The K05 award will provide Dr. Leslie Bernstein with 40% protected time (20% research, 20% mentoring) to pursue research with mentees on associations between physical activity and body size (using height, weight, waist and hip measurements, independently, and various ratio measures like body mass index, waist-hip ratio, and waist-height ratio) and risk of breast, endometrial, ovarian, lung, colon, pancreas, bladder, rectal and thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and melanoma. Dr. Bernstein has a long successful career mentoring students (undergraduate, MS, PHD) and postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, and junior faculty at the University of Southern California (USC). At the City of Hope, Dr. Bernstein will focus on mentoring junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows within the Departments of Population Sciences, Medical Oncology, and Surgical Oncology to encourage their pursuit of questions in cancer prevention and control. She will continue mentoring PhD and MS students at USC where she is Professor Emerita, and MPH and PhD students at the Claremont Graduate University's new School of Community and Global Health. The research goal is to encourage mentees to focus on risk factors for cancer development or prognosis that are amenable to lifestyle intervention and to consider how those interventions might be implemented in a population. Specific mentoring goals are to foster mentees career advancement;provide opportunities for growth in cancer etiology and prevention;promote understanding of organizational cultures;guide development of research networks to facilitate career goals;and advise on how to prioritize and be efficient. Mentees will pursue new, unfunded areas of research under the Dr. Bernstein's careful guidance using the California Teachers Study cohort (CA077398, 6/1/04-5/31/09, Bernstein, PI) of 133,479 women followed for incident cancers since 1995. Cohort participants have completed 4 questionnaires thus far and have unique characteristics which include few smokers (5%), access to health care, high use of hormone therapy, diverse socioeconomic status and residential backgrounds, and unique reproductive histories. Mentees will work with Dr. Bernstein to pursue questions on the interaction between physical activity and body size measures to define risk and prognosis for breast cancer overall and by subtype, and where sufficient numbers exist, a series of other cancers. Further mentees will work to develop an approach to expand data collection in a cohort of breast cancer survivors and develop similar research efforts for colon and endometrial cancer survivors to study how changes in physical activity and body weight affect survival and how these lifestyle practices are associated with diet, use of complementary medicines, fatigue, depression, and quality of life.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Scientist Award (K05)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Perkins, Susan N
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Project End
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Budget End
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Fiscal Year
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City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute
United States
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Lee, Eunjung; Luo, Jianning; Schumacher, Fredrick R et al. (2018) Growth factor genes and change in mammographic density after stopping combined hormone therapy in the California Teachers Study. BMC Cancer 18:1072
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