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Sue M. Lai, Ph.D., M.S., MBA

Sue Lai portrait
Professor, Population Health

Program Director, Kansas Cancer Registry, University of Kansas Medical Center

Professional Background

Dr. Lai is a Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Population Health and has a secondary Professor appointment with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Lai is Director of the Kansas Statewide Cancer Registry. She is the principal investigator (PI) for the Kansas Cancer Registry grant as well as the PI for the Kansas Statewide breast cancer screening grant.

Dr. Lai received her PhD degree in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also completed a Master of Science in statistics from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her research interests include development of outcome assessment tools, clinical epidemiology in stroke, stroke rehabilitation, cardiovascular diseases, orthopedics, cancer, and health services research.

Dr. Lai has received grants from CDC, NIH, NCI, VA, ACS and AHA where she has been PI or Co-PI since 1994.

Dr. Lai is a member of many national and international cancer and neuroepidemiology committees. She is on the CDC NPCR Advisory Board for issues related to cancer surveillance in the US.

Education and Training
  • BA, Economics, National Cheng Chi University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • MBA, Accounting, Miami University, Oxford, OH
  • MS, Statistics, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Professional Affiliations
  • American Association for Cancer Research, Member, 2008 - Present
  • CDC, Scientific Advisory group for Publication of the United States Cancer Statistics , Member, 2001 - Present
  • American Academy of Neurology, Member, 1999 - Present
  • American Cancer Society and American College of Surgeons, Joint Committee of Cancer Control for Four States including Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Member, 1996 - Present
  • American Heart Association Stroke Council, Member, 1996 - Present
  • International Association of Cancer Registries, Member, 1994 - Present
  • World Federation of Neurology, Research Group on Neuroepidemiology, Member, 1993 - Present



Dr. Lai is a chronic disease epidemiologist and statistician who has secured both federal and non-federal grants from NIH, NCI, CDC, VA, ACS and AHA in a myriad of fields including stroke, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and rehabilitation. Among other projects, she has developed the Kansas Statewide Cancer Registry which she has been the principal investigator for and has successfully competed for CDC-NPCR funding every five years since 1994. Dr. Lai has also developed two population-based stroke registries with catchment areas encompassing the northeast region of Pennsylvania and the Greater Kansas City. Both population-based stroke registries were funded by NIH where she was the PI for the Kansas City Stroke Registry. Apart from studying the natural history of stroke and stroke rehabilitation, Dr Lai and her colleagues have developed outcome measures to assess outcomes after stroke as well as outcomes on patients with spine deformities. The Stroke Impact Scale was developed as a comprehensive assessment of impact after stroke. This scale has been translated into 60+ languages and is used for research and clinical practice worldwide as well as FDA approval for developing new drugs. The Scoliosis Research Outcome scale (SRS-22) which was developed to help patients with scoliosis and spine deformities has also been used worldwide.

Dr. Lai also works closely with KUMC investigators in recruiting participants and patients with various chronic conditions in multi-center pharmaceutical clinical trials and rehabilitation clinical trials in the fields of rehabilitation in stroke, Parkinson’s, and prostate cancer just to name a few.

Dr. Lai has reviewed grants for NIH as a charter member as well as having served on numerous NIH, CDC, and PCORI study sections since 2002. She is also on the editorial board for Neuroepidemiology journal since 1996.

  • Lai, S., M, Huang, L, Garimella, S, Keighley, J, West, M., M. 2021. A Midwest Tri-State Study of Overall Survival in Ovarian Cancer with Adjuvant Chemotherapy.. Journal of registry management, 48 (1), 28-35
  • Lai, S., M, KCR Investigators. 2021. KCR Cancer Data Query System. |
  • Lai, S., M, KCR Investigators. 2021. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - Associated Cancers, 2001-2018. |
  • Lai, S., M, KCR Investigators. 2021. Smoking-Associated Cancers, 2001-2018.
  • Lai, S., M, KCR Investigators. 2021. Obesity-Associated Cancers, 2001-2018.
  • Lai, S., M, KCR Investigators. 2020. Cancer Incidence by Race and Hispanic Ethnicity, 2000-2017. http://www.kumc/edu/kcr/Reports.aspx |
  • Lai, S., M, KCR Investigators. 2020. Multiple Year Report of Leading Cancers in Kansas, 2000-2017.
  • Lai, S., M, Huang, L, Garimella, S, Keighley, J, West, M., M. 2021. A Midwest Tri-State Study of Overall Survival in Ovarian Cancer with Adjuvant Chemotherapy.. Journal of registry management, 48 (1), 28-35
  • Hogan, K., O, Lai, S., M, Wagner, J., L, Fan, F. 2021. The utility of intraoperative retroareolar margin frozen section assessment and the management of atypical epithelial proliferative lesions at the retroareolar margin in nipple-sparing mastectomies.. Annals of diagnostic pathology, 51, 151697
  • Petersen, S, Shahiri, P, Jewell, A, Spoozak, L, Chapman, J, Fitzgerald-Wolff, S, Lai, S., M, Khabele, D. 2021. Disparities in ovarian cancer survival at the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kansas.. American journal of surgery, 221 (4), 712-717