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People in the News

DCEG staff members often receive scientific and professional society awards and recognition. In addition, they present their research at scientific conferences and participate in other events. Read about current DCEG people in the news below, and view an archive of past people in the news.

Pfeiffer, Morton Elected Women Science Advisors

Ruth Pfeiffer, Ph.D., and Lindsay Morton, Ph.D., have been elected to serve as Women Scientist Advisors (WSAs). The two will advise Division Director Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., on issues relevant to women scientists and engage with their peers on a wide range of topics to enhance and improve the workplace for women scientists. Read more about the new WSAs.

Winners Announced for the 2016 DCEG Informatics Tool Challenge

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Eight winners of the 2016 DCEG Informatics Tool Challenge were announced in June. Since 2014, the competitive funding challenge has provided support for innovative approaches to further enhance DCEG’s epidemiological methods, data collection, analysis, and other research efforts through the use of modern technology and informatics. Read more about the 2016 DCEG Informatics Tool Challenge winners.

Aimée Kreimer Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH

In June 2016, Aimée Kreimer, Ph.D., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH. Dr. Kreimer’s research focuses on the etiology and prevention of cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). She has particular interests in translational research and the natural history of HPV infection at multiple anatomic sites. Read more about Dr. Kreimer's research.

Jianxin Shi Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH

In June 2016, Jianxin Shi, Ph.D., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH. Dr. Shi develops statistical approaches to study the role of genetics in cancer etiology and survival, and analysis of the microbiome. His work has focused on methods to analyze genome-wide association data for the detection and association testing of copy number variations and for estimating genetic heritability of cancer survival. Read more about Dr. Shi's research.

Maria Constanza Camargo Selected as 2016 Earl Stadtman Investigator

Maria Constanza Camargo, Ph.D., was selected as an NIH Earl Stadtman Investigator in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch. Her research focuses on the etiology of gastric cancer, in particular the role of chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori, and molecular epidemiological characteristics of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Read more about Dr. Camargo's research.

Meredith Shiels Appointed Tenure-Track Investigator for Descriptive Epidemiology

Meredith Shiels, Ph.D., was appointed as a tenure-track investigator in the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch. Dr. Shiels employs descriptive epidemiological approaches to identify novel risk factors for cancer. She has a special interest in cancer among HIV-infected individuals, and the influence of tobacco on cancer risk. Read more about Dr. Shiels's research.

Gary Fraser Delivers 2016 Arthur Schatzkin Distinguished Lecture in Nutritional Epidemiology

In May 2016, Dr. Gary Fraser, Professor in the Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle, and Disease Prevention of Loma Linda University School of Public Health gave the fourth Arthur Schatzkin Distinguished Lecture in Nutritional Epidemiology. Read more about the 2016 Arthur Schatzkin Lecture.

Staff Recognized at 2016 Spring DCEG Town Hall Meeting

In May, DCEG held a Town Hall Meeting to recognize the accomplishments of Division members during the past year. Director Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., gave an update on Division activities and paid special tribute to those who have made a substantial impact with their scientific contributions and service to the Division and Institute in 2015. Read more about the 2016 Spring DCEG Town Hall Meeting.

DCEG Participates in 2016 AACR Annual Meeting

AACR Scholar-in-Training awardees Hannah Oh and Maeve Mullooly

In April 2016, several DCEG staff members took part in the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in New Orleans, Louisiana. This five-day event highlighted the latest scientific advances in basic, clinical, and epidemiologic cancer research. Find out more about DCEG at AACR.

DCEG Hosts HIV and Cancer Workshop

In April 2016, DCEG hosted a one-day workshop on HIV and cancer. The goals of the meeting were to identify scientific questions and hypotheses related to HIV and cancer, to discuss approaches for addressing these knowledge gaps, and to encourage collaboration. Read more about the workshop.

Noel Weiss Gives Visiting Scholar Lecture; Shares Lessons Learned in Presenting Data on Gene-Environment Interactions

In March, Dr. Noel Weiss, professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington (UW), School of Public Health and Community Medicine, gave a Visiting Scholar lecture titled "Presenting data on potential gene-environment interactions: Lessons from recent studies of the epidemiology of cancer.” Read more about Dr. Weiss' Visiting Scholar lecture.

NCI GeoViewer Expanded with Historical Data from the U.S. Cancer Mortality Maps

Map uses colors to represent five grouped death rates per 100,000 people.

In a close collaboration with the NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), investigators in DCEG recently completed the migration of historical U.S. mortality data from the NCI Cancer Mortality Maps (CMM) website to GeoViewer, a visualization mapping tool that until now only displayed the most recent five years of data. Learn more about the expanded GeoViewer tool.

American Heart Association Selects Leisure Time Physical Activity Paper as Most Impactful in 2015

The American Heart Association Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Council recognized the work of former DCEG fellow Dr. Hannah Arem and Charles E. Matthews, Ph.D., for their study entitled “Leisure time physical activity and mortality: A detailed pooled analysis of the doseā€response relationship.” The paper was selected as one of the most important publications in 2015 in support of the Council’s mission. Read more about this honor.



Jackie Lavigne Praised for Efforts to Champion Workforce Diversity

In March 2016, Jackie Lavigne, Ph.D., M.P.H, Chief of the Office of Education, was recognized in Cancer for her contributions to promote diversity within the biomedical workforce at NCI and beyond. Dr. Lavigne collaborates with others across NIH to promote diversity through a number of outreach, recruitment, and retention programs. Read more about Dr. Lavigne.

Louise Brinton Appointed Scientific Advisor for International Activities

Louise A. Brinton, Ph.D., M.P.H., has been appointed Scientific Advisor for International Activities in the DCEG Office of the Director. In this new position, Dr. Brinton will utilize her extensive experience in leading epidemiologic studies around the globe. Read more about Dr. Brinton.

Sharon Savage Discusses Telomeres in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome at NIH Rare Disease Day 2016

In recognition of Rare Disease Day 2016, Sharon Savage, M.D., Chief of the Clinical Genetics Branch, discussed her research on Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS) at a day-long symposium hosted by NIH. Her talk, which was titled “Bench to Bedside Update: Telomeres in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome,” was recorded. Read more about Dr. Savage's talk and watch a video of her presentation.

Charles Matthews Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH

Charles E. Matthews, Ph.D.

In March, Charles E. Matthews, Ph.D., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH. Dr. Matthews studies the relationship between physical activity behaviors and the development of cancer. In particular he seeks to understand how the full spectrum of physical activity behaviors influences cancer risk. Read more about Dr. Matthews and his research. 

Ethel Gilbert Retires, Receives Gold Medal for Radiation Protection

Ethel S. Gilbert, Ph.D., staff scientist in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB), retired after nearly 20 years at NCI. She is internationally recognized for her outstanding contributions to statistical methodology for radiation epidemiology studies. Read more about Dr. Gilbert and her research accomplishments.

American Society of Preventive Oncology Names Distinguished Achievement Award in Honor of Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr.

Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., M.D., former Director of DCEG, has been honored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO), whose Executive Committee unanimously voted to rename its Distinguished Career Achievement Award as the ASPO Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., Distinguished Achievement Award. This award celebrates and acknowledges public health scientists who have made significant contributions to cancer research and prevention. Read more about Dr. Fraumeni and the ASPO award.

Highlights from the 2016 NCI Intramural Scientific Investigators Retreat

On January 12, 2016, DCEG scientists participated in the annual NCI Intramural Scientific Investigators Retreat. Mary H. Ward, Ph.D., received the NCI Women Scientist Advisors' Mentoring and Leadership Award. Montserrat Garcia-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., and Charles E. Matthews, Ph.D., gave presentations highlighting their research. Read more about the retreat.

DCEG Honorees at the 2015 NCI Director’s Award Ceremony

Several DCEG staff members were honored for their outstanding mentoring, leadership, and commitment to NCI at the Director’s Awards ceremony in November. Read more about this year's honorees.

Christian Abnet Appointed Chief of New Metabolic Epidemiology Branch

Christian C. Abnet, Ph.D., M.P.H., has been appointed Chief of the newly established Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB). MEB is the result of a merger of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch and the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch (NEB). The new MEB will focus on enhanced scientific collaboration on research themes shared by principal investigators from the two original Branches. Read more about Dr. Abnet.

Neal Freedman Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH

In November, Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., M.P.H., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH. Dr. Freedman conducts multidisciplinary epidemiologic studies to investigate the role of lifestyle and metabolic factors in cancer etiology, in particular the mechanisms by which tobacco products cause cancer and the risk factors for liver cancer. Read more about Dr. Freedman and his research.

Gloria Petersen Gives Visiting Scholar Lecture

Gloria Petersen

Gloria M. Petersen, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Associate Director for Population Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, gave a DCEG Visiting Scholar lecture in October 2015. Her talk was titled “Recent advances in genetics and risk assessment of pancreatic cancer.” Read more about Dr. Petersen's lecture.

Staff Recognized at 2015 Fall DCEG Town Hall Meeting

In November, DCEG Director Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., held a Town Hall Meeting to commend the recent accomplishments of both scientific and administrative support staff and to provide an update on Division activities. Each year, the Division recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide outstanding service to their Office, Branch, or the Division as a whole. DCEG Special Appreciation Awards were given to Sarah Wagner, Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory, and Sharon Coles-Calloway, Administrative Resource Center. Read more about the Town Hall Meeting.

2015 DCEG Intramural Research Awards

DCEG Intramural Research Awards (IRAs) are competitive funding opportunities designed to foster creative, high-impact research by fellows and tenure-track investigators. Proposals are evaluated on their potential for significant scientific or public health impact, innovation, interdisciplinary nature, ability to achieve the objectives within the proposed time frames and with the proposed resources, and programmatic relevance to DCEG’s mission. Find out about this year's winning IRA proposals.

Michael Alavanja Retires from NCI

In October 2015, Michael C. R. Alavanja, Dr.P.H., retired after more than 30 years with NCI. Dr. Alavanja is a leading expert in environmental and occupational epidemiology, particularly recognized for his work to identify pesticide exposures that may be responsible for excess cancer risk among farmers. He was a senior investigator in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch and a member of the U.S. Public Health Service (retired in 2008). Read more about Dr. Alavanja.

Jennifer Loud Receives the 2015 John P. Hartinger Leadership Development Award

Jennifer Loud

In October 2015, Jennifer T. Loud, R.N., C.R.N.P., D.N.P., Assistant Chief of the Clinical Genetics Branch, received the NCI John P. Hartinger Leadership Development Award. This award is competitively awarded each year to an NCI employee in recognition of leadership potential, commitment to public service, and desire to further his/her executive development. Read more about Dr. Loud's award.

Nilanjan Chatterjee Departs from NCI

Nilanjan Chatterjee, Ph.D., departed in September from the Biostatistics Branch after 16 years with NCI. In his new position he will serve as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins University with joint appointments at the Bloomberg School of Public Health (Biostatistics) and the School of Medicine (Oncology). Learn more about Dr. Chatterjee.

Lindsay Morton Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH

Lindsay Morton

In October, Lindsay Morton, Ph.D., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH. Dr. Morton investigates the causes of and risk factors for second primary malignancies and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Read more about Dr. Morton and her research.

DCEG Mourns Biostatistician and Mentor Sholom Wacholder

Sholom Wacholder

Sholom Wacholder, Ph.D., biostatistician and senior investigator in the Biostatistics Branch, died October 4, 2015, at his home in Rockville, Maryland. "Dr. Wacholder made tremendous contributions to the fields of cancer epidemiology and biostatistics as well as to his community of colleagues at NCI and to those whom he mentored," said Dr. Stephen Chanock, Divsion Director. "He will be greatly missed by all of us. He was a special colleague and friend to so many." Read more about Dr. Wacholder.

NIH Fogarty Newsletter Features DCEG Benzene Research in China

Martha S. Linet, M.D., M.P.H., was featured in the Sep/Oct 2015 issue of the NIH Fogarty International Center Global Health Matters newsletter. The article, titled “Benzene research in China informs EPA regulations,” described how scientists at NCI and China’s Center for Disease Control have been studying benzene’s effects on Chinese factory workers for nearly 30 years. The collaborative research has benefited public health by reducing levels of exposure to this known carcinogen. Read the article in Fogarty’s Global Health Matters newsletter.

Montserrat García-Closas Named Deputy Director of DCEG

Montserrat García-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., has been appointed Deputy Director of DCEG. Dr. García-Closas is an internationally recognized expert in the use of biomarkers, sophisticated exposure assessment, and rigorous methodology in large-scale epidemiological studies to investigate of the causes of breast and bladder cancers. Read more about Dr. García-Closas.

Winners Announced for the 2015 DCEG Informatics Tool Challenge

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Nine winners have been announced for the 2015 DCEG Informatics Tool Challenge, building on the successful launch of the Challenge in 2014. Submissions were evaluated for their innovative use of current technologies to address a specific research need, the ability for the project to be completed within one year of initiation, and the cost, which was not to exceed $20,000. Find out more about the 2015 Informatics Tool Challenge winning submissions.

Mark Purdue Returns to DCEG

In July 2015, Mark Purdue, Ph.D., rejoined DCEG after serving as the Executive Scientific Director of the Ontario Health Study in in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Purdue returned as a tenure-track investigator in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch. His interests center on applying molecular and classical epidemiologic methods to study the causes of cancer and to improve exposure assessment. In particular, he investigates the etiology of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and kidney cancer, and evaluates the potential carcinogenicity of trichloroethylene and other chlorinated solvents. Learn more about Dr. Purdue.

Stephen Chanock Presents at ASCO

In May, Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., DCEG Director, delivered a talk at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. He spoke on “Risks and benefits of real-time molecular profiling” during an education session on “Real-time molecular genetic profiling: The future is now (or is it)?”.

New Tenure-Track Investigator in REB

Cari Kitahara, Ph.D., is now a tenure-track investigator in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch. Her research focuses on low-dose radiation exposure and cancer risks in medical workers and the etiology of radiosensitive cancers, particularly thyroid cancer and glioma. Learn more about Dr. Kitahara.

New Tenure-Track Investigators in OEEB

Jonathan Hofmann, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Stella Koutros, Ph.D., are now tenure-track investigators in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch. 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. Dr. Koutros’s research involves the design and conduct of epidemiologic investigations to evaluate occupational exposures as potential risk factors for cancer. Learn more about Dr. Hofmann and Dr. Koutros.
View an archive of past people in the news.