Skip to main content



Elizabeth A. Platz, ScD, MPH, uses molecular epidemiology to understand the mechanisms of cancer incidence and progression to identify prevention and treatment strategies.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E6132

Research Interests

Epidemiology; prostate cancer incidence and recurrence; benign prostatic hyperplasia; colorectal cancer; adenomatous polyps; lung cancer; hematologic malignancies; diet; lifestyle; race; genetics; epigenetics; telomeres; inflammation; infectious agents; periodontal disease; senescent cells; insulin; obesity; sex steroid hormones; vitamin D; and clonal hematopoiesis

Experiences & Accomplishments
Harvard University
Yale University

Elizabeth A. Platz, ScD, MPH is Professor, Martin D. Abeloff, MD Scholar in Cancer Prevention at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she directs the NCI-funded (T32) training program in Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control. She also co-leads the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and holds joint appointments in the Department of Oncology, and the Department of Urology and the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her doctorate in epidemiology from and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

A major focus of her work is the use of molecular and genetic epidemiology approaches to understand the mechanisms underlying prostate incidence and progression. She conducts her work with an eye toward translation of findings into prevention and treatment strategies. Known for her leadership of multidisciplinary prostate cancer research teams, she is at the forefront of epidemiologic research on the role of inflammation, a target for prevention, in the development of prostate cancer, and on telomere length as a prognostic marker for poor outcome after treatment for prostate cancer. She seeks to uncover explanations for the racial disparity in prostate cancer incidence and mortality. She is the editor-in-chief of the American Association for Cancer Research’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, and elected member of the AACR Board of Directors. In addition to her academic efforts, she is a member and former chair of the Maryland Cancer Collaborative, and was formerly appointed by the governor to the Maryland State Council on Cancer Control.

Honors & Awards

2000 Faculty Innovation Fund
2000 Bernstein Young Investigator's Award
2003 Delta Omega Honorary Society in the Public Health Alpha Chapter
2003 and 2007 AMTRA Award (recognition for advising, mentoring and teaching)
2010 Martin D. Abeloff, MD Scholar in Cancer Prevention (First), Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (honoring the memory of Dr. Abeloff, late Director of the Cancer Center)
2013 Prostate Cancer Foundation Mentor of Excellence Award (First), Prostate Cancer Foundation 20th Annual Scientific Retreat
2014 Teaching Award for Faculty Outside of the Department, Department of Urology and the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
2019 Elected 2019 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) “For distinguished contributions to our understanding of the roles of genetics, epigenetics, and environmental factors in cancer epidemiology.”
2019 Visiting Scholar, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute
2021 Team Science Award, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Select Publications

Selected publications

  • Michaud DS, Lu J, Peacock-Villada AY, Barber JR, Joshu CE, Prizment AE, Beck JD, Offenbacher S, Platz EA. Periodontal Disease Assessed Using Clinical Dental Measurements and Cancer Risk in the ARIC Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Aug 1;110(8):843-854. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djx278. PubMed PMID: 29342298; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6093423.

  • Platz EA, Kulac I, Barber JR, Drake CG, Joshu CE, Nelson WG, Lucia MS, Klein EA, Lippman SM, Parnes HL, Thompson IM, Goodman PJ, Tangen CM, De Marzo AM. A Prospective Study of Chronic Inflammation in Benign Prostate Tissue and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Linked PCPT and SELECT Cohorts. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Oct;26(10):1549-1557. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0503. Epub 2017 Jul 28. PubMed PMID: 28754796; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5626618.

  • Gurel B, Lucia MS, Thompson IM Jr, Goodman PJ, Tangen CM, Kristal AR, Parnes HL, Hoque A, Lippman SM, Sutcliffe S, Peskoe SB, Drake CG, Nelson WG, De Marzo AM, Platz EA. Chronic inflammation in benign prostate tissue is associated with high-grade prostate cancer in the placebo arm of the prostate cancer prevention trial. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 May;23(5):847-56. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-1126. Epub 2014 Apr 18. PubMed PMID: 24748218; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4012292.

  • Heaphy CM, Yoon GS, Peskoe SB, Joshu CE, Lee TK, Giovannucci E, Mucci LA, Kenfield SA, Stampfer MJ, Hicks JL, De Marzo AM, Platz EA, Meeker AK. Prostate cancer cell telomere length variability and stromal cell telomere length as prognostic markers for metastasis and death. Cancer Discov. 2013 Oct;3(10):1130-41. PMID: 23779129; PMCID: PMC3797255.

  • Platz EA, Yegnasubramanian S, Liu JO, Chong CR, Shim JS, Kenfield SA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Giovannucci E, Nelson WG. A novel two-stage, transdisciplinary study identifies digoxin as a possible drug for prostate cancer treatment. Cancer Discov. 2011 Jun;1(1):68-77. PMID: 22140654; PMCID: PMC3227223.

Hormones in Umbilical Cord Blood Study (HUB)
ARIC Cancer