Dr. Leila Abar joined DCEG as a postdoctoral fellow in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) in March 2023. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular and genetic epidemiology from Imperial College London, UK in 2022. Her doctoral research focused on genetic- and lifestyle-related determinants of serum biomarkers and their effect on the risk of complex disorders— including cancer—by applying genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and Mendelian randomization analysis.
Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Abar worked as a research assistant for the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Continuous Update Project (CUP) at Imperial College London, UK from 2012 to 2020. The aim of the project was to synthesize global epidemiological evidence on diet, nutrition, and physical activity and the risk of, and survival from, cancer, via systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses, and to inform lifestyle recommendations and public health policy.
Dr. Abar, under the mentorship of Erikka Loftfield, Ph.D., M.P.H., Earl Stadtman Investigator, is working on lifestyle-related modifiable risk factors, mainly diet, and causal determinants of colorectal cancer risk.