News and Events
Alexis Carere has received a Doctoral Foreign Study Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Dr. Peter Kraft and Dr. Robert Green co-supervise her project, titled, “A prospective cohort of direct-to-consumer genetic testing customers: Consumer motivations, behavioral responses, and their impact on the health care system.”
Recent PMAGE graduate Linda Hiraki received postdoctoral fellowship awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and STAGE (Strategic Training for Advanced Genetic Epidemiology). She will be working with Dr. Andrew Paterson at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto.
The De Vivo Lab has continued to grow in recent months, adding two new postdoctoral fellows and new summer researchers. The laboratory primarily focuses on the discovery and characterization of genetic biological markers to assess disease susceptibility in human populations. Biological markers of interest include single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), telomere length, and gene copy number variations (CNVs). In addition the lab also collaborates in the characterization of potential cancer therapeutic agents such as GRN163L which attacks Telomerase, and Dichloroacetate, which attacks aerobic glycolysis. Welcome to all the new members!
Congratulations to all the 2013 graduates, especially PMAGErs Linda Hiraki and Maxine Chen! Dr. Hiraki completed her Ph.D. and is moving on to a postdoctoral position in her native Canada. Maxine received her Master’s degree, and will remain at HSPH as a Doctoral student this Fall.
April 11, 2013 — In the largest-ever study of its kind, an international collaboration of hundreds of scientists has uncovered 74 new genetic markers linked to three common hormonal cancers—breast, prostate, and ovarian—thus setting the stage for new treatments, targeted screening, and a greater understanding of how these diseases develop.
PMAGE Deputy Director to Co-Direct new AACR workshop this Summer
Peter Kraft has been chosen to be Co-Director of an exciting new workshop this summer in Boston, MA. The AACR’s Integrative Molecular Epidemiology Workshop is designed to accelerate the training of the next generation of cancer researchers. The workshop is primarily targeted toward molecular epidemiologists, but will also be a valuable experience for geneticists, statisticians, bioinformaticians, molecular biologists, physician scientists and others who have done basic course work in epidemiology. Throughout the course of this workshop there will be both formal lectures and “laboratories” to build upon the lecture information. Participants will work collaboratively in small groups throughout the duration of the workshop. As Co-Director and member of the planning committee, Dr. Kraft has been very closely involved in organizing this event; Dr. Lorelei Mucci, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at HSPH, is also a workshop faculty member and member of the planning committee.
The workshop is from July 15-20, 2013, at the Seaport Hotel in Boston; applications were accepted through March 11th. For more information on this event visit the AACR website.
Jennifer Prescott, who has worked with Dr. De Vivo for several years as a research fellow and now an instructor, was awarded a new grant from the Harvard Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Center. The title of the project is “Influence of a family history of Type 2 Diabetes on colorectal cancer risk and mortality, and on biomarkers of glycemic control, plasma lipids, and inflammatory biomarkers.” The researchers hypothesize that increased insulin signaling increases the risk of colorectal cancer, based on previous studies that have shown healthy first-degree relatives of type 2 diabetics to have reduced insulin secretion due to impaired beta-cell function. The project will explore whether a family history of type 2 diabetes is associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer incidence and mortality, and/or alters biomarkers associated with insulin action in the NHS and HPFS cohorts. Dr. Prescott will also explore whether a genetic risk score for type 2 diabetes is associated with colorectal cancer risk.
Postdoctoral fellow Amit Joshi also received grant funding from the TREC Center. Dr. Joshi’s research project is entitled “Effect modification of association of GWAS-identified susceptibility SNPs for body mass index with post-menopausal breast cancer risk by physical activity.” He will use data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which is one of the largest and longest running investigations of factors that influence women’s health.
Dr. Hugues Aschard, postdoctoral fellow under Dr. Kraft, was recently awarded grant 1R03HG006720-01A1, “Relaxing genetic models to identify genetic variants involved in gene-gene and gene-environment interactions.” Dr. Aschard and his colleagues developed a non-parametric test of association that compares phenotypic distribution by genotypic classes, which aims to identify quantitative trait loci involved in interactions. The aims of his grant are to identify potential technical improvements of the proposed method and to conduct real data application to identify genetic variants that have been missed by standard genome-wide association screening.