Current Projects

Understanding the Role of Adiposity and Adipokine-Related RNA Expression in the Tumor Microenvironment on Breast Cancer Outcomes in a Racially and Ethnically Diverse Sample (R01CA277862)

The goal of this study is to examine the impact of adiposity-associated gene expression of LEP, LEPR, ADIPOQ, ADIPOR1, and ADIPOR2 on breast cancer outcomes in a cohort of women with nonmetastatic breast cancer. Identification of gene expression signatures associated with adiposity and testing their ability to predict breast cancer recurrence and mortality outcomes will contribute to efforts to enhance outcome predictive models for improved accuracy across tumor phenotypes and race and ethnicity than currently existing models.

Impact of Allostatic Load and Neighborhood Contextual Factors on Breast Cancer in the Women's Health Initiative (R01CA274564)

The goal of this study is to examine the impact of pre-diagnostic allostatic load score and objectively measured neighborhood contextual factors on breast cancer incidence and phenotype in a large (N = 4,800) nested case-control study of participants that leverages the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). Prospective analysis of the impact of allostatic load and neighborhood context on breast cancer, and analysis of allostatic load as a mediator of the relationship between neighborhood context and breast cancer, will contribute new knowledge about “structurally rooted biopsychosocial processes” in cancer.

Assessing Cervical Cancer Healthcare Inequities in Diverse Populations: The ACHIEVE Study (R01MD018250)

This mixed-methods study will prospectively examine the impact of micro- (individual-level), mezzo- (area-level), and macro-level (health system-level) factors on receipt of guideline concordant treatment for and survival from cervical cancer.

Personal Care and Hair Product Use among Women in Kenya: Assessment of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Use in the Context of Breast Cancer Risk (funded by Columbia ICAP-HICCC Initiative)

The primary goal of this study is to collect preliminary, baseline data on personal care product (PCP) and hair product use and perceptions of use among women in Kenya to support larger grant proposals to investigate the contribution of chemical exposures from PCPs to breast cancer risk. New knowledge about the specific products that are used among women in Kenya and potentially harmful chemical ingredients in these products could provide opportunities for identifying products to which exposures should be reduced or eliminated through behavioral interventions. The study findings will also potentially justify the need to enhance the regulation of harmful PCPs.

Key Accomplishments