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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Staff Recognized at 2016 Fall DCEG Town Hall Meeting

In October, DCEG Director Stephen Chanock, M.D., and Deputy Director Montserrat Garcia-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., welcomed staff to the fall Town Hall Meeting, highlighting several new developments across the Division and recognizing outstanding contributions from fellows and investigators.

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. Six DCEG scientists received awards and increased research funding, as listed below:

Principal Investigator Awards

Laura Beane Freeman, Ph.D. and Melissa Friesen, Ph.D.
“Validation of a non-occupational pesticide exposure algorithm to estimate cumulative pesticide intensity from the take home, agricultural drift and residential use exposure pathways”

Career Development Awards

Emily Vogtmann, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Oral fungal microbiome and the risk of head and neck cancer: A nested case-control study in the NIH-AARP”

Alison L. Van Dyke, M.D., Ph.D.
“A pilot study characterizing lung tumor inflammatory infiltrates and PD-L1 expression with future expansion to associations with molecular profile and clinical outcomes”

Abdul Rouf Banday, Ph.D.
“Modulation of APOBEC mutagenesis in bladder cancer”

Bryan Bassig, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Evaluation of inflammation and lung cancer associated microRNAs in a cross-sectional molecular epidemiology study of workers occupationally exposed to diesel engine exhaust”

DCEG Fellows Awards for Research Excellence

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

Pavel Chernyavskiy, Ph.D.
 “A novel framework for spatially-varying age-period-cohort analysis with application to U.S. mortality, 1999-2014”

Clara Bodelon, Ph.D., M.S.
“Timing of pregnancies and oral contraceptive use and risk of ovarian cancer”

Noorie Hyun, Ph.D.
“Effective pooling methods for sample weighted data”

Gleb Kuzmin
“A novel method to extend partial patient anatomy to whole body for normal tissue dose reconstruction in epidemiological studies of second cancer risks in radiotherapy patients”

Mary Playdon, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Identifying biomarkers of dietary patterns using metabolomics”

Tongwu Zhang, Ph.D.
“Systematic identification and functional assessment of melanoma noncoding somatic mutations”

Tracy Layne, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Vitamin D and prostate cancer risk in black men”

Maeve Mullooly, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Estrogen receptor positive and negative breast cancer secular trends in Ireland (2004-2013)”

Ana Best, Ph.D.
“Population-wide vs. risk-based BRCA1/2 mutation testing in the Washington Ashkenazi study”