- Project 3 Obesity has become a global pandemic. In the Unites States alone, according the CDC data 2008, 33.8% adults were obese and 68% adults were obese or overweight. The State of Hawaii has multiple ethnic groups, in which Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) have a daunting obesity rate of 49.3%, highest of any racial/ethnic group. The effects of maternal obesity are trans-generational, in that maternal obesity increases the likelihood of neonatal obesity, and the neonatal obesity is likely to persist in the adulthood. Additionally, obesity is correlated with various diseases including cancers in adults. Epidemiological studies have provided the link that maternal obesity can lead to increased cancer risks in progenies in later adult life. However, due to ethical and practical reasons in human studies, direct evidence is lacking. Here we propose a case control study with multi-ethnic groups (Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and Caucasians) to investigate the molecular links between maternal obesity and offspring cancer risks, through the integration of transcriptome and methylome of the cord blood stem cells. The de-identified cord blood tissue will be collected through the Hawaii Biorepository (HiBR). Specifically, we will select the hematopoietic stem cells, and perform RNA-Seq transcriptome and methylome experiments, respectively. These data will be compared to the transcriptome data, methylome data, as well as the integrated transcriptome and methylome data, from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Through such comparison, we hope to identify the cancer-like modules that signify the difference between cord blood stem cells associated with obese mothers vs. those of mothers with normal BMI. This study will hopefully help provide effective strategies to prevent obesity and cancers to occur even before the child is born. It will also help to provide remedial strategies to solve the outstanding health disparity issue in the State of Hawaii.

Public Health Relevance

- Project 3 The goal of this proposal is to investigate the molecular links between maternal obesity and offspring cancer risks, through the integration of transcriptome and methylome of the cord blood stem cells obtained from a multi-ethnic case control study, in comparison with the data of the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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