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James Hodge, JD, MPH

Data Analysis

man with dark hair, moustache, and beard in blue button-down shirt and blue jacket

Why I Became a Cancer Researcher

In my previous career as an environmental lawyer, I found that the best way to help a client was to find good scientific evidence. So, I decided to change paths and get into research to help develop the evidence.”

At ACS since 2017

As a data scientist at in Population Science at the American Cancer Society (ACS), James Hodge, JD, MPH, work focuses on analyzing data from the Cancer Prevention Studies and writing the occasional paper. Primarily, his role involves working with internal ACS researchers to provide the statistical answers to their research questions. Additionally, he works with external collaborators to provide data for larger research projects.

Research focus and accomplishments

In my previous career as an environmental attorney, I worked for clients with a variety of environmental and land use issues. One of the most effective ways to help the clients was to get into the scientific evidence that supported their case. Through that work I found that I was increasingly interested in reading and understanding the science, so I decided to make a career switch and become a scientist working directly to discover and develop the evidence that would help people like my former clients.

At ACS, my work is mainly in breast cancer research, though I’m also involved in projects investigating brain cancer and environmental causes of cancer. I work with both survey-based data and data derived from participant biospecimens.

Recently, I’ve also been working with external collaborators on projects using machine learning methods to analyze tumor image slides and gene expression data to gain new insights into the development and prognosis of cancer.


For a full list of Hodge's publications, visit his Google Scholar page.  

Work before ACS

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health, Epidemiology Fellow
  • Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Stack & Associates, P.C., Associate Attorney


  • MPH: Global Environmental Health, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, 2015
  • JD: Northeastern University School of Law, 2011

Personal life 

I live in Atlanta with my wife and toddler. I enjoy baking and eating desserts, espresso, and tabletop games.