In May, NIH awarded scientific tenure to Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB). Dr. Wentzensen joined DCEG in 2007 as a visiting fellow from Germany, where he earned his M.D. and a Ph.D. in applied tumor biology from the University of Heidelberg and a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Mainz in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. He received summa cum laude for his medical doctorate thesis on human papillomavirus (HPV) integration.
Dr. Wentzensen’s research focuses on etiologic heterogeneity and biomarker discovery of gynecological cancers—mainly cervical and ovarian—with the goal of improving screening and prevention efforts. He is applying his special expertise to the p16/Rb pathway, HPV biology, gene methylation, and molecular profiling of cancers in several studies. He recently initiated a new field effort to analyze the etiology of cervical precancers and to improve colposcopy-biopsy protocols.
Dr. Wentzensen’s research has been highly recognized internationally. He has received multiple research awards from the University of Heidelberg and awards for presentations at international scientific meetings, including a scholar-in-training award from the American Association for Cancer Research. In addition, Dr. Wentzensen has received several NCI competitive funding awards for his work on DNA methylation in gynecological cancers, including an NCI Director’s Intramural Innovation Award in 2012 to develop an HPV methylation assay.