2022 Zhu Center Trainee Travel Awardees

Dr. Kristen D. Brantley, PhD is currently a postdoctoral research fellow working jointly at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer Center. Her research is focused on both preventing breast cancer and improving disease prognosis. She is currently working within cohort consortia to develop advanced risk prediction models for overall and premenopausal-specific breast cancer. At DF/HCC she completes research projects within a survivorship cohort of young women with breast cancer (<40 years), and studies clinical characteristics and biomarkers of their cancer outcomes, including the development of second cancers. She obtained her PhD in Epidemiology in 2021 from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, where she studied metabolomics data to better understand breast cancer etiology within the Nurses’ Health Studies. Dr. Brantley was selected for the Zhu Center Trainee Travel for present her work entitled ‘A metabolomic analysis of adiposity measures and pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Nurses’ Health Studies’ at the annual American Association for Cancer Research Conference.

Dr. Cristina Gago recently graduated with her Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. As a doctoral candidate, her research aimed to uncover the facilitators and barriers that caregivers face to accessing resources and services for the promotion of healthy nutrition in young children from low-income households.  Through the identification of key opportunities to increase service uptake, she aimed to improve health intervention implementation. Since graduating, she has continued this work, in a new context, as a postdoctoral fellow with NYU’s Center for Healthful Behavior Change, where she maintains a focus on expanding access to community-based health promotion resources. Dr. Gago was selected for the  Zhu Center Trainee Travel award to present her work entitled ‘Making the case for parent empowerment: Findings from a community-based obesity prevention trial’ at the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

 Dr. Tengteng Wang is currently an instructor at the Channing Division of Network Medicine (CDNM), Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She received her Ph.D. degree in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019 and then joined CDNM as an NCI T32 postdoctoral trainee in cancer epidemiology. Her research is centered on identifying modifiable factors (i.e., diet and medications) that influence the etiology and progression of breast cancer, and disentangles the underlying biological mechanisms by incorporating circulating, tissue, and microbial biomarkers. She recently received the NCI K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award to identify the role of gut microbiome in the etiology of benign breast disease. Her study entitled “Metformin and other anti-diabetic medications use and breast cancer incidence in the Nurses’ Health Studies” was selected for a travel award from the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention to present at the American Association of Cancer Research 2022 Annual Meeting.