General Research Interestearly life exposures and adult cancer risk
Research DescriptionI am interested in using animal models along with human populations to investigate how exposures early in life, particularly childhood affect adult cancer risk along with the biological pathways that are affected. Specifically, I am interested in looking at childhood obesity/nutrition and how this affects adult colon cancer risk. I am interested in investigating the pathways that are altered by childhood obesity in particular the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) pathway among others. I am also interested in childhood secondhand smoke exposure as well as other childhood conditions such as asthma, and how these exposures can alter biological pathways leading to increased lung cancer risk as an adult. I am interested in performing simultaneous studies using animal models and epidemiological studies to investigate these questions so that what I learn in one study can help inform me of what is occurring in the other.
Transinstitutional WorkI have recently finished a cancer prevention fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and continue to collaborate with my former laboratory there, the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis (LHC), directed by Dr. Curtis Harris in lung cancer research. In particular, I have been heading up our collaboration with the International Lung Cancer Consortium of which we are a part. In addition, shortly before I left I wrote an animal study protocol that was approved by the NCI Animal Care and Use Committee that proposed using microRNA-21 (miR-21) transgenic mice in both azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) models of colon carcinogenesis to investigate the role of miR-21 in colon cancer. I hope to continue my collaboration with LHC on this project. I have recently completed a manuscript in which I used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to look at the association of birthweight and puberty onset with Dr. Michele Forman in the Epidemiology Department at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. I hope to continue to collaborate with Dr. Forman, an expert in the area of early life exposures. Finally, I have been collaborating with Dr. Stephen Hursting at the University of Texas-Austin, an expert in the area of energy balance, in looking at the role of energy balance in colon carcinogenesis using a mouse model. I plan to continue that collaboration while I'm at OSU.