Area of interest
Our laboratory is interested in understanding the genetic basis for increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia, including their relationships to cancer risk. These interests stem from epidemiological data demonstrating a positive correlation between obesity and several forms of cancer including those of the colon, breast, endometrium, kidney, and esophagus, as well as a decreased risk of prostate cancer among individuals affected with diabetes. The molecular mechanisms underlying these disease relationships are unclear and may involve diet, physical activity, insulin resistance, and hormone changes, in addition to genetic differences between individuals. We are particularly interested in understanding whether the molecular mechanisms relating obesity, diabetes and cancer are influenced by the same genes and by shared common DNA variants, which have the greatest potential to impact public health.
Awards and Honors
2000, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences
2003, NHGRI Intramural Research Award
2006, Pew Scholar Award in the Biomedical Sciences
2011, UNC Ruth and Phillip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement