Photograph of James R. Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D. in his lab at Mayo Clinic Epidemiologic research to improve lymphoma outcomes

Our lab uses epidemiologic methods to improve patient outcomes and understand the causes of cancers of the blood and lymph nodes, including Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.


Under the direction of principal investigator James R. Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., the Lymphoma Epidemiology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic uses epidemiologic methods to advance scientific understanding about causes, treatments and outcomes for cancers of the lymphatic system and bone marrow.

In particular, our lab focuses its research efforts on these cancers:

Although researchers have made progress in understanding what causes these cancers and how to treat them, there is still much to learn about prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

Research goals

One of our lab's major research goals is to learn more about the environmental, lifestyle, genetic and biologic factors that might contribute to causing Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. We use large epidemiologic studies (both cohort and case-control studies) combined with state-of-the-art technology to investigate these factors and understand their underlying mechanisms, with the goal of improved cancer prevention and early detection.

Our other major goal is to identify lifestyle, genetic, tumor and treatment factors that are associated with better cancer outcomes and survivorship among patients with lymphoma. Our lab also maintains an epidemiology data and biospecimens resource that researchers at Mayo Clinic and around the world use to investigate these factors.

Ongoing studies using these data include:

  • A case-control study analyzing possible causes of Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, including medical history, pesticides and other farming exposures, diet and early-life factors, and genetic susceptibility
  • The Lymphoma Epidemiology of Outcomes (LEO) cohort study, which enrolls patients newly diagnosed with lymphoma and then follows them over both the short and long term with the goal of improving survival, overall health and quality of life


Our lab receives funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other sources. Funding helps support our research on the genetic epidemiology of lymphoma, lymphoma outcomes epidemiology, population-based cancer epidemiology and more.

Review Dr. Cerhan's grant information.

About Dr. Cerhan

In addition to directing the Lymphoma Epidemiology Lab, Dr. Cerhan is a professor of epidemiology and Ralph S. and Beverley E. Caulkins Professor of Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He is also a co-leader of the Population Sciences Program in the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Cerhan focuses on epidemiologic research in lymphoma and on building and sustaining infrastructure to facilitate lymphoma and other health research, including the Mayo Clinic Biobank and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Registry.

Read Dr. Cerhan's research biography for more information about his work, publications and clinical studies.