This F31 proposal features a wide-ranging program of training activities, mentorship, and research projects that will provide me with the support, knowledge, and skills needed to progress towards my career goal of becoming an independent investigator in area of obesity, metabolism, and cancer prevention/survivorship. My educational background, training history, and research activities demonstrate a continued commitment and progression towards achieving these career goals. I received my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Lawrence University, completed a series of undergraduate research fellowships in molecular biology at Rochester's Mayo Clinic, and completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in energy balance and human nutrition/metabolism with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH Clinical Center). I am currently a doctoral student in the San Diego State University/University of California,San Diego (UCSD) joint Doctoral Program in Health Behavior (Public Health), and research student at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. The overall objective of the proposed F31 training fellowship is to enable me to build from my previous training experiences in biochemistry, human metabolism, and breast cancer prevention, by exploring how dietary patterns influence metabolic pathways of breast cancer risk. The proposed training plan will allow me to gain advanced knowledge and skills in the following areas: (1) biologic mechanisms that link obesity, diabetes, and lifestyle t carcinogenesis, (2) advanced statistics for analysis of biological variables and survey data, (3) scientific writing and communication, and (4) networking and career development. UCSD is the ideal environment for me to pursue these goals, due to its exceptionally strong group of lifestyle and cancer researchers, and the presence of an NCI-funded Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Center. Notably, investigators from the Moores UCSD Cancer Center led the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study, which is providing data for the proposed analyses involving breast cancer survivors. The support provided by an F31 award will provide me with the protected time to expand my research focus and develop advanced skills in data analysis and scientific writing. The training activities and research projects described in this proposal will complement my previous research and training experiences and enable me to deepen my knowledge and understanding of the relationships between lifestyle factors (i.e., fasting duration) and metabolic pathways of cancer development.
Recently, a novel line of research has emerged suggesting that daily feeding-fasting schedules have metabolic implications that are highly relevant to breast cancer. The proposed research will examine associations of overnight fasting duration with breast cancer incidence, prognosis, and their respective putative biologic mechanisms. This research will address a new and important question of whether a prolonged, nightly fasting regimen holds promise as a public-health intervention strategy for reducing breast cancer risk in women.