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Faculty Member

Michelle Cotterchio Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Email Address(es)
Office Address
Prevention & Cancer Control Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) Toronto, ON
Faculty, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Epidemiology Division
SGS Status
Full Member
Appointment Status
Status Only

Research Interests

  • colon cancer epidemiology
  • breast cancer epidemiology
  • gene-environment interactions
  • cancer etiology
  • epidemiologic methods
  • nutritional cancer epidemiology
  • pancreatic cancer etiology

Education & Training History

  • 1999 Ph.D. (Epidemiology) University of Toronto
  • 1994 M.P.H. (Epi/biostatistics) Boston University
  • 1992 M.S. (Biology) Boston College
  • 1990 B.Sc. (Microbiology) University of Toronto

Other Affiliations

  • Senior Scientist, Prevention & Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • 2012-2014 Research Methods II (CHL 5408), Co-instructor, DLSPH, University of Toronto
  • 2007-2011 Doctoral Seminar Series in Epidemiology (CHL 5423H), Instructor, DLSPH, University of Toronto
  • 2006-2010 Cancer Epidemiology (CHL 5409) Lecturer: Cancer genetics, DLSPH, University of Toronto
  • Supervision of PhD and MPH students in Epidemiology Program, DLSPH, U of T

Professional Summary & Appointments

Professional Summary:

Dr. Michelle Cotterchio is a Senior Scientist (Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario)) and a Professor (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto). Dr. Cotterchio’s research program focuses on the etiology and prevention of cancer – in particular breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer – the ultimate aim being prevention. She has experience with the design, conduct and analysis of epidemiologic studies including large population-based case-control studies, intervention trials and familial cancer studies. Dr. Cotterchio has been awarded many cancer research grants from the Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and is also Co-PI of the Ontario site of a large international colorectal cancer project funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI, NIH).  She was most recently awarded a grant from the Canadian Cancer Society (with partial funds from CIHR) to investigate novel risk factors associated with young-onset colorectal cancer. The majority of her research has focused on modifiable risk factors of breast and colorectal cancer, as well as the interaction with genetic factors. And she has conducted an intervention trial to evaluate the possible beneficial effects of flaxseed intake on circulating estrogens thought to be involved in breast cancer development. Dr. Cotterchio has published over 160 original papers in the scientific literature.

Current Appointments:

2003-present Member, National Cancer Institute (NCI, NIH) Cooperative Family Registries for Colon Cancer Steering Committee.

2010-present Committee member/Grant Reviewer,Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Public, Community & Population Health Peer Review.

2008-2014 Deputy Chair, US National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cooperative Family Registries for Colon Cancer Studies (CFRCCS) Epidemiology Working Group.

2005-2013, 2019 Member, Admissions Committee, Graduate (PhD) Program, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

2008-present Member, Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PANC4)

Honours & Awards

  • 1999 – 2001 Post-doctoral Fellowship, Division Preventive Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario
  • 1995 – 1998 Steve Fonyo Ph.D. Studentship, National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC)
  • 1990 – 1992 Tuition scholarship, Boston College (Biology Department)

Current Research Projects

  • 2017-2020 – Investigation of novel risk factors to understand the etiology of young-onset colorectal cancer and the alarming increasing incidence, Canadian Cancer Society and CIHR funded (Principal Investigator)
  • 2017-2018 – Trajectories of body mass index (BMI) and pancreatic cancer risk: Identifying opportunities for primary prevention in early life, CIHR funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2014-2017 – An intervention study to assess the effect of flaxseed intake on circulating estrogen levels among women, with the ultimate goal being the prevention of breast cancer, Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) funded (Principal Investigator)
  • 2018-2023 – Colon Cancer Family Registry Cohort (international multi-site), NCI, NIH USA funded (Co-Principal Investigator, Ontario site)
  • 2014-2019 – Towards better outcomes for young women with breast cancer (Team grant); The impact of modifiable factors in breast cancer survival (Sub-Project), CIHR and CBCF funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2016-2021 – The association of serum Vitamin D levels, genetic variants in vitamin D metabolism genes and pancreatic cancer risk, CIHR funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2014-2019 – Canadian HIV Observational Cohort (CANOC) Collaborative Research Centre, CIHR funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2010-2014 – Association between allergy history, immunologic genetic variants and pancreatic cancer risk, CIHR funded (Principal Investigator)
  • 2012-2015 – Long-term physical and psychological outcomes in colorectal cancer survivors, CIHR funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2011-2015 – Validation and fine-scale mapping of pancreatic cancer susceptibility loci, NIH USA funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2011-2014 – Exposures to emerging environmental contaminants and risk of breast cancer in young women: a case-control study using biomarkers of exposure, CCSRI funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2009-2012 – Dietary phytoestrogen intake and the risk of breast cancer according to estrogen- and progesterone-receptor (ERPR) subgroup, CCSRI funded (Principal Investigator)
  • 2008-2012 – Colon cancer family registry for epidemiological and genetic studies (OFCCR), National Cancer Institute, NIH USA funded (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • 2006-2011 – CIHR Team in Interdisciplinary Research on Colorectal Cancer, CIHR funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2002-2007 – Pancreatic Cancer Genetic Epidemiology Consortium (PACGENE), National Cancer Institute, NIH USA funded (Co-Investigator)
  • 2002-2006 – Colorectal cancer risk: association with epidemiologic factors and genetic polymorphisms in selected enzymes that activate carcinogens and metabolize estrogens, NCIC funded (Principal Investigator)
  • 2002-2005 – Phytoestrogen intake during selected periods of life and breast cancer risk, CBCRA funded (Principal Investigator)

Representative Publications

  • Chang V*, Cotterchio M, Boucher B, Jenkins D, Mirea L, McCann S, Thompson L.  Effect of dietary flaxseed intake on circulating sex hormone levels among postmenopausal women: A randomized controlled intervention trial. Nutrition and Cancer, 2019; 71 (3); 385-398.
  • Schmit S, Edlund C, Schumacher F, Gong J, Harrison T, 37 others, Cotterchio M, 80 others, Peters U, Casey G, Hsu L, Conti D, Gruber S. Novel common genetic susceptibility loci for colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst, 2019; 111(2): 146-157.
  • Burchell A, Kendall C, Cheng S, Lofters A, Cotterchio M, Bayoumi A, Glazier R, Antoniou T, Raboud J, Yudin M, Loufty M. Cervical cancer screening uptake among HIV-positive women in Ontario, Canada: A population-based retrospective cohort study. Preventive Medicine, 2018; 107: 14-20.
  • Klein A, Wolpin B, Risch H, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, 30 others, Cotterchio M, 70 others, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Zheng W, Kraft, Li D, Chanock S, Obazee O, Petersen G, Amundadottir L. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies five new susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer.  Nature Commun, 2018; 9: 556.
  • Hart T, Charles S, Gunaratne M, Baxter N, Cotterchio M, Cohen Z, Gallinger S. Symptom severity and quality of life among long-term colorectal cancer survivors compared with matched controls: a population-based study.  Diseases Colon Rectum, 2018; 61: 355-363.
  • Jenkins M, Win A, Templeton A, Angelakos M, Buchanan D, Cotterchio M, Figureirdo J, Thibideau S, Baron J, Potter J, Hopper J, Casey G, Gallinger S, LeMarchand L, Lindor N, Newcomb P, Haile R, Colon Cancer Family Registry Cohort Investigators.  Cohort Profile: The Colon Cancer Family Registry Cohort. Int J Epidemiol, 2018; 47: 387-388i.
  • Kocarnik J, Hua X, Hardikar S, Robinson J, Lindor N, Win A, Hopper J, Figueiredo J, Potter J, Campbell P, Gallinger S, Cotterchio M, Adams S, Cohen S, Phipps A, Newcomb P.  Long-term weight loss after colorectal cancer diagnosis is associated with lower survival: the Colon Cancer Family Registry. Cancer, 2017; 123: 4701-4708.
  • Grundy A*, Cotterchio M, Kirsh V, Nadalin V, Lightfoot N, Kreiger N.  Rotating shift work associated with obesity in men from northeastern Ontario.  Health Promotion Chronic Disease Prevention Canada, 2017; 37: 238-247.
  • Kim J*, Coyte P, Cotterchio M, Keogh L, Flander L, Gaff C, Laporte A. The impact of receiving predictive genetic information about Lynch syndrome on individual colonoscopy and smoking behaviours. Cancer Epidemiol Biomakers Prevention, 2016; 25: 1524-1533.
  • Segedi M, Anderson L, Espin-Garcia O, Borgida A, Bianco T, Cheng D, Chen Z, Patel D, Brown C,  Xu W, Reisman D, Gallinger S, Cotterchio M, Hung R, Liu G, Cleary S.  ­­­BRM polymorphisms, pancreatic cancer risk and survival. Int J Cancer, 2016; 139: 2474-2481.
  • Brenner D, Brockton N, Kotsopoulos J, Cotterchio M, Boucher B, Courneya K, Knight J, Olivotto I, Quan M, Friedenreich C. Breast cancer survival among young women: A review of the role of modifiable lifestyle factors.  Cancer Causes Control, 2016; 27:459-472. 
  • Cotterchio M, Lowcock E, Hudson TJ, Greenwood C, Gallinger S. Association between allergies and risk of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2014; 23: 469-480.
  • Rahman F*, Cotterchio M, Cleary S, Gallinger S. Association between alcohol consumption and pancreas cancer risk: A case-control study. PLoS One, 2015; 10(4): e0124489. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124489 [PMID: 25856529] * student/trainee
  • Campbell P, Newton C, Newcomb P, Phipps A, Ahnen D, Baron J, Buchanan D, Casey G, Cleary S, Cotterchio M, Farris A, Figueiredo J, Gallinger S, Green R, Haile R, Hopper J, Jenkins M, Le Marchand L, Makar K, McLaughlin J, Potter J, Renehan A, Sinicrope F, Thibodeau S, Ulrich C, Win A, Lindor N, Limburg P. Association between body mass index and mortality for colorectal cancer survivors: overall and by tumor molecular phenotype. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2015; 24: 1229-1238. [PMID: 26038390].
  • Joshi A, Kim A, Lewinger J, Ulrich C, Potter J, Cotterchio M, LeMarchand L, Stern M. Meat intake, cooking methods, dietary carcinogens and colorectal cancer risk: findings from the Colorectal Cancer Family Registry. Cancer Medicine 2015; 4: 936-952. [PMID: 25846122
  • Cotterchio M, Lowcock E, Bider-Canfield Z, Lemire M, Greenwood C, Gallinger S, Hudson T. Association between variants in atopy-related immunologic candidate genes and pancreatic cancer risk. PLOS One, 2015;10(5):e0125273. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125273.
  • Waterhouse M, Risch H, Bosetti C, Anderson K, Petersen G, Bamlet W, Cotterchio M, Cleary S, Ibiebele T, La Vecchia C, Skinner H, Strayer L, Bracci P, Maisonneuve P, Bueno-de-Mesquita H, Zatonski W, Lu L, Yu H, Janik-Koncewicz, Neale R. Vitamin D and pancreatic cancer: a pooled analysis from the Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium. Annals Oncology, 2015; 26: 1776-1783. [PMID: 25977560]
  • Cotterchio M, Mirea L, Oczelik H, Kreiger N. Active cigarette smoking, variants in carcinogen metabolism genes and breast cancer risk among pre- and post-menopausal women in Ontario, Canada. The Breast Journal, 2014; 20: 468-480.
  • Bider-Canfield Z, Cotterchio M. Self-reported ABO blood type compared with DNA-derived blood group. Epidemiology 2014; 25: 936-937.
  • Liu Y, Colditz G, Cotterchio M, Boucher B, Kreiger N. Adolescent dietary fiber, vegetable fat, vegetable protein, and nut intakes and breast cancer risk. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2014; 145: 461-470.
  • Jang J*, Cotterchio M, Bordiga A, Lui G, Gallinger S, Cleary S. Interaction of polymorphisms in mitotic regulator genes with cigarette smoking and pancreatic cancer risk. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 2013; 52: 103-109.   * student/trainee
  • Olson S, Hsu M, Satagopan J, Maisonneuve P, Silverman D, Lucenteforte E, Anderson K, Borgida A, Bracci P, Bueno-de-Mesquita B, Cotterchio M, Dai Q, Duell E, Fontham E, Gallinger S, Holly E, Ji B-T, Kurtz R, La Vecchia C, Lowenfels A, Luckett B, Petersen G, Polesel J, Seminara D, Strayer L, Talamini R, Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PanC4). Allergies and risk of pancreatic cancer: a pooled analysis from the Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PanC4). Am J Epidemiol, 2013;178:691-700.
  • Lowcock EC, Cotterchio M, Boucher B. Consumption of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, is associated with reduced breast cancer risk. Cancer Causes & Control, 2013; 24:813-816.
  • Lowcock EC, Cotterchio M, Anderson LN, Boucher BA, El-Sohemy A. High coffee intake, but not caffeine, is associated with reduced estrogen receptor negative and postmenopausal breast cancer risk with no effect modification by CYP1A2 genotype. Nutrition and Cancer, 2013; 65:398-409.
  • Anderson LN*, Cotterchio M, Boucher BA, Kreiger N. Phytoestrogen intake from foods, during adolescence and adulthood, and risk of breast cancer by estrogen and progesterone receptor tumour subgroup among Ontario women. Int J Cancer, 2013; 132:1683-1692.           * student/trainee
  • Boucher B, Cotterchio M, Anderson L, Kreiger N, Kirsh V, Thompson L. Use of isoflavone supplements is associated with reduced postmenopausal breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer, 2013; 132:1439-1450.
  • Gong J, Hutter CM, Baron JA, Berndt SI, Caan BJ, Campbell PT, Casey G, Chan AT, Cotterchio M, Fuchs CS, Gallinger S, Govannucci E, Harrison TA, Hayes RB, Hsu L, Jiao S, Lin Y, Lindor NM, Newcomb PA, Pflugeisen BM, Phipps AI, Rohan TE, Schoen RE, Seminara D, Slattery ML, Stelling DL, Thomas F, Warnick GS, White E, Potter JD, Peters U. A pooled analysis of smoking and colorectal cancer: timing of exposure and interactions with environmental factors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2012; 21(11):1974-1985.
  • Jang J*, Cotterchio M, Borgida A, Gallinger S, Cleary S. Genetic variants in carcinogen metabolizing enzymes, cigarette smoking and pancreatic cancer risk. Carcinogenesis, 2012; 33:818-827.  *student/trainee
  • Anderson L*, Cotterchio M, Mirea L, Ozcelik H, Kreiger N. Passive cigarette smoke exposure during various periods of life, genetic variants and breast cancer risk among never-smokers. Am J Epidemiol, 2012; 175: 289-301.  * student/trainee
  • Lucenteforte E, La Vecchia C, Silverman D, Petersen G, Bracci P, Ji B, Bosetti C, Li D, Gallinger S, Miller A, Bueno-de-Mesquita H, Talamini R, Polesel J, Ghadirian P, Baghurst P, Zatonski W, Fontham E, Bamlet W, Holly E, Gao Y, Negri E, Hassan M, Cotterchio M, Su J, Maisonneuve P, Boffetta P, Duell E. Alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer: a pooled analysis in the International Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PanC4). Annals Oncology, 2012; 23: 374-382.
  • Bosetti C, Lucenteforte E, Silverman D, Petersen G, Bracci P, Ji B, Negri E, Li D, Risch H, Olson S, Gallinger S, Miller A, Bueno-de-Mesquita H, Talamini R, Polesel J, Ghadirian P, Baghurst P, Zatonski W, Fontham E, Bamlet W, Holly E, Bertuccio P, Gao Y, Hassan M, Yu H, Kurtz R, Cotterchio M, Su J, Maisonneuve P, Duell E, Boffetta P, La Vecchia C. Cigarette smoking and pancreatic cancer: an analysis from the International Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PANC4). Ann Oncol, 2012; 23(7):1880-1888.
  • Boucher B, Cotterchio M, Curca I, Kreiger N, Harris S, Kirsh V, Goodwin P. Intake of phytoestrogen food and supplements among women recently diagnosed with breast cancer in Ontario, Canada. Nutrition and Cancer, 2012; 64:695-703.
  • Anderson L*, Cotterchio M, Cole D, Knight J. Vitamin D-related genetic variants, interactions with vitamin D exposure and breast cancer risk among Caucasian women in Ontario. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev, 2011; 20 1708-1717.  *student/trainee
  • Figueiredo J, Lewinger J, Song C, Campbell P, Conti D, Edlund C, Duggan D, Rangrej J, Lemire M, Hudson T, Zanke B, Cotterchio M, Gallinger S, Jenkins M, Hopper J, Haile R, Newcomb P, Potter J, Baron J, Le Marchand L, Casey G. Genotype-environment interactions in microsatellite stable/microsatellite instability-low colorectal cancer: results from a genome-wide association study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev, 2011; 20 758-766.
  • Anderson L*, Cotterchio M, Kirsh V, Knight J. Ultraviolet sunlight exposure during adolescence and adulthood and breast cancer risk: a population-based case-control study among Ontario women. Am J Epidemiol, 2011; 174: 293-304. *student/trainee
  • Poynter JN, Jacobs E, Figueiredo J, Lee W, Conti D, Campbell P, Levine J, Limburg P, LeMarchand L, Cotterchio M, Newcomb P, Potter J, Jenkins M, Hopper J, Duggan D, Baron J, Haile RW. Genetic variation in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the vitamin D binding protein (GC) and risk for colorectal cancer: Results from the Colon Cancer Family Registry. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev, 2010; 19: 525-536.
  • Cleary S, Cotterchio M, Shi E, Gallinger S, Harper P. Cigarette smoking, genetic variants in carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes and colorectal cancer risk. Am J Epidemiol, 2010; 172: 1000-1014.
  • Campbell PT, Jacobs E, Ulrich C, Figueiredo J, Poynter J, McLaughlin J, Haile R, Jacobs E, Newcomb P, Potter J, Le Marchand L, Green R, Parfrey P, Younghusband B, Cotterchio M, Gallinger S, Jenkins M, Hopper J, Baron J, Thibodeau S, Lindor N, Limburg P, Martinez M, for the Colon Cancer Family Registry. Case–control study of obesity, overweight and colorectal cancer risk, overall and by tumor microsatellite instability status. J Natl Cancer Inst, 2010; 102: 391-400.
  • Petersen G, Amundadottir L, Fuchs C, Kraft P, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, et al (20 other international authors), Cotterchio M, et al (39 other international authors), Hoover R, Hartge P, Chanock S. A genome-wide association study identifies pancreatic cancer susceptibility loci on chromosome 13q22.1, 1q32.1 and 5p15.33. Nature Genetics, 2010; 42: 224-230.
  • Anderson L*, Cotterchio M, Gallinger S. Lifestyle, dietary and medical history factors associated with pancreatic cancer risk in Ontario, Canada. Cancer Causes Control, 2009; 20: 825-834.
  • Poynter J, Haile R, Siegmund K, Campbell P, Figueiredo J, Limburg P, Young J, LeMarchand L, Potter J, Cotterchio M, Casey G, Hopper J, Jenkins M, Thibodeau S, Newcomb P, Baron J. Associations between smoking, alcohol consumption and colorectal cancer, overall and by tumor microsatellite instability status. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev, 2009; 18: 2745-2750.
  • Choi Y, Cotterchio M, McKeown-Eyssen G, Monga N, Bapat B, Boyd K, Gallinger S, McLaughlin J, Aronson M, Briollais L. Penetrance of colorectal cancer among MLH1/ MSH2 carriers participating in the Colorectal Cancer Familial Registry in Ontario. Hereditary Cancer Clin Practice, 2009; (doi:10.1186/1897-4287-7-14).
  • Cotterchio M, Boucher B, Kreiger N, Mills C, Thompson L. Dietary phytoestrogen intake – lignans and isoflavones – and breast cancer risk (Canada). Cancer Causes Control, 2008; 19: 259-272.
  • Cotterchio M, Boucher B, Manno M, Gallinger S, Okey A, Harper P. Red meat intake, doneness, polymorphisms in genes that encode carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes and colorectal cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev, 2008; 17: 3098-3107.
  • Newcomb P, Baron J, Cotterchio M, Gallinger S, Grove J, Haile R, Hall D, Hopper J, Jass J, LeMarchand L, Limburg P, Lindor N, Potter J, Templeton A, Thibodeau S, Seminara D; for the Colon Cancer Family Registry. Colon cancer family registry: an international resource for studies of the genetic epidemiology of colon cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev, 2007; 16: 2331-2343.
  • Zanke B, Greenwood C, Rangrej J, Kustra R, Tenesa T, Farrington S, Prendergast J, Olschwang S, Chiang T, Crowdy E, Ferretti V, Laflamme P, Sundararajan S, Roumy S, Olivier JF, Robidoux F, Sladek R, Montpetit A, Campbell P, Bezieau S, Zogopoulos G, Cotterchio M, Newcomb P, McLaughlin J, Younghusband B, Green R, Green J, Porteous M, Campbell H, Blanche H, Sahbatou M, Tubacher E, Bonaiti C, Buecher B, Riboli E, Kury S, Chanock S, Potter J, Thomas G, Gallinger S, Hudson T, Dunlop M. Genome-wide association scan identifies a colorectal cancer susceptibility locus on chromosome 8q24. Nature Genetics, 2007; 39: 989-994.
  • Thanos J*, Cotterchio M, Boucher B, Kreiger N, Thompson L. Adolescent dietary phytoestrogen intake and breast cancer risk. Cancer Causes Control, 2006; 17: 1253-1261.  *student/trainee
  • Cotterchio M, Boucher B, Manno M, Gallinger S, Okey A, Harper P. Dietary phytoestrogen intake is associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk. J Nutrition, 2006; 136: 3046-3053.