Dr. Il’yasova is an epidemiologist with a strong background in biology and extensive expertise in biomarker-based exposure assessment. Her long-standing interest is in biomarkers of reduction-oxidation (redox) status (most often referred to as oxidative status) and the biomarkers’ relationship to chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, she published on markers of apoptosis, fatty acid metabolism, insulin growth factor, and exposure to toxic and essential metals and neurocarcinogens. Dr. Il’yasova’s research is rapidly growing into studying donor-specific endothelial colony forming (progenitor) cells (ECFCs) as a model to assess human diversity of responses to drugs and environmental hazards. Within cancer epidemiology, she works on glioma and recently have expanded her efforts to inflammatory breast cancer.
All areas of Dr. Il’yasova’s research involve racial/ethnic diversity. She found that oxidative status differs between the racial groups and this may be related to energy balance and metabolism. She plans to study differences in response to common environmental hazards, using EFCFs isolated from individuals of different ethnic and racial groups. The malignancies that she studies differentially affect Caucasians and African Americans: while glioma has greater rates among Caucasians (accounting for ~98% of cases), the rates of inflammatory breast cancer are greater among Africa Americans. Which biological and socio-economic factors are responsible for racial disparities in each of these areas is the focus of her research at the School of Public Health.