Jonathan Hofmann, Ph.D., M.P.H.


Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch


9609 Medical Center Drive
Room SG/6E604
Rockville, MD 20850


Research Topics

Dr. Hofmann's research is focused on evaluating the role of agricultural exposures in the etiology of multiple myeloma and other cancers, and on understanding the biological mechanisms that influence the development and progression of multiple myeloma. He is also investigating the etiology of renal cell carcinoma using both classical and molecular epidemiologic approaches.

Investigating the Effects of Agricultural Exposures on Cancer Risk

Biological specimens will be a particularly important resource for future investigations of the mechanisms through which agricultural exposures (e.g., pesticides, livestock and other animals, and endotoxin and other bioaerosols) influence risk of various cancers. In order to carry out these studies, Dr. Hofmann serves as co-principal investigator on the study of Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture (BEEA), a molecular epidemiologic investigation in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS).

Within BEEA, Dr. Hofmann is investigating the relationships between agricultural exposures and intermediate biomarkers related to multiple myeloma and other cancers.

Etiologic Studies of Multiple Myeloma

The etiology of multiple myeloma, a highly fatal plasma cell malignancy, remains poorly understood. A unique feature of multiple myeloma is that it is consistently preceded by a condition called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).

Dr. Hofmann is conducting molecular epidemiologic studies of biomarkers associated with the development and progression of multiple myeloma, with a particular emphasis on elucidating the biological mechanisms through which obesity and immune dysregulation contribute to myelomagenesis.

Etiologic and Health Disparities Research on Renal Cell Carcinoma

Dr. Hofmann’s research on renal cell carcinoma focuses on understanding factors that contribute to the racial disparities in this malignancy. He serves as co-principal investigator of the U.S. Kidney Cancer Study, a population-based case-control study of blacks and whites in Detroit and Chicago. Dr. Hofmann is also conducting molecular and genetic studies of renal cell carcinoma, including evaluations of gene-environment interactions.


Dr. Hofmann received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Washington, where he conducted a longitudinal molecular epidemiologic study of organophosphate-exposed agricultural pesticide handlers for his dissertation research. After completing his doctoral degree in 2008, Dr. Hofmann joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a postdoctoral fellow. He became a research fellow in 2011 and was appointed to the position of tenure-track investigator in 2015. He has received several awards recognizing his research, including the NCI Director’s Intramural Innovation Award, the AACR Scholar-in-Training Award, and Fellows Awards for Research Excellence from both the National Institutes of Health and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

Selected Publications

  1. Hofmann JN, Birmann BM, Teras LR, Pfeiffer RM, Wang Y, Albanes D, Baris D, Colditz GA, De Roos AJ, Giles GG, Hosgood HD, Lan Q, Landgren O, Liao LM, Rothman N, Weinstein SJ, Pollak MN, Neuhouser ML, Purdue MP. Low Levels of Circulating Adiponectin Are Associated with Multiple Myeloma Risk in Overweight and Obese Individuals. Cancer Res. 2016;76(7):1935-41.

  2. Hofmann JN, Liao LM, Pollak MN, Wang Y, Pfeiffer RM, Baris D, Andreotti G, Lan Q, Landgren O, Rothman N, Purdue MP. A prospective study of circulating adipokine levels and risk of multiple myeloma. Blood. 2012;120(22):4418-20.

  3. Hofmann JN, Hoppin JA, Lynch CF, Poole JA, Purdue MP, Blair A, Alavanja MC, Beane Freeman LE. Farm characteristics, allergy symptoms, and risk of non-hodgkin lymphoid neoplasms in the agricultural health study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015;24(3):587-94.

  4. Hofmann JN, Corley DA, Zhao WK, Colt JS, Shuch B, Chow WH, Purdue MP. Chronic kidney disease and risk of renal cell carcinoma: differences by race. Epidemiology. 2015;26(1):59-67.

  5. Hofmann JN, Hosgood HD 3rd, Liu CS, Chow WH, Shuch B, Cheng WL, Lin TT, Moore LE, Lan Q, Rothman N, Purdue MP. A nested case-control study of leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number and renal cell carcinoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Carcinogenesis. 2014;35(5):1028-31.

This page was last updated on October 5th, 2018