This Career Development Award will provide Dr. Aldrich with the didactic training and mentorship needed to further her career in genetics and bioinformatics as they relate to lung cancer in diverse populations. While Dr. Aldrich has had comprehensive training in epidemiologic methodology, statistical analysis, and scientific writing during her doctoral and post-doctoral experiences, she requires further training in her chosen research area, the genetic epidemiology of cancer. The proposed project focuses on genetic epidemiology of lung cancer risk in African Americans. This project will serve as a training opportunity so that Dr. Aldrich can expand her methodological focus and obtain the requisite training in genetics and bioinformatics to ultimately enhance the detection of genes associated with cancer in racially diverse populations. New knowledge and skills in lung cancer biology, health disparities, genetic epidemiology methods, and bioinformatics will be obtained in the training portion of the award through coursework, seminars, national meetings and mentorship. She will be mentored by leading experts in the fields of genetic epidemiology (Dr. Scott M. Williams), lung cancer biology (Dr. Pierre Massion), and cancer epidemiology (Dr. William J. Blot). Genetic factors influencing lung cancer susceptibility have not yet been thoroughly investigated, especially among African Americans, the population with the highest incidence of lung cancer. The research goal of this proposal is to use genetic ancestry to identify genetic variants and gene-environment interactions that contribute to lung cancer in African Americans. To identify factors contributing to lung cancer in African Americans, the research aims of this proposal are: 1) to perform admixture mapping; 2) to discover rare variants in exonic regions; and 3) to identify interactions between local ancestry and environmental risk factors. An ongoing prospective cohort, the Southern Community Cohort Study, as well as the national African American Lung Cancer Consortium, will be utilized in the proposed research. Ultimately this research will assist with the identification of high-risk subjects for primary and secondary prevention of lung cancer. With the knowledge and experience provided by this career development award, Dr. Aldrich will be prepared to seek R01 funding necessary to establish a multidisciplinary research program in lung cancer epidemiology. The experience gained from this career development award will ensure Dr. Aldrich's successful transition into an independent investigator in cancer epidemiology with a focus on genetic and environmental determinants of cancer in racially diverse populations.

Public Health Relevance

African Americans have the greatest risk of lung cancer compared to all other racial/ethnic groups, yet have been historically underrepresented in research. This study seeks to identify genetic factors contributing to lung cancer in African Americans and ultimately reduce their disease occurrence. This investigation into the genetics and environmental risk factors related to lung cancer will both further the field of lung cancer and also provide a strong training opportunity for the candidate to have a successful career in the broader field of genetics and cancer. !

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
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Study Section
Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Perkins, Susan N
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
United States
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O'Brien, Timothy D; Jia, Peilin; Aldrich, Melinda C et al. (2018) Lung Cancer: One Disease or Many. Hum Hered 83:65-70
Schildcrout, Jonathan S; Schisterman, Enrique F; Mercaldo, Nathaniel D et al. (2018) Extending the Case-Control Design to Longitudinal Data: Stratified Sampling Based on Repeated Binary Outcomes. Epidemiology 29:67-75
Ji, Xuemei; Bossé, Yohan; Landi, Maria Teresa et al. (2018) Identification of susceptibility pathways for the role of chromosome 15q25.1 in modifying lung cancer risk. Nat Commun 9:3221
Maiga, Amelia W; Deppen, Stephen; Scaffidi, Beth Koontz et al. (2018) Mapping Histoplasma capsulatum Exposure, United States. Emerg Infect Dis 24:1835-1839
Jones, Carissa C; Mercaldo, Sarah Fletcher; Blume, Jeffrey D et al. (2018) Racial Disparities in Lung Cancer Survival: The Contribution of Stage, Treatment, and Ancestry. J Thorac Oncol 13:1464-1473
Ferreiro-Iglesias, Aida; Lesseur, Corina; McKay, James et al. (2018) Fine mapping of MHC region in lung cancer highlights independent susceptibility loci by ethnicity. Nat Commun 9:3927
Sanderson, Maureen; Aldrich, Melinda C; Levine, Robert S et al. (2018) Neighbourhood deprivation and lung cancer risk: a nested case-control study in the USA. BMJ Open 8:e021059
Schildcrout, Jonathan S; Schisterman, Enrique F; Aldrich, Melinda C et al. (2018) Outcome-related, Auxiliary Variable Sampling Designs for Longitudinal Binary Data. Epidemiology 29:58-66
Kodaman, Nuri; Sobota, Rafal S; Asselbergs, Folkert W et al. (2017) Genetic Effects on the Correlation Structure of CVD Risk Factors: Exome-Wide Data From a Ghanaian Population. Glob Heart 12:133-140
Ciesielski, Timothy H; Aldrich, Melinda C; Marsit, Carmen J et al. (2017) Transdisciplinary approaches enhance the production of translational knowledge. Transl Res 182:123-134

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