Susan McCann, PhD, RD

Member and Professor of Oncology
Cancer Prevention and Control
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
University at Buffalo

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Areas of Expertise: 
Nutritional epidemiology
Dietary interventions
Gut microbiome
Analysis of complex dietary data
Special Interests: 
Role of diet and the gut microbiome in cancer etiology and prognosis
Role of phytochemicals in cancer etiology and prognosis
Intervention approaches


I am a registered dietitian and with training in nutrition, epidemiology, and methods of analyzing complex dietary and epidemiologic data. My research interests include the relationships between diet and cancer, especially cancers of the breast, endometrium, and ovary. More specifically, I am interested in phytochemicals as dietary compounds affecting cancer risk and prognosis, and am further interested in the effect of genetic variation on these relationships. I have conducted several dietary intervention studies to investigate the role of dietary components in cancer or cancer related risk factors. I have also been involved in research that utilizes data reduction analytic methods such as principal components analysis. Finally, I am interested in the application of metabolomics and genomics to problems of diet in the etiology and prognosis of cancer and the role of the gut microbiome in cancer etiology.

I have conducted several clinical trials funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and National Cancer Institute (NIH) studying the effects of flaxseed on breast cancer etiology and survival. Among these is an investigation of the role of modification of dietary glycemic load in expression of miRNAs related to cancer and energy metabolism which reported that a low glycemic diet may affect expression of several miRNAs related to energy metabolism and cancer processes. I have recently completed a flaxseed intervention study in healthy African American and Caucasian postmenopausal women to investigate the interaction between the gut microbiome and genetic variation on changes in steroid hormone metabolism in response to the flaxseed intervention.

I have authored or co-authored more than 90 journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters, served as a First Editor of Nutrition Research Reviews, and as an ad hoc reviewer for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Journal of Epidemiology, Cancer Causes and Control, and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, JNCI, JCO, and other peer-reviewed cancer journals.

I am actively involved in the education of scientists at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. I have mentored numerous graduate students in the Interdisciplinary Sciences Masters degree program, and several masters and doctoral candidates in Epidemiology (University at Buffalo) and Cancer Prevention (Roswell Park).


Education and Training: 
PhD Epidemiology and Community Health, University at Buffalo, nutritional epidemiology, 1998
MS Nutrition, University of Mississippi, nutrition and sports medicine, 1983
NCI Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University at Buffalo, 1998-2001
NCI Predoctoral Fellowship, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University at Buffalo, 1992-1995
Professional Memberships: 
American Association for Cancer Research
Academy of Food and Nutrition
American Society for Nutrition
Honors and Awards: 
Academic Service Award, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, 2006
Saxon Graham Award for Excellence in Epidemiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University at Buffalo, 1998