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DCEG News Updates

The latest news and research findings from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

    • Jonathan Hofmann Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH
      , by Julian Cantella, M.A.

      Jonathan Hofmann, Ph.D., M.P.H., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH and promoted to senior investigator in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch. He is an internationally recognized leader in using molecular approaches to study the etiology of kidney cancer, multiple myeloma, and other malignancies.

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    • 2022 Diversity Career Development Program Selections
      , by Justine E. Yu, Ph.D.

      Postdoctoral fellows Burak Altintas, M.D., in the Clinical Genetics Branch, Brittany Lord, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S., and Waruiru Mburu, Ph.D., M.P.H., in the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch, Omonefe Omofuma, Ph.D., M.S., in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch, and Elisa Pasqual, Ph.D., in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch were selected for the 2022 NCI Diversity Career Development Program (DCDP).

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    • Small Increases in Physical Activity Could Prevent Over 100,000 Deaths/Year
      , by Elise Tookmanian, Ph.D.

      A research letter from Pedro Saint-Maurice, Ph.D., and Charles Mathews, Ph.D., in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch and Barry Graubard, Ph.D., in the Biostatistics Branch, reported that if the adult population in the United States increased moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity by 10 minutes per day, more than 100,000 deaths per year could be prevented. Similar benefits were observed regardless of sex or racial and ethnic group.

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    • Roni Falk Retires from DCEG
      , by DCEG Staff

      Roni Falk, M.S., staff scientist in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB) retired after 38 years of service to the NCI. Ms. Falk made critical contributions to epidemiologic studies on endogenous hormones and cancer risk.

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    • Gastric Autoantibodies Associated with Elevated Gastric Cancer Risk in Women
      , by Elise Tookmanian, Ph.D.

      Using blood samples from a cohort of young Finnish women, Minkyo Song, M.D., Ph.D., and Charles Rabkin, M.D., in the Infections and Immunology Branch and colleagues discovered an association between the presence of gastric parietal cell antibodies, which are used to diagnose autoimmune gastritis, and elevated risk of gastric cancer. These findings may explain the recent rise in gastric cancer developing at a young age.

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    • Li Cheung Appointed Earl Stadtman Tenure-track Investigator
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Dr. Cheung was appointed Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator in the Biostatistics Branch. Dr. Cheung studies the etiology and natural history of cancer, particularly focusing on the development, implementation, and translation of statistical methodology to understand cancer progression and to construct actionable guidelines for the prevention and early detection of disease.

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    • New Risk Model Aims to Reduce Breast Cancer Disparities in Black Women
      , by NCI Staff

      Most breast cancer risk tools were developed with data mainly from White women and don’t work as well for Black women. A new tool that estimates risk for Black women may help identify those who might benefit from earlier screening, enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment.

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    • International Agency for Research on Cancer Produces New Cervical Cancer Screening Handbook
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Nicolas Wentzensen chaired, and Mark Schiffman participated in an international working group convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), to develop an IARC Handbook of Cancer Prevention for cervical cancer. The IARC handbook summarizes the evidence on cervical cancer biology, diagnosis, and screening and demonstrates that HPV DNA testing for cervical screening has higher effectiveness and better balance of benefits and harms compared to other approaches.

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    • Zhiwei Liu Appointed to Tenure Track in the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch
      , by DCEG Staff

      Dr. Liu investigates the role of infection and immune response in the etiology of virus-related cancers. Utilizing high-throughput omics technologies and other cutting-edge techniques, as well as classical epidemiologic methods, Dr. Liu seeks to identify opportunities for prevention and screening and to clarify the role of host genetics in disease progression.

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    • 2021 Awards Announced at DCEG Town Hall

      In November 2021, Dr. Stephen Chanock announced numerous awards received by DCEG staff for their research excellence, mentoring, and service, including the NIH Director’s Awards, NCI Outstanding Mentor Awards, and 2022 DCEG Fellows Awards for Research Excellence (DFARE).

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    • Report from the 2021 Workshop on Breast Cancer and the Environment

      In May 2021, several experts from DCEG participated in the workshop “Breast Cancer and the Environment: Controversial and Emerging Exposures,” cohosted by the NCI and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The workshop was co-chaired by Monserrat García-Closas and Dr. Dale Sandler of NIEHS.

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    • COVID-19 Research: Cancer Screening, Mosaicism and Infection, Seroprevalence Data Visualization
      , by Sharon A. Savage, M.D., and Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      Cancer screening in the context of the pandemic, clinical validation of SARS-CoV-2 assays, genetic mosaicism and respiratory infection risk, seroprevalence data visualization tools, and more. Learn about the latest research on SARS-COV-2 with DCEG.

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    • Beyond the Signature: Exposing Mutational Patterns of Cancer
      , by Justine E. Yu, Ph.D.

      Mutational signature analysis is a powerful tool for natural history and etiologic studies and could identify high-risk populations that may benefit from tailored screening, treatment, and prevention strategies. DCEG scientists seek to uncover the relationship between these unique signature patterns and the internal processes or external exposures that caused a tumor to develop.

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    • New Guidelines for Cervical Screening and Management Based on DCEG Research
      , by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

      New guidelines for screening and clinical management of cervical precancer from the American Cancer Society, a U.S. consensus committee, and the World Health Organization, are based on research by DCEG investigators. These guidelines utilize a risk-based approach and focus on HPV testing for primary screening. Paired with vaccination against HPV, they support the global effort to accelerate cervical cancer control.

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    • Laura Beane Freeman Elected Chair of the Management Committee of EPICOH
      , by DCEG Staff

      Laura Beane Freeman, Ph.D., senior investigator in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB), was elected chair of the Management Committee of Epidemiology in Occupational Health Conference (EPICOH), the largest occupational epidemiologic society.

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    • Director’s Update: Welcoming New Leaders to the NCI
      , by Stephen J. Chanock, M.D.

      Dr. Stephen Chanock welcomes the newest director-level scientist to NCI, Dr. Katrina Goddard, and reflects on DCEG’s participation in numerous collaborations across the NCI divisions which have yielded research innovations and foundational resources.

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    • DCEG Researchers Featured in Fifty Years of the National Cancer Act Commemoration
      , by DCEG Staff

      Aimée Kreimer, Ph.D., Joseph Fraumeni, Jr., M.D., Francine S. Baker, M.S., and Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D., and Frank J. Colón-Matos, B.S., share their research and personal experiences as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act.

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    • NCI Study Highlights Pandemic’s Disproportionate Impact on Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino Individuals
      , by NCI Staff

      The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino individuals in the United States, causing more deaths by population size, both directly and indirectly, in these groups compared with White or Asian individuals. The findings, from a large surveillance study led by Meredith Shiels, Ph.D., appeared October 5, 2021, in Annals of Internal Medicine.

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    • Corey Young and Brittany Lord Receive AACR Scholar-in-Training Award for Health Disparities Meeting
      , by DCEG Staff

      The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) recognized the work of Corey Young, M.S., and Brittany Lord, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S., with financial support to attend the 2021 AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved.

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    • June Peters Recognized by the National Society of Genetic Counselors
      , by DCEG Staff

      Ms. Peters, founding genetic counselor (retired), in the Clinical Genetics Branch, received the most distinguished honor, the Natalie Weissberger Paul National Achievement Award, at the 2021 NSGC annual meeting.

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