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Borrego and Davis Lynn Become Independent Research Scholars

David Borrego and Brittny Davis Lynn

In August 2019, David Borrego, Ph.D., and Brittny Davis Lynn, Ph.D., M.P.H., were inducted into the inaugural cohort of the NIH Independent Research Scholar Program sponsored by the Office of Intramural Research. The program aims to build the workforce diversity of independent research scientists by supporting participants with funding and mentorship, with the expectation that participants will be highly competitive for tenure-track investigator positions either within or outside of NIH.

Dr. Borrego joined DCEG as a postdoctoral fellow in the Radiation and Epidemiology Branch (REB) in 2016 under the mentorship of Choonsik Lee, Ph.D., senior investigator in REB and dosimetry unit head and Cari Kitahara, Ph.D., M.H.S., tenure-track investigator in REB. 

Dr. Borrego focuses on conducting state-of-the-art research to improve our understanding and modeling of how ionizing radiation, like medical x-rays from radiography and fluoroscopy, deposit energy in the tissues of the human body. Dr. Borrego addresses concerns about the increased use of fluoroscopically guided interventional (FGI) procedures by developing models of exposure assessment to estimate the radiation dose in radiosensitive organs and tissues. This work may improve future epidemiological studies of radiogenic health risks and guide clinicians in strategizing and implementing changes to reduce risks without compromising medical benefits. Dr. Borrego also studies occupational doses and trends over time among medical workers performing FGI procedures, which may better inform radiation protection practices. His work and contributions to the field have been recognized by several awards, including the DCEG Fellowship Achievement award, DCEG Intramural Research Award, and NCI Director’s Award for Population Science.

Dr. Davis Lynn joined the Biostatistics Branch as an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow in September 2016, where she conducted research under the mentorship of William Anderson, M.D., M.P.H., and later in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB) under the guidance of Gretchen Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., deputy chief and senior investigator of ITEB, and Montserrat Garcia-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., deputy director of DCEG and acting chief of ITEB. In 2018, she was selected as a Rising Star in Biomedical Research.

Dr. Davis Lynn studies breast cancer etiology and progression in minority women. She aims to gain a more comprehensive understanding of racial differences in breast cancer incidence on a macro- (descriptive ecological studies) and micro- (molecular epidemiologic studies) level. Dr. Davis Lynn hopes to identify risk factors that influence breast cancer subtype-specific incidence trends at the international and local level, through continued surveillance of incidence trends and ecological studies. Results from this work may guide breast cancer prevention practices tailored to specific groups of women.

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