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2021 Coleman Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award Granted to Six DCEG Fellows

Recipients of the 2021 Coleman Health Disparities Research Award

Top: Jacqueline Vo, Ian Buller

Middle: Derek Brown, Naoise Synnott

Bottom: Cody Ramin, Jessica Madrigal

Six postdoctoral fellows from DCEG received the 2021 William G. Coleman Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award for projects addressing disparities in cancer survivorship, breast cancer treatment, and exposure to air pollution. The grants, sponsored by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, will support their investigations for the upcoming year.

An interdisciplinary group of fellows consisting of Jacqueline B. Vo, Ph.D., R.N., M.P.H., in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB), Ian Buller, Ph.D., M.A., in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB), and Naoise Synnott, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Derek Brown, Ph.D., both in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch, combined their diverse expertise to examine a growing disparity in cancer mortality among cancer survivors across socioeconomic status. The fellows drafted a proposal entitled, “HDoCS in PLCO: Health Disparities of Cancer Survivors in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.” With this project, the group aims to describe and quantify cancer-related health disparities related to socioeconomic and genetic ancestry factors, to understand the effects on cancer survivor mortality rates, and to help identify resource limitations and impact future research priorities.

Cody Ramin, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in REB, studies breast cancer etiology and the role of cancer therapy on second cancer risk among breast cancer survivors. With her proposal, “Endogenous hormones and ultrasound tomography measures of breast density by race in a longitudinal study of women undergoing tamoxifen therapy,” she will examine the association between endogenous hormones and breast density in relation to tamoxifen initiation. Though small, this will be the first longitudinal study with repeated measures of both endogenous hormones and breast density among a racially diverse study population using tamoxifen therapy. 

Jessica Madrigal, Ph.D., M.S., a postdoctoral fellow in OEEB, uses geographic information systems (GIS) to assess environmental exposure and to identify determinants of environmental exposures that are related to cancer risk in adults and children. Her proposal, “Estimating sociodemographic inequities in potential exposure to point source carcinogenic industrial air pollution emissions in the United States,” seeks to describe the geographic distribution of known and probable carcinogenic air emissions and elucidate the cross-sectional relationships between the density of those emissions and sociodemographic characteristics across the country.

The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award is a competitive award program designed to support the development of innovative research ideas and concepts contributed by post-doctoral fellows, staff scientists and staff clinicians within the NIMHD Intramural Research Program, who have the potential for high impact in any area of minority health and health disparities research.