Qi Dai, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine
Dr. Dai has 25 years of experience in conducting large epidemiologic studies of chronic diseases. In particular, Dr. Dai has extensive expertise in nutritional and molecular epidemiologic studies. Dr. Dai’s research focus is to identify and investigate nutrient-nutrient (e.g. magnesium, calcium and vitamin D) and gene-nutrition interactions in the etiology of cancer and other chronic diseases and to subsequently develop precision-based prevention strategies. Dr. Dai has been the PI for five R01/U01 projects to investigate nutrient-nutrient (i.e. magnesium and calcium) and nutrient (i.e. magnesium and calcium)-gene interactions in the etiology of colorectal neoplasia and breast cancer. Over the past 6 years, Dr. Dai has served as the contact PI for an NIH R01 randomized trial to examine the balance of calcium:magnesium for the precision-based prevention of colorectal cancer. During the same period of time, Dr. Dai served as a Co-I in a randomized trial of fish oil supplemention for the prevention of colorectal cancer. In a new NCI contract, Dr. Dai will serves as a study PI for a new randomized trial to evaluate intermittent dosing of aspirin for the prevention of colorectal cancer. Dr. Dai also has extensive experience and expertise in research of oxidative stress and antioxidants for the prevention of cancer and dementia. RESEARCH PROGRAMS Grants and Contracts Pending for Award as Principal Investigator or Project Leader NCI contract: Evaluating Intermittent Dosing of Aspirin for Colorectal Cancer Prevention Role: Study PI An estimated $1,000,000 Project goal: Aspirin is one of very few promising agents for the prevention of colorectal cancer. Due to the potential adverse events related to the long-term use, it is recommended for use for the prevention of colorectal cancer in individuals at average risk of colorectal cancer. The proposed study will evaluate if 3-week on/3-week off use of aspirin may be able to minimize the adverse event, but maximize the high efficacy. Thus, the proposed have very important implications for the prevention of colorectal cancer. Grants Awarded As Principal Investigator or Project Leader R01CA202936A (PIs: Qi Dai, Lifang Hou) 02/01/16-1/31/2020 An estimated $3,500,000 NIH/NCI: Methylomic biomarkers for magnesium deficiency and colon neoplasia prevention Project goal: The goal is to identify sensitive methylation biomarkers for magnesium status which will be used for the personalized prevention of colorectal cancer. 1U01CA182364-01 (Contact PI Qi Dai, PI: Todd Edwards) 02/01/2014-01/31/2019 NIH/NCI: Translating gene-calcium interactions to precision medicine for colorectal cancer $2,929,199 Project goal: The goal is to first unravel functional variants and identify new rare variants using a next-generation sequencing approach and then prospectively evaluate if calcium-gene interactions affect colon carcinogenesis (incidence adenoma, recurrent adenoma and incident cancer), and discover the underlying mechanism(s) for these interactions. The PLCO cohort provides a very unique and unparalleled opportunity to prospectively examine these hypotheses. This study will be essential for translating these novel findings to personalized prevention strategies for colorectal cancer by identifying high risk populations, thus, maximizing the benefits and minimizing potential adverse effects of high calcium intake. Role: Contact PI R01 CA149633-01 (PI, Qi Dai (contact PI), Chang Yu (Biostatistician)) Awarded 09/13 NIH/NCI: Supplement for Personalized Prevention of Colorectal Cancer $122,389 Project goal: The supplemental award is to screen additional adenoma patients (up to 10,000 adenoma patients) to complete the recruitment goal of the R01 trial. Role: Contact PI R01 CA149633-01 (PI, Qi Dai (contact PI), Chang Yu (Biostatistician)) 04/01/10 – 03/31/16 NIH/NCI: Personalized Prevention of Colorectal Cancer $2,101,962 Project goal: The goal is to identify people at a high risk of colorectal adenoma and to develop personalized strategies to prevent occurrence of colorectal adenoma, and, thus, colorectal cancer. We will conduct a randomized clinical trial with a novel personalized study design for modulating the calcium/magnesium ratio in diets based on genotype. Role: Contact PI Project supported by UL1 RR024975 (NCRR/NIH) 07/01/10 – 06/30/15 NIH (The Vanderbilt CTSA grant): Personalized Prevention of Colorectal Cancer Trial $174,000 Project goal: The major goal of this project is to provide support of clinical space and nurses for the ongoing R01 project (CA149633-01). Role: Project Leader R01 AT004660-02 (PI, Qi Dai) 06/01/08 – 05/31/14 NIH/NCCAM : Dietary Calcium and Magnesium, Genetics, and Colorectal Adenoma $2,118,100 Project goal: The goal is to investigate the potential interactions of dietary intake calcium, magnesium, and calcium/magnesium with polymorphisms of genes involved in calcium and magnesium (re)absorption. Role: PI R01 CA106591-01 (PI, Qi Dai) 04/01/04 – 03/31/10 NIH: Oxidative Stress, Antioxidants, and Breast Cancer Risk $990,807 Project goal: The goal was to investigate the potential associations of oxidative stress, antioxidants (plasma antioxidant vitamins and urinary antioxidant polyphenols from plants) and gene-polyphenol interactions with risk of breast cancer. Role: PI AICR #08A074-REV 01/01/09 – 08/30/12 Research project: Magnesium, Calcium and Colorectal Adenoma Risk $165,000 Project goal: The major goal of this study is to investigate whether high erythrocyte intracellular concentrations of magnesium are related to a reduced risk of colorectal adenoma after controlling for urinary excretion of calcium in a case-control study. Role: PI Project supported by UL1 RR024975 (NCRR/NIH) 07/17/08 – 07/17/12 NIH (The Vanderbilt CTSA grant): Magnesium, calcium and risk of PIN and prostate cancer $15,000 Project goal: The major goal of this pilot study is to investigate whether serum concentrations of magnesium are associated with reduced risks of PIN and prostate cancer. Role: Project Leader R21AG028182-01 (PI, Amy R Borenstein) 05/15/07 – 02/28/10 NIA: Risk factors for brain atrophy, mild cognitive impairment and dementia in Shanghai $23,806 Project goal: The major goals are to develop infrastructure and collaborative relationships to pursue epidemiologic studies on Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and brain atrophy in China. The ultimate goal is to establish a personalized preventive strategy that will reduce the incidence and impact disease progression of these disorders. Role: PI of the subcontract Project supported by UL1 RR024975 (NCRR/NIH) 09/01/10 – 08/31/12 NIH (The Vanderbilt CTSA grant): Oxidative stress, Inflammation and Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease $8,100 Project goal: The major goal of this pilot study is to investigate the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease Role: Project Leader 5P50 CA 90949-02 (PI, David Carbone) 10/01/02 – 12/31/05 NCI: Pharmacogenomics in Lung Cancer Therapy: A Pilot Study $50,000 Project goal: The major aim of this pilot study is to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a full-scale pharmacogenomic study in lung cancer patients diagnosed and/or treated at the Vanderbilt University Hospital and Nashville VA Medical Center. This study is funded as a pilot project in the Vanderbilt SPORE in lung cancer. Role: Project Leader