Cancer Prevention Fellows (CPFs), all working in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), are among the 2021 recipients of the prestigious William G. Coleman, Jr., Ph.D., Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award. Established in 2016 by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, this competitive award program has been designed to support innovative research concepts and ideas with the potential for high impact in any area of minority health and health disparities research. Recipients receive $15,000 to study key determinants of health inequities and advance scientific knowledge within the field for their 1-year projects. This year, two separate projects led by CFPs won an award:
Dr. Cody Ramin submitted her winning proposal entitled “Endogenous Hormones and Ultrasound Tomography Measures of Breast Density by Race in a Longitudinal Study of Women Undergoing Tamoxifen Therapy.” Dr. Ramin conducts her research in both the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) and the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch (ITEB). Dr. Ramin will examine the association between circulating endogenous hormones and changes in breast density prior to and after tamoxifen initiation among Black and White women. In addition to providing etiological insights on breast cancer, she believes that the results could inform targeted approaches for risk reduction and understanding of racial disparities in breast cancer survival.
Drs. Jacqueline Vo, Naoise Synnott, Ian Buller, and Derek Brown submitted their winning collaborative proposal entitled “HDoCS in PLCO: Health Disparities of Cancer Survivors in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.” Dr. Vo conducts her research in REB, Dr. Synnott in ITEB, Dr. Buller in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB), and Dr. Brown in ITEB. The team cites a lack of research on how lower individual- and population-level socioeconomic status and genetic ancestry affect cancer survivorship. The study aims to bridge this gap by exploring health disparities related to individual- and population-level socioeconomic factors (e.g., income, education, rurality) and genetic ancestry and their relationship with all-cause and cancer-specific mortality among cancer survivors. Once completed, they envision their research could benefit underserved cancer survivors and inform tailored interventions.