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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Staff Recognized at DCEG Fall 2018 Town Hall

Posted on December 06, 2018

In November, DCEG Director Stephen Chanock, M.D., hosted the Fall Town Hall Meeting, highlighting several new developments across the Division and recognizing outstanding contributions from fellows and investigators with the following awards.

DCEG Exemplary Service Award

Sanford Dawsey recieves the DCEG Exemplary Service Award from Stephen Chanock

Sanford Dawsey and Stephen Chanock

The DCEG Exemplary Service Award is given to honor a Division scientist who combines sustained research accomplishments with outstanding service to NCI. This year’s award was given to Sanford M. Dawsey, M.D., in honor of his outstanding research on esophageal and gastric cancer. His work has expanded our knowledge of these malignancies and led to breakthrough early detection techniques for these highly fatal cancers. His pioneering work led to a practical endoscopic screening technique that is being widely used in China to detect preneoplastic lesions and early cancers. Most recently, he turned his organizing and energizing skills into forming the African Esophageal Cancer Consortium. This multi-institution group is bringing much needed attention to understanding the causes of and methods for palliating this devastating and common disease that afflicts people throughout Eastern and Southern Africa. Finally, he is an outstanding mentor who helps fellow and junior and senior scientists in the Metabolomic Epidemiology Branch, across the Division, and throughout the world.

NCI Director's Innovation Awards

The NCI Director's Innovation Awards are designed to support the development of novel approaches and technologies for accelerating cancer research. These include Principal Investigator (PI) Awards, which are given to tenure-track or recently tenured PIs (within five years of tenure), and Career Development Awards, which are given to postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists, staff clinicians, and senior scientists. Nine DCEG scientists received awards and increased research funding, as listed below:

Principal Investigator Awards

Elizabeth Cahoon, Ph.D.
“Express doses for new clinical cancer cohort of Chernobyl clean-up workers”

Jonathan Hofmann, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Metabolomic profiling of electric waste workers in Accra, Ghana”

Career Development Awards

Rotana Alsaggaf, Ph.D., M.S.
“Cancer predisposition in myotonic dystrophy type I: Pilot investigation of genetic and epigenetic alterations”

Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.H.S.
“HPV DNA methylation for detection of anal cancer precursors in HIV-infected men who have sex with men”

Jared Fisher, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Validation of proximity-based residential exposure to industrial dioxin and furan emissions in the U.S.”

Catherine Lerro, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Examining the relationship between agricultural exposures and the oral microbiota”

Olusegun Onabajo, Ph.D.
“Development of fully human monoclonal blocking antibody for interferon lambda 4"

Deven Patel, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Development and validation of geographic information system-based method for estimating residential exposure to agricultural pesticides in the Danish National Birth Cohort”

Youjin Wang, Ph.D.
“Joint effect of donor KIR and IFNL4 genotypes on hematopoietic stem cell transplant outcomes in patients with acute leukemia”

DCEG Fellows Awards for Research Excellence

Youjin Wang, Pedro Saint-Maurice, Tamara Litwin, Jared Fisher, Megan Clarke, Jean-Francois Sauve recieve D-FARE awards from Stephen Chanock

Youjin Wang, Pedro Saint-Maurice, Tamara Litwin, Jared Fisher, Megan Clarke, Jean-Francois Sauve, Stephen Chanock

Dr. Chanock and Jackie Lavigne, Ph.D., M.P.H., recognized winners of the DCEG Fellows Award for Research Excellence (D-FARE), which provides funding for travel to scientific meetings or conferences to fellows who have made exceptional contributions to research projects. These contributions may include formulating research ideas, developing study designs, conducting fieldwork and analysis, or interpreting results. Each of the recognized fellows also must have played a major role in drafting a manuscript. Special consideration is given to projects in which fellows demonstrate growth beyond the discipline of their previous training.

This year, eleven D-FARE winners were chosen by members of the ad hoc DCEG committee:

Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Racial disparities in endometrial cancer: An analysis of hysterectomy- corrected incidence rates and relative 5-year survival in SEER 2000-2015”

Jared Fisher, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Residential proximity to animal feeding operations and risk of lymphohematopoietic cancers in the Agricultural Health Study”

Ashley Jermusyk, Ph.D.
“Analysis of ZNF148 mediated regulation of TERT expression via multi-cancer risk loci on chr5p15.33”

Rebecca Landy, Ph.D.
“Surprising implications of risk-based guidelines for selecting U.S. ever-smokers into CT lung-cancer screening”

Tamara Litwin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Evaluation of biomarkers for in-vivo imaging-based detection of cervical precancers in low-resource settings”

Maisa Pinheiro, Ph.D.
“HPV 35 A2 sublineage confers increased risks of cervical precancer/cancer in women of African ancestry”

Pedro Saint- Maurice, Ph.D.
“Associations between steps per day and mortality in a representative sample of U.S. adults”

Jean-Francois Sauve, Ph.D., M.Sc.
“Validation of occupational exposure estimates to lead in a population-based case-control study using toenail concentrations as gold standard”

Youjin Wang, Ph.D.
“Pre-transplant telomere defects and mortality risk after unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplant in patients with severe aplastic anemia”

Jason Wong, Sc.D.
“Diesel engine exhaust and genomic instability reflected by increased Alu retroelement copy number”

Haoyu Zhang
“Genome-wide association study identifies 35 novel breast cancer loci from overall and subtype- specific analyses”