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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Kara Michels, Ph.D., joined the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) in 2016 as a postdoctoral fellow, and was promoted to research fellow in 2019. She previously completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Michels received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee in 2014, her M.P.H. from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and her B.A. in biology from Willamette University, Salem, Oregon.

Dr. Michels studies the health of women’s reproductive systems, focusing on improving our understanding of the metabolic pathways that play a role in the development of gynecologic cancer. She is also interested in how potentially modifiable factors—such as diet, obesity, sleep, infection, and medication use—influence cancer risk through these pathways. In  MEB, Dr. Michels conducts studies on molecular markers and reproductive factors associated with ovarian and endometrial cancer risk, under the mentorship of Christian Abnet, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief and senior investigator.