ScD, Harvard University, 1995
MPH, Yale University, 1989
Dr. Platz is a cancer epidemiologist, whose research on prostate and colon cancers sits at the interface between epidemiology and basic science. Within prospective cohorts, she studies the association of genetic and epigenetic factors as well as circulating markers of androgenicity, inflammation, and oxidation with prostate cancer incidence and recurrence. For colorectal neoplasia, her work focuses on the metabolic syndrome, growth factors, and inflammation as sequelae of adiposity. She also studies the role of modifiable factors that influence these pathways, such as diet and lifestyle, in relation to the incidence of these diseases and other men’s health concerns. In addition, she studies these factors in association with benign conditions of the prostate and colon, including benign prostatic hyperplasia and adenomatous polyps. She has a long-standing interest uncovering explanations for the notably higher rate of prostate cancer in African-American compared to white men, including racial variation in sex steroid hormones in the in utero milieu and throughout life. Dr. Platz conducts her multidisciplinary work with an eye toward translation; that is, identifying strategies to prevent the development or progression of cancer. These goals have led to her recent research interest in the possible benefits of drugs for other indications, including statin drugs, as well as their underlying mechanisms of action in the prevention of the development and recurrence of prostate cancer. Finally, she dabbles in research that identifies and solves methodologic issues in study design germane to epidemiologic and translational studies on prostate cancer detection, incidence, prognosis, and recurrence.
Since 2008, she has co-led the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC) at Johns Hopkins. Since 2005, she has directed the NCI-supported T32 Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Training Program at JHSPH. Since 2014, she has served as the Chair of the Maryland Cancer Collaborative, the group responsible for prioritizing and implementing the state’s comprehensive cancer control plan.
Honors and 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