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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention


November 2013 - Linkage Newsletter

Charleen D. Adams, M.A.-TESL, M.T.S., M.P.H., left the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) to attend the University of Washington in Seattle for her Ph.D. in public health genetics.

Gabriella Anic, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch (NEB) as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Anic received a Ph.D. and M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of South Florida College of Public Health in Tampa, where her dissertation focused on the natural history of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in men. She then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in genetic and molecular epidemiology at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, where she examined genetic, nutritional, and lifestyle factors associated with adult glioma. Under the direction of Demetrius Albanes, M.D. (NEB), Dr. Anic is examining the role of vitamins D and E in the risk of various cancers using data from the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study and is also looking at interactions between micronutrients and relevant genetic polymorphisms.

Nathan Brand left the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) to start medical school at Columbia University in New York, New York.

Felipe Castro, Ph.D., left the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch (IIB) to accept a postdoctoral fellowship with the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

Cher Dallal, Ph.D., left the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch (HREB) to accept an assistant professor position in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park.

Sarah E. Daugherty, Ph.D., M.P.H., left HREB to accept a position as senior program officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute in Washington, D.C.

Benjamin Emmanuel, M.P.H., left IIB to pursue his Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

Mickey Emmanuel joined LTG as a postbaccalaureate fellow. She received her B.S. in biology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she investigated cytoskeletal dynamics, specifically protein-protein interactions involved in actin depolymerization. Under the guidance of Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D. (LTG), Ms. Emmanuel is studying how common susceptibility variants identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on chromosome ch13q22 contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer and increased risk for that disease.

John Fargo, D.O., left CGB to accept a position with the Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer & Blood Disorders at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

Yi-Ping Fu, Ph.D., left LTG to accept a staff scientist position with the Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Human Genomics Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Xing Hua, Ph.D., joined the Biostatistics Branch (BB) as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Hua received his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei. His thesis focused on developing statistical methods and algorithms for analyzing cancer genome sequencing data, including calling somatic mutations and detecting driver genes. Before coming to DCEG, Dr. Hua worked at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cancer Center and the MCW Department of Physiology, both in Milwaukee, as a visiting scholar. Dr. Hua works with Jianxin Shi, Ph.D. (BB), to develop methods for driver gene detection across cancer sites, detect mutations affecting survival, and perform statistical analysis of lung cancer tumor sequencing data.

Jooyeon Hwang, Ph.D., joined the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Hwang received her Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. For her doctoral research, she developed exposure metrics of elongated mineral fibers for a cohort of taconite miners in Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, which will be used in future epidemiologic analyses of mortality, cancer incidence, and silicosis. Working with Melissa Friesen, Ph.D. (OEEB), Dr. Hwang is extending her training in methods for retrospectively assessing exposure for occupational risk factors to include exposure assessment for population-based studies and molecular epidemiologic studies.

Abdisamad Ibrahim left LTG to start medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in Illinois.

Sarah Kozey Keadle, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined NEB as a postdoctoral fellow after receiving a B.S. in health and exercise science from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, an M.S. and Ph.D. in kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an M.P.H. in quantitative methods from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. Her training focused broadly on the measurement of physical activity and sedentary behavior using activity monitors, and her dissertation examined the impact of reducing sedentary behavior on metabolic adaptations to exercise training. Dr. Keadle is working with Charles Matthews, Ph.D. (NEB), on projects examining the dose-response relationships between physical activity, sedentary behavior, and cancer prevention. She is also interested in understanding the impact of different measurement tools on the interpretation of these relationships.

Tracy M. Layne, M.P.H., joined NEB as a predoctoral fellow within the Yale-NCI Cooperative Graduate Training Program in Cancer Epidemiology. Ms. Layne received her B.S. in biological sciences from Marymount Manhattan College in New York, New York, and an M.P.H. in epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health in Massachusetts. She was previously a Cancer Research Training Award fellow in the NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences Applied Research Program and a research project coordinator at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York, where she worked on cancer survival and endometrial cancer. Under the mentorship of Demetrius Albanes, M.D. (NEB), Ms. Layne is examining the associations between vitamin D and cancer in several DCEG prospective cohort studies, with a particular interest in the influence of vitamin D on racial/ethnic cancer disparities.

Catherine Lerro, M.P.H., joined OEEB as a predoctoral fellow within the Yale-NCI Cooperative Graduate Training Program in Cancer Epidemiology. Ms. Lerro received her B.A. her in public health studies from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and her M.P.H. in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. She was previously a summer fellow at NCI and wrote her master’s thesis with Michael B. Cook, Ph.D. (HREB), and Katherine A. McGlynn, Ph.D., M.P.H., Deputy Chief of HREB. Ms. Lerro also spent two years working as an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia. She is now working with Laura Beane Freeman, Ph.D. (OEEB), to analyze pesticides and cancer risk in the Agricultural Health Study.

Luyang Liu left LTG to start medical school at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.

Erikka Loftfield, M.P.H., joined NEB as a predoctoral fellow within the Yale-NCI Cooperative Graduate Training Program in Cancer Epidemiology. Ms. Loftfield earned a B.A. in biological sciences from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and an M.P.H. in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2011, she was an Epidemiology Scholar at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she studied fruit and vegetable intake in the Heart Follow-Up Study. More recently, she worked at Yale on the Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition Study to examine how weight loss impacts biomarkers of inflammation among breast cancer survivors. Under the primary mentorship of Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D., Deputy Chief of NEB, Ms. Loftfield is exploring the etiology of various health outcomes, including oral health, mortality, and melanoma, with a particular focus on coffee consumption, a potentially important dietary factor for prevention.

Jessica Mills left the DCEG Administrative Resource Center after six years of service to work as a personnel specialist with NIH.

Daphne C. Papathomas left HREB to attend the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Florida.

Ashley Paquin joined LTG as a postbaccalaureate fellow. She earned a B.A. in biology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Before coming to NIH, she worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, studying early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital in Illinois studying genetic variants involved in neuroblastoma. Ms. Paquin is working with Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D. (LTG), on functional analyses of bladder cancer susceptibility loci identified in prior GWAS.

Hemang Parikh, Ph.D., left LTG to work at Dakota Consulting, Inc., as a contractor for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, located in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Wei Jie Seow, Sc.D., M.D., joined OEEB as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Seow recently received her doctorate in environmental molecular epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of reducing environmental exposure to arsenic, as well as genetic and epigenetic interactions, on the risk of precancerous arsenic-induced skin lesions in Bangladesh. Dr. Seow is conducting research in OEEB on the epidemiology of lung cancer in nonsmoking women in Asia; her primary mentors are Qing Lan, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and Nathaniel Rothman, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S.

Nilabja Sikdar, Ph.D., left LTG to accept a primary investigator position at the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta, India.

Hyuna Sung, Ph.D., joined the Genetic Epidemiology Branch (GEB) as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Sung received her Ph.D. in molecular epidemiology from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Graduate School, in Korea, where she evaluated the role of common genetic variants in microRNA-related genes in the prediction of risk for breast cancer. As part of her Ph.D. thesis work, Dr. Sung participated in developing and initiating a gastric cancer case-control study. In GEB, she is working under the mentorship of Philip R. Taylor, M.D., Sc.D., and Xiaohong Rose Yang, Ph.D., M.P.H., to characterize age-specific breast cancer incidence trends by hormone receptor status in Asian countries; explore the relationship between terminal ductal lobular units involution and breast cancer subtypes in different populations; and investigate genetic susceptibility based on genotyping data from subjects in the Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer GWAS.

Jose Ramon (Ray) Troche, M.P.H., joined NEB as a predoctoral fellow within the Yale-NCI Cooperative Graduate Training Program in Cancer Epidemiology. Mr. Troche received a B.A. in liberal studies and an M.P.H. in biometry from San Diego State University in California. His master’s research examined the mental health status of single mothers based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Under the primary mentorship of Christian C. Abnet, Ph.D., M.P.H. (NEB), Mr. Troche is analyzing data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) and the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. He plans to work on projects related to alcohol, lung cancer, and upper gastrointestinal cancer.

Emily Vogtmann, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined NEB as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Vogtmann received an M.P.H. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she investigated knowledge about HPV and mortality trends for cervical cancer in Mexico. She then obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her doctoral dissertation focused on cruciferous vegetable intake, GST gene polymorphisms, and colorectal cancer among men in Shanghai, China. Dr. Vogtmann is working with Christian C. Abnet, Ph.D, M.P.H. (NEB), to investigate risk factors for upper gastrointestinal cancer, including the effect of the microbiome on cancer risk.

Alan Wang left IIB to accept a staff research associate position in the Department of Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Jianbing Wang, Ph.D., left NEB for a faculty position in the Department of Epidemiology at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.

Elizabeth Yanik, Ph.D., joined IIB as a postdoctoral fellow. She earned a B.S. in microbiology with a minor in statistics from the University of Maryland, College Park, an Sc.M. in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. For her dissertation work, Dr. Yanik examined patterns of cancer incidence following the initiation of antiretroviral treatment in the Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems, a collaboration of eight clinical HIV cohorts. Dr. Yanik is working with Eric A. Engels, M.D., M.P.H. (IIB), to investigate determinants and predictors of cancer risk following solid organ transplant, primarily using the Transplant Cancer Match Study. She also plans to continue her work examining cancer risk and cancer outcomes in HIV populations.

Back to the November 2013 issue of DCEG Linkage