Dr. Meza is assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan. He received his BSc in applied mathematics from the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM), and his PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Washington. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Meza completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - and a three-year fellowship at the University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.
Dr. Meza's research interests lie at the interface of epidemiology, biostatistics and biomathematics. In particular, he is interested in cancer risk assessment and the analysis of cancer epidemiology data using mechanistic models of carcinogenesis. He is also interested in the mathematical modeling of infectious disease dynamics and its applications in public health policy design. Dr. Meza is an active member of the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) lung and esophagus groups, and a core member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC).
Currently, Dr. Meza is developing models to evaluate the impact of screening strategies on lung, colon and esophagus cancer risk. Additional projects include the development of methodologies to investigate the effects of infectious disease dynamics on the risk of cancers with infectious disease etiology, and the analysis of the long-term impact of in-utero and childhood conditions and exposures on adult mortality and cancer risk.
EPID618: Systems Modeling of Behavior, Social Processes and Chronic Disease
EPID621: Cancer Epidemiology
EPID670: Cancer Risk and Epidemiology Modeling
Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, University of Washington, 2006
B.Sc., Applied Mathematics, ITAM, 2000
Research Interests & Projects
Cancer risk assessment, analysis of cancer epidemiology data using mathematical models of carcinogenesis, smoking and lung cancer risk, colon cancer epidemiology, public health policy modeling, mathematical modeling of infectious disease dynamics, contact network epidemiology, cancers with infectious disease etiology. Stochastic processes, applied probability, statistical inference and dynamical systems.
Impact of Smoking Cessation and Screening on Michigan’s Lung Cancer Rates
Principal Investigator: Rafael Meza, Michele L. Cote, David Levy, Pamela McMahon
We are investigating the potential effects of lung cancer CT screening and smoking cessation interventions on the lung cancer rates in the state of Michigan and the Metropilitan Detroit Area (MDA).
Lung cancer screening in the US
Principal Investigator: Pamela McMahon, Rafael Meza, Sylvia Plevritis, Harry de Koning
We are deriving lung cancer natural history models based on the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) and the Prostate, Lung, Colon and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) to evaluate the impact of lung cancer screening strategies in the US. We are collaborating with NLST, PLCO investigators and with the US Preventative Services Task Force to determine optimal lung cancer screening recommendations.
Using an Ocean of Data, Researchers Model Real-Life Benefits of Cancer Screening
After Landmark Study, Exploring Questions about Lung Cancer Screening
Oral HPV infections and the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer
Principal Investigator: Thomas Carey, Marisa Eisenberg, Rafael Meza
Sponsor: UM M-Cubed
While cervical and other genital cancers are primarily caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infections, recent studies have demonstrated that many individuals also carry HPV in their oral cavity and that a significant fraction of Head and Neck (HN) cancers contain HPV-DNA, suggesting that the virus may be the underlying root of these cancers. Indeed, 90% of UM oropharyngeal cancer patients and 50% of nasopharyngeal cancer patients carry high-risk HPV. However, there remain many open questions about the potential mechanisms by which HPV induces HN cancers, as well as the connection between the ongoing oral HPV epidemic and the rising oropharyngeal cancer incidence. We will use a combination of epidemiological research, genomics and proteomics analyses, and mathematical modeling to better understand the implications of oral HPV infections on HN cancer risk, and to predict the potential effects of HPV vaccination and other prevention strategies on oral and pharyngeal cancer rates.
Search PubMed for publications by Rafael Meza >>
de Koning HJ, Meza R, Plevritis SK, ten Haaf K, Munshi VN, Jeon J, Erdogan SA, Kong CY, Han SS, van Rosmalen J, Choi SE, Miller M, Moolgavkar S, Pinsky PF, Berg CD, Berrington de Gonzalez A, Black WC, Tammemagi CM, Hazelton WD, Feuer EJ, McMahon PM (2013). Benefits and Harms of Computed Tomography Lung Cancer Screening Programs for High-Risk Populations. AHRQ Publication No. 13-05196-EF-2. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Rekart, M.L., Gilbert, M., Meza, R., Kim, P.H., Chang, M., Money, D. M., Brunham, R. C. (2013). Chlamydia public health programs and the epidemiology of pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. J Infect Dis, 207(1), 30-8.
Moolgavkar, S.H., Holford, T.R., Levy, D.T., Kong, C.Y., Foy, M., Clarke, L. Jeon, J., Hazelton, W.D., Meza, R., Schultz, F., McCarthy, W., Boer, R., Gorlova, O., Gazelle, G.S., Kimmel, M., McMahon, PM., de Koning, H.J., Feuer, E.J. (2012). Impact of Reduced Tobacco Smoking on Lung Cancer Mortality in the United States During 1975–2000 JNCI, 104(7), 541-548.
Meza, R., Jeon, J., Renehan, A.G., Luebeck, E.G. (2010). Colorectal cancer incidence trends in the United States and United Kingdom: Evidence of right- to left-sided biological gradients with implications for screening. Cancer Research, 70(13), 5419-5429.
Dewanji, A., Jeon, J., Meza, R., Luebeck, E.G. (2011). Number and size distribution of colorectal adenomas under the Multistage Clonal Expansion Model of cancer. PLoS Computational Biology, 7(10), e1002213.
Conway, J.M., Tuite, A.R., Fisman, D.N., Hupert, N., Meza, R., Davoudi, B., et.al. (2011). Vaccination against 2009 pandemic H1N1 in a population dynamical model of Vancouver, Canada: timing is everything. BMC Public Health, 11(932)
Meza, R., Pourbohloul, B., Brunham, R.C. (2010). Birth cohort patterns suggest that infant survival predicts adult mortality rates. Journal of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 1(03), 174-183.
Meza, R., Jeon, J., Moolgavkar, S.H. (2010). Quantitative Cancer Risk Assessment of Nongenotoxic Carcinogens, Cancer Risk Assessment: Chemical Carcinogenesis, Hazard Evaluation, and Risk Quantification. Wiley.
Meza, R., Jeon, J., Moolgavkar, S.H., Luebeck, E.G. (2008). Age-specific incidence of cancer: Phases, transitions, and biological implications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 105 (42), 16284-9.
Meza, R., Hazelton, W.D., Colditz, G.A., Moolgavkar, S.H. (2008). Analysis of lung cancer incidence in the nurses' health and the health professionals' follow-up studies using a multistage carcinogenesis model. Cancer Causes and Control, 19(3), 317-28.
Society of Mathematical Biology
Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics