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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Current Fellows in the Clinical Genetics Branch

Meet the current fellows in the Clinical Genetics Branch and learn about current research training opportunities.

Clara Bodelon, Ph.D., M.S. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Clara Bodelon

Clara Bodelon, Ph.D., M.S., joined DCEG as a postdoctoral fellow in January 2011. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics from Boston University in 2001. From 2002 to 2006, Dr. Bodelon did postdoctoral research at The Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA) attempting to understand the dynamics of visual processing. In 2009, Dr. Bodelon received a Master of Science degree in epidemiology from the University of Washington. While working on this degree, she examined the association between the use of analgesics and the risk of endometrial cancer. She also studied relationships between hormonally-related factors and esophageal cancer and the immunogenetic susceptibility of cervical and vulvar cancers. In 2015, she transitioned to the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB), where she is working with Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Chief and senior investigator, CGB, on projects related to the molecular epidemiology of ovarian cancer.

Scientific Publications - Clara Bodelon

Ronald Eldridge, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Ronald Eldridge

Ronald Eldridge, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined the Hormone and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) in September of 2014 as a NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow, and transitioned to the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) in 2015. Prior to joining NCI, he obtained his B.S. in biology from Loyola University Chicago, and his M.P.H. and Ph.D. in epidemiology from Emory University. During his graduate studies, he conducted research in the fields of breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers by investigating the genetic, behavioral, and demographic causes of those cancers. His doctoral dissertation examined the harmful effects oxidative stress has on colorectal adenoma, and how obesity increases adenoma risk through the oxidative stress process. In CGB, Dr. Eldridge is continuing to pursue his research interests of mediation analysis and molecular mechanisms, primarily in gynecological cancers. He is currently working under the mentorship of Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Chief and senior investigator, CGB, to clarify the molecular and epidemiologic reasons that increase a woman's risk of cervical and endometrial cancers.

Scientific Publications - Ronald Eldridge

Shivani Jain, M.Sc., M.Phil. - Predoctoral Fellow

Shivani Jain joined DCEG as a pre-doctoral fellow in June 2015. Ms. Jain earned a master's degree with distinction in global health and development from the University College London in 2012 and a master's degree with distinction in epidemiology from the University of Cambridge in 2013. Ms. Jain is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Cambridge through the NIH/Oxford/Cambridge Scholars Program. In DCEG, Ms. Jain initially worked with Sam Mbulaiteye, MBChB, M.Phil., M.Med., senior investigator in the Infections and Immunology Branch, evaluating the role of cytoadherence of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in Burkitt lymphoma using a genomics approach. In 2015, she transitioned to the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB), where she is working with Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Chief and senior investigator, CGB, to develop a series of polygenic risk models for ovarian cancer using the OCAC OncoArray data, in addition to other previously unused resources. She is also working on the improvement of statistical methods for SNP selection and the evaluation of three different annotation methods as they apply to ovarian cancer risk.

Scientific Publications - Shivani Jain

Nicholas Khan, B.A. – Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Nicholas Khan joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) as a postbaccalaureate fellow in November 2013. Mr. Khan received his B.A. in public health studies from the Johns Hopkins University and is earning an M.S.P.H. in health policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His work prior to joining CGB includes experience with both laboratory and public health research and covers a range of topics including childhood obesity and intimate-partner violence. In DCEG, Mr. Khan works under the mentorship of Jennifer T. Loud, R.N., C.R.N.P., D.N.P., Assistant Branch Chief of CGB, and Douglas Stewart, M.D., investigator, CGB, on several projects, including the association of phenotype and DICER1 mutations in a prospective cohort.

Scientific Publications - Nicholas Khan

Payal Khincha, M.B.B.S. - Clinical Fellow

Payal Khincha, M.B.B.S., has joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) as a clinical fellow. Dr. Khincha first came to CGB as a special volunteer and clinical collaborator in July 2012 for the research component of a clinical fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), Washington, D.C., which she recently completed. She received her M.B.B.S. degree in 2005 from Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore, India, and completed her residency training in pediatrics in 2010 at Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York and CNMC, Washington D.C. Dr. Khincha began her clinical pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship at CNMC in 2011, and as part of her research component at CGB, focused on the clinical management, diagnosis, and genotype-phenotype relationships of dyskeratosis congenita (DC), a cancer-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndrome and telomere biology disorder. As a clinical fellow in CGB, Dr. Khincha works with Sharon A. Savage, M.D., Chief of CGB, on DC and telomere biology studies, and with Dr. Savage and Phuong Mai, M.D., on the Li-Fraumeni Syndrome study.

Scientific Publications - Payal Khincha

Angela Liu - Medical Research Fellow

Angela Liu

Angela Liu, B.S., joined DCEG as a medical research scholar through the Medical Research Scholar Program (MRSP) in August 2014. She received her bachelor of science in neuroscience with a minor in biomedical research from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010. She is a medical doctoral candidate at University of California, San Diego, currently on an away research fellowship for the school year of 2014-2015. She studied receptor-tyrosine kinase signal transduction and intra-tumoral heterogeneity in glioblastoma as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Paul Mischel's laboratory at UCLA (2006-2010), and later as a medical student researcher in Dr. Cameron Brennan's laboratory at the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2012). Ms. Liu also studied the role of CD44 alternative-splicing in the epidermal-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in breast cancer, as well as CD44 alternative splicing in KRAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma in Dr. Chonghui Cheng's lab at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine (2010-2011). As a medical research fellow in CGB, Ms. Liu'S research focuses on cervical cancer risk stratification. Specifically, she is working with Deputy Chief and senior investigator Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., on The Biopsy Project to study the determinants of colposcopy impression and biopsy placement in women with abnormal cervical cancer screening results.

Jenni Young, M.A., M.S., LGMFT - Predoctoral Fellow

Jenni Young, M.A., M.S., LGMFT, joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) of NCI as a predoctoral fellow in September, 2014. She is a first year family science doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned a B.A. in psychology and Mandarin Chinese from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an M.A. in Chinese language and culture from The Ohio State University. Ms. Young graduated from the University of Maryland’s Couple and Family Therapy M.S. Program in May and is a licensed Couple and Family Therapist in the state of Maryland. In CGB, she works with Mark H. Greene, M.D., senior investigator, and Jennifer T. Loud, R.N., C.R.N.P., D.N.P., Assistant Branch Chief, doing psychosocial and qualitative research on Li-Fraumeni syndrome families.

Scientific Publications - Jenni Young

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Learn about research training opportunities in the Clinical Genetics Branch.