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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Highlights from the 2014 NCI Intramural Scientific Retreat

""In January, DCEG scientists participated in the annual NCI Intramural Scientific Investigators Retreat. Three DCEG tenure-track investigators were invited to give presentations highlighting their research.

Sam Mbulaiteye, M.D., spoke on “Burkitt lymphoma: Use of new tools to answer old questions”; Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., discussed “Methylation biomarkers in the etiology and prevention of gynecologic malignancies”; and Xiaohong Rose Yang, Ph.D., M.P.H., presented “Identifying novel high-risk susceptibility genes for familial chordoma and melanoma.”

""During the retreat, Neil E. Caporaso, M.D., received the 2014 NCI Women Scientist Advisors Mentoring and Leadership Award.

In addition, Douglas Lowy, M.D., NCI Deputy Director, presented the 2014 NCI Director’s Innovation Awards, which 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), with an upper limit of $50,000, and Career Development Awards, which are given to postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists, staff clinicians, and senior scientists, with an upper limit of $10,000. Fourteen DCEG scientists received awards, as listed below:

Principal Investigator Awards

Laura Beane-Freeman, Ph.D., and Melissa C. Friesen, Ph.D.
“Lung cancer-related inflammatory markers associated with endotoxin and other bioaerosol exposures in agricultural settings”

Kevin M. Brown, Ph.D.
“A genome-scale functional screen to identify genes mediating melanocyte bypass of oncogene-induced senescence and melanoma risk”

Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D.
“Development of total and allele-specific in situ mRNA detection of the prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) in several tumor types”

Douglas R. Stewart, M.D.
“Characterization of the spectrum of localized rearrangements in neurofibromatosis type 1-associated tumors”

Career Development Awards

Maria Constanza Camargo, Ph.D., M.S., M.H.A.
“Comparison of Helicobacter pylori strains associated with gastric cancer”

Shahinaz M. Gadalla, M.D., Ph.D.
“Transcriptomic profiling in the cancer predisposition syndrome dyskeratosis congenita”

Lauren C. Houghton, Ph.D.
“A study of endocrine disruptors and breast cancer risk in migrants”

Paula Hyland, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Characterizing the methylome diversity of gastric cancer from a high risk Chinese population”

Rena Jones, Ph.D., M.S.
“Environmental exposures and cancer risks from concentrated animal feeding operations in the Agricultural Health Study”

Troy Kemp, Ph.D. (contractor)
“T follicular helper cells: Role in HPV vaccine immunogenicity”

Olusegun Onabajo, Ph.D.
“Development of an IFNL4-inducible cell line for high throughput screening of small molecule inhibitors”

Anand Pathak, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Elucidating molecular mechanisms in familial hairy cell leukemia using methylation array analysis”

Qian Xiao, Ph.D., M.P.H.
“Inequalities in colorectal cancer: The influence of built environment and change in neighborhood”