduct and analysis of analytical epidemiological studies, in particular long-term prospective cohort studies including studies incorporating biological markers of nutrition and metabolism and molecular markers of genetic variation.
Dr. Cassano leads the EnHANCE Pilot Study, a study investigating the transition from home to college environment and effects on body habitus, metabolism, and pre-disease biological markers. Dr. Cassano leads the Respiratory Ancillary Study to the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). This randomized trial was designed to address whether supplementation with vitamin E and/or selenium attenuates decline in lung function and/or reduces the risk of COPD.
Dr. Cassano is participating in a consortium of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to investigate the relation of genetic variation to pulmonary phenotypes, including a GWAS of longitudinal trajectory phenotypes. A related set of studies involves in-depth approaches to test hypotheses about the mechanisms underlying the role of nutrition in the lung, with a focus on nutrient--gene interactions.
Dr. Cassano's research program was funded by 3 recently completed NIH grants, and her research group is actively engaged in seeking further funding. Much of the research is conducted in the context of PhD graduate student training; Dr. Cassano teaches the foundation course in Epidemiology for graduate students.