My research focusses on the role of environmental and lifestyle factors in cancer etiology and prognosis. Specifically, I study exposures common in the environment through dietary, lifestyle or occupational sources (e.g. heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, gasoline engine exhaust and talc) that can be modified to prevent the onset of cancer. As well, my current research involves examining the possible role of lifestyle and behavioral factors such as vitamin D exposures and engagement in physical activity in both cancer prevention and improving patient prognosis after a cancer diagnosis. Cancer sites of interest include the colorectum, lung, ovary and brain. My program of research is organized into the following three themes and their associated goals:
Theme #1: Identification and characterization of modifiable environmental and lifestyle factors in cancer etiology
Goal: To investigate the role of environmental and lifestyle factors on the risk of developing cancer to ultimately inform on future cancer prevention strategies
Theme #2: Employing a molecular epidemiological approach to investigate the relationship between environmental and lifestyle factors, and cancer etiology
Goal: To complement Theme #1, while additionally informing on underlying mechanisms of carcinogenesis through the use of biomarkers of exposure and intermediate endpoints, and identify genetically susceptible subpopulations by examining gene-environment interactions
Theme #3: Examination of the role of modifiable environmental and lifestyle factors in relation to cancer prognosis
Goal: To contribute knowledge on the role of modifiable factors in cancer prognosis and ultimately, empower cancer patients to take control of their health and improve their prognosis through maintenance or adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours
In addition to these research themes, I am also conducting the assessment of diet quality among participants in the CARTaGENE cohort and determining predictors of serum vitamin D levels in healthy Montréal women. These two projects contribute to my interest in the development and application of methodological tools to improve exposure assessments in epidemiological studies.
Education and training
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Environmental Epidemiology, Centre de recherche du CHUM, Montréal, QC
PhD, Epidemiology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
MSc, Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
BSc, Life Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
Assistant Professor Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Université de Montréal, QC
- Ho V, Massey TE, King WD. (2010) Influence of thymidylate synthase gene polymorphisms on total plasma homocysteine concentrations. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 101(1):18-24.
- Ho V, Massey TE, King WD. (2011) Thymidylate synthase gene polymorphisms and markers of DNA methylation capacity. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 102(4):481-7.
- King WD, Ho V, Dodds L, Perkins S, Casson I, Massey TE. (2012) Relationships among biomarkers of one-carbon metabolism. Molecular Biology Reports 39: 7805-7812.
- Ho V, Massey TE, King WD (2013). Effects of Methionine Synthase and Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene Polymorphisms on Markers of One-Carbon Metabolism. Genes and Nutrition 9:571-580.
- Ho V, Peacock SP, Ashbury JA, Vanner S, Massey TE, King WD. (2014) Dietary intake of meat-derived carcinogens, DNA repair capacity and colorectal adenoma. Genes and Nutrition 9(6): 430.
- Ho V, Peacock SP, Massey TE, Godschalk R.W.L., van Schooten, F.J., Chen J., King WD (2015). Gene-diet interactions in exposure to heterocyclic aromatic amines and bulky DNA adduct levels in blood leukocytes. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 56(7): 609-620.
- Ho V, Ashbury JA, Taylor S, Vanner S, King WD (2015). Gene-specific DNA methylation of DNMT3B and MTHFR and colorectal adenoma risk. Mutation Research – Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis. 782: 1-6.
- Ho V, Ashbury JA, Taylor S, Vanner S, King WD (2015). Quantification of gene-specific methylation of DNMT3B and MTHFR using Sequenom EpiTYPER®. Data in Brief 6: 39-46.
- Ho V, Ashbury JA, Taylor S, Vanner S, King WD. Genetic and epigenetic variation in the DNMT3B and MTHFR genes and colorectal adenoma risk. Under review: Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.
- McInerney, M., Ho, V., Koushik, A., Massarelli, I., Rondeau, I., McCormack, G.R., Csizmadi, I. Addition of Canada’s Food Guide food group servings to the Canadian Diet History Questionnaire II nutrient database for the estimation of the Healthy Eating Index. Under review: Health Reports.
Phone: 514-890-8000 x 31522
CRCHUM Risks, prevention, and health promotion