OE&CPM Faculty: John Kovach

John S. Kovach, MD
Office Phone: (631) 444-9339
e-mail: john.kovach@stonybrook.edu 
Academic Interests:
Cancer; Molecular Biomarkers of Cancer; Molecular Epidemiology; Environmental Exposures
Dr. Kovach has long been interested in the causation and treatment of cancer. While director of the cancer center, he established a database of about 700 women and 200 men with and without breast and prostate cancer, respectively, consisting of medical and demographic information and samples of DNA and serum to enhance opportunities for research at Stony Brook University on these most common cancers.

His interest in cancer biomarkers led to a focus on molecular epidemiology as an approach to understanding environmental factors that increase the incidence of specific diseases. Currently he is attempting to determine the role, if any, of environmental exposure to heavy metals as a contributor to breast and thyroid cancer and to benign but serious common diseases including osteoporosis and fetal growth retardation. A recent publication listed below, Gallagher et al. (2008), was cited by the European Food Safety Authority [EFSA Scientific Opinion, Cadmium in Food, EFSA Journal 980: page 85 (2009)] as the first study to assess the effect of total body cadmium and bone mineral density and risk of hip fracture. Based in part upon this study, the European Commission on Cadmium in Food lowered the permissible tolerable weekly intake of dietary cadmium by more than 50%.

Selected Publications: (since 2000)
 Blaszyk H, Hartmann A, Cunningham J, Schaid D, Wold LE, Kovach JS, Sommer SS. A prospective trial of mid-western breast cancer patients. A p53 gene mutation is the most important predictor of adverse outcome. Int. J. Cancer.2000; 89:32-38.

 Buzin CH, Tang S-H-E,  Cunningham JM,  Shibata A,  Ross RK, Hartman A, Blaszyk H, Kovach JS. Low frequency of p53 gene mutations in breast cancers of Japanese-American  women. Nutrition and Cancer. 2001; 39:72-77.


Zhu W, Wang X, Ma Y, Rao M, Glimm J, Kovach, JS.  Detection of Cancer  Specific  Markers Amid Massive Mass Spectral Data.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA). 2003;100: 14666-14671.


Kenning GG, Rodriguez R, Zotev VS, Moslemi A, Wilson S, Hawel L, Byus C, Kovach JS.  Detection of magnetically enhanced cancer tumors using SQUID magnetometry: A feasibility study.  Review of Scientific Instruments. 2005; 76: 014303-1 to 9.


Schoenfeld ER, Davis MV, Kovach JS, Mchunguzi C, Nies MA. A community and  Academic Partnership to Improve Breast Cancer Outcomes for African Americans on  Long island: a Ministry if Health Dissemination. Home Health Care Management and Practice.2006; 18:361-369.


Gallagher CN, Kovach JS, Meliker JR. Urinary Cadmium and Osteoporosis in US Women = > 50 Years of Age: NHANES 1988-1994 and 1999-2004. 2008 Env Health Perspect. 116 (10).


Gallagher CM, Moonga BS, Kovach JS. Cadmium, follicle-stimulating hormone, and effects on bone in women age 42-60 years, NHANES III. Environ Res. 2010 Jan;110(1):105-11. Epub .


Gallagher CM, Chen JJ, Kovach JS. Urine cadmium and breast cancer: NHANES 1999-2008 and Long Island, New York, 2008-2009 Submitted, July 2010


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