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Kathryn Hughes Barry, PhD, MPH

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

Epidemiology & Public Health


Howard Hall 100E

Phone (Primary):




Education and Training

  • B.S., Biology and Community Health (cum laude), Tufts University, Medford, MA, 2003       
  • M.P.H., Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2005
  • M.Phil., Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2009
  • Ph.D., Cancer Epidemiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2011


Dr. Barry conducted her undergraduate studies at Tufts University and her graduate work at Yale. Prior to beginning her doctoral program at Yale, she spent two years as a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow at the Washington State Department of Health. In this role, she evaluated patterns of cancer incidence/mortality and screening in Washington State and conducted cluster investigations of non-infectious conditions, including various cancers.

Dr. Barry joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2016 after spending more than 7 years at the National Cancer Institute (Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics) as a pre-doctoral then post-doctoral fellow. For her doctoral dissertation as part of the Yale/NCI Partnership Training Program, Dr. Barry investigated the risk of cancer associated with pesticide exposures and the modifying role of inherited genetic variation in DNA repair genes (i.e. gene-environment interactions) in the U.S. Agricultural Health Study (AHS). During her post-doctoral fellowship at the NCI, she continued to study occupational and environmental risk factors for cancer and the role of genetic susceptibility in the AHS and other studies. Dr. Barry also led molecular epidemiology studies focused on identifying DNA methylation markers of prostate cancer risk (both global DNA methylation and targeted studies of DNA methylation in particular genomic regions) within the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.

At the UMSOM, Dr. Barry’s research aims to further investigate the complex interplay between genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors and cancer risk using population-based studies. Her current research largely focuses on prostate cancer, but she plans to apply similar methodologies for other cancers and to expand to study prognostic markers for cancer as well. One of the goals of Dr. Barry's research in prostate cancer is to identify biomarkers that may help distinguish aggressive disease from indolent disease that would not progress to cause harm. There is a critical need to identify markers specific to aggressive prostate cancer to avoid unnecessary treatment of indolent prostate cancers and to focus attention on cancers that are clinically relevant. Other goals of her research include to investigate the etiology of aggressive disease, which may differ from that for non-aggressive disease, as well as biological mechanisms underlying the associations between different exposures (e.g., pesticides) and cancer risk. In her future work, Dr. Barry also aims to investigate disparities in quality of life and clinical cancer outcomes for prostate cancer, among other cancers.

Research/Clinical Keywords

cancer epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, biomarkers of cancer risk and prognosis, genetic susceptibility, gene-environment interactions, epigenetic markers, DNA methylation, prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), occupational and environmental risk factors for cancer, pesticides, cancer disparities, quality of life

Highlighted Publications

Barry KH, Zhang Y, Lan Q, Zahm SH, Holford TR, Leaderer B, Boyle P, Hosgood HD 3rd, Chanock S, Yeager M, Rothman N, Zheng T. Genetic variation in metabolic genes, occupational solvent exposure and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Am J Epidemiol 2011;173(4):404-13. PMCID: 3032803.

Barry KH, Koutros S, Berndt SI, Andreotti G, Hoppin JA, Sandler DP, Burdette LA, Yeager M, Beane Freeman LE, Lubin JH, Ma X, Zheng T, Alavanja MC. Genetic variation in base excision repair pathway genes, pesticide exposure and prostate cancer risk. Environ Health Perspect 2011;119(12):1726-1732. PMCID: 3261977.

Barry KH, Koutros S, Andreotti G, Sandler DP, Burdette LA, Yeager M, Beane Freeman LE, Lubin JH, Ma X, Zheng T, Alavanja MCR, Berndt SI. Genetic variation in nucleotide excision repair pathway genes, pesticide exposure and prostate cancer risk. Carcinogenesis 2012;33(2):331-337. PMCID: 3271261.

Barry KH, Moore LE, Sampson J, Yan L, Meyer A, Oler AJ, Chung CC, Yeager M, Amundadottir L, Berndt SI. DNA methylation levels at chromosome 8q24 in peripheral blood are associated with 8q24 cancer susceptibility loci. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2014;7(12):1282-1292. PMCID: 4256110.

Barry KH, Moore LE, Liao LM, Huang WY, Andreotti G, Poulin M, Berndt SI. Prospective study of DNA methylation at LINE-1 and Alu in peripheral blood and the risk of prostate cancer. Prostate 2015;75(15):1718-1725. PMCID: 4535169.

Additional Publication Citations

For a complete list of Dr. Barry’s peer-reviewed publications, please click here.

Awards and Affiliations


  • 2012 NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence
  • 2013 NCI Director’s Innovation Award
  • 2014 AACR Scholar-in-Training Award


  • Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, 2005-present
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research, 2007-present
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), 2009-present
  • AACR Molecular Epidemiology Group, 2011-present

Links of Interest