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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention


November 2011 - Linkage Newsletter

Hannah AremHannah Arem, M.H.S., joined the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch (NEB) as a predoctoral research fellow under the Yale University-NCI Partnership Training Program. In NEB, Ms. Arem will be working with Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., on dietary and obesity-related risk factors for pancreatic cancer incidence and survival. She will also be advised by Yale mentors Dr. Susan Mayne and Dr. Melinda Irwin.

Bryan Bassig, M.P.H., left the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) to pursue a doctoral degree in epidemiology through the Yale University-NCI Partnership Training Program. After completing his course work at Yale, Mr. Bassig will return to OEEB in 2012 to carry out his doctoral research.

Samsiddhi Bhattacharjee, Ph.D., left the Biostatistics Branch (BB) to join the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in Kalyani, India, as an assistant professor.

Kelly Bolton, Ph.D., an NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholar, received her doctoral degree from Oxford University, United Kingdom, based on research conducted in collaboration with mentors at Oxford and DCEG's Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG). Dr. Bolton is a student in the medical school of the University of California, Los Angeles, and will be returning to that institution to complete her rotations.

Dianna Buckett left the Infections and Immunoepidemology Branch (IIB) to enter a master's program in molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Victoria BurtonVictoria Burton joined the Genetic Epidemiology Branch (GEB) as a postbaccalaureate fellow. She received a B.S. in molecular biology from the University of California, San Diego. Under the mentorship of Stephen Hewitt, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory of Pathology, NCI Center for Cancer Research, and Philip R. Taylor, M.D., Sc.D. (GEB), Ms. Burton will work at the Advanced Technology Center in the Tissue Array Research Program. She will investigate differential protein expression in tumors of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients from Shanxi Province, a region in China where rates of this tumor are very high.

Michael CookMichael B. Cook, Ph.D., Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch, has been promoted from research fellow to tenure-track investigator. Dr. Cook received a Ph.D. in molecular epidemiology from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in 2006; joined DCEG as a postdoctoral fellow in 2007; and became a research fellow in 2008. Dr. Cook's research interests include the epidemiology of esophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor, Barrett esophagus; the etiology of testicular and prostate cancer; and sex differences in cancer pathogenesis.

Naomi Frank left LTG after completing her postbaccalaureate fellowship. She will pursue a Ph.D. in genetics at the University of California, Davis.

Stephanie George, Ph.D., left NEB to join the Applied Research Program in the NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. Dr. George's research will focus on energy balance and the epidemiology of cancer survivorship, with attention to prognosis, cancer-related comorbidities, and measurable biological factors that predict survival.

Erin HallErin C. Hall, M.D., M.P.H, joined IIB as a special volunteer. Dr. Hall received her M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, and her M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. She is currently on leave from a general surgery residency to conduct research regarding outcomes of solid organ transplantation. Dr. Hall will be working with Eric A. Engels, M.D., M.P.H. (IIB), to evaluate the cumulative incidence of cancer and to assess the effects of induction immunosuppression on cancer risk among organ recipients.

Abdisamad IbrahimAbdisamad Ibrahim joined LTG as a postbaccalaureate fellow under the mentorship of Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D. Mr. Ibrahim obtained his B.S. with honors in genetics, cell biology, and development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. At LTG, he will be working on the functional characterization of single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer in chromosome 13q22.1.

Kathryn KapinosKathryn Kapinos was promoted to an administrative officer in the Administrative Resource Center (ARC) in June. She will provide administrative and budget support to the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB), the Office of Education (OE), and the Office of Communications and Special Initiatives (OCSI). Ms. Kapinos started with the ARC as a part-time student in May 2007. In December 2007, she graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a B.A. in psychology and became a full-time administrative technician, supporting the work of three senior administrative officers in the DCEG ARC.

Christopher KimChristopher Kim, M.P.H., joined OEEB as a predoctoral fellow. Mr. Kim received his M.P.H. in epidemiology and environmental health from Boston University in Massachusetts and is currently enrolled in the Yale University-NCI Partnership Training Program to pursue a doctoral degree in cancer epidemiology. Under the mentorship of H. Dean Hosgood, III, Ph.D., Qing Lan, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and Nathaniel Rothman, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., all of OEEB, and Dr. Yawei Zhang of Yale University, Mr. Kim will investigate molecular markers and interactions between genetic variation and air toxins in relation to lung cancer.

Jane Kim left LTG after completing her postbaccalaureate fellowship. She will attend medical school at the University of California, San Francisco.

Christine KiruthuChristine Kiruthu joined IIB as a pre-CRTA (Cancer Research Training Award) Fellow, following an internship with Demetrius Albanes, M.D., and Jacqueline Major, Ph.D., in NEB as part of the Introduction to Cancer Research Careers Program. Ms. Kiruthu has a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne. While at IIB, Ms. Kiruthu will conduct research on Burkitt lymphoma under the mentorship of Sam M. Mbulaiteye, M.D.

Victoria Landsman, Ph.D., left BB to work as a biostatistician at the Centre for Global Health Research, which is sponsored by St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, Canada.

Tess Lee left OE after three years as a program assistant. She will complete her degree in nursing from the Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland, and will later work at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Paige MaasPaige Maas joined BB as a predoctoral fellow. Ms. Maas graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California, with a B.A. in applied mathematics, and she is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Biostatistics Department at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. She will be working with Nilanjan Chatterjee, Ph.D., Chief of BB, and Mitchell H. Gail, M.D., Ph.D. (BB), on developing absolute-risk models for specific breast cancer subtypes.

Carl McCabeCarl McCabe, Ph.D., joined the Office of Division Operations and Analysis as a scientific program specialist. Dr. McCabe will serve as the lead project officer on the Biomedical Computing Support contract, currently held by Information Management Services, Inc. He will also serve as administrator of DCEG's Internet presence (both internal and public facing) and will lead the management of scientific data integration for the Division. Dr. McCabe received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Davis. His doctoral work included ethnographic fieldwork in Beijing, China, and software development for lab-based social science experiments in California. He came to NIH as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2009, where he worked in the NIH Office of the Director, Office of Extramural Research.

Victoria McCallumVictoria A. McCallum, M.P.H., joined OCSI as a technical writer and editor. She received her M.P.H. in epidemiology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, before joining NCI as a Presidential Management Fellow, where she had rotations in science communications, public health genomics, and congressional affairs. She will work with Wendy Schneider-Levinson (OCSI) as a writer and editor for DCEG Linkage. In addition, Ms. McCallum will manage and prepare reports on the Division's research portfolio, update website content, and provide support for other communications activities.

Idan Menashe, Ph.D., left BB to work as a bioinformatics scientist with MindSpec, Inc., a nonprofit organization in McLean, Virginia, that uses innovative bioinformatics strategies to accelerate research on common neurodevelopmental disorders.

Bridgett Rahim-WilliamsBridgett Rahim-Williams, Ph.D., joined IIB as a fellow from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. She received a Ph.D. in applied biomedical anthropology from the University of South Florida in Tampa. While at IIB, Dr. Rahim-Williams will conduct research on Burkitt lymphoma under the mentorship of Sam M. Mbulaiteye, M.D.

Helen ReedHelen Reed, M.P.H., joined CGB as a CRTA Fellow after receiving her M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley. Her thesis analyzed the association between herbicides in house dust and the risk of childhood leukemia. Ms. Reed will be working with Blanche P. Alter, M.D., M.P.H. (CGB), on the Inherited Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes Cohort Study and with Douglas Stewart, M.D. (CGB), on tumors associated with neurofibromatosis type 1.

Linda Ross retired in June after six years of service as an administrative officer in the DCEG ARC and a total of 30 years of government service. She will be spending time at her beach home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Fatma Shebl, M.D., Ph.D., left IIB to become an assistant professor in chronic disease epidemiology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Abbey ThompsonAbbey Thompson joined LTG as a postbaccalaureate fellow under the mentorship of Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D. Ms. Thompson obtained her B.S. in molecular biology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In LTG, she will be working on functional characterization of pancreatic cancer susceptibility loci identified by PanScan, the genome-wide association study of pancreatic cancer.

Cheng-Ping WangCheng-Ping Wang, Ph.D., joined IIB as a special volunteer for a sabbatical year from his position as a clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at the College of Medicine, National Taiwan University in Taipei, China. He will be working with Allan Hildesheim, Ph.D., Chief of IIB, and others involved in studies of environmental and genetic factors related to nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in Asia and North Africa and will be involved in the evaluation of the use of Epstein-Barr virus serology and DNA testing for screening and early detection of NPC among high-risk individuals. Dr. Wang is a longstanding collaborator on DCEG studies of NPC in high-risk multiplex families and is a co-investigator on an ongoing case-control study of NPC sponsored by the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, China.

Jianbing WangJianbing Wang, Ph.D., joined NEB as a visiting fellow after completing his Ph.D. in epidemiology at the Cancer Institute and Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing. In NEB, he will work with Sanford M. Dawsey, M.D., to complete a 25-year follow-up analysis of the Linxian Dysplasia Trial intervention and analyses of the association of vitamin D and liver cancer in the Linxian General Population Trial.

Ingrid Wentzensen, M.D., left CGB to join the Medical Genetics Fellowship program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Han ZhangHan Zhang, Ph.D., joined BB as a visiting fellow. He received a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei. Under the mentorship of Kai Yu, Ph.D. (BB), Dr. Zhang will conduct research in statistical genetics, addressing challenges arising from the study of rare genetic variants and pathway analysis. He is also interested in applying data-mining approaches to explore large-scale epidemiology studies.