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Two Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Scientists Receive Presidential Early Career Award
Date:7/10/2009

onary biology at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., where, under the mentorship of Tom Eickbush, Ph.D., he first became intrigued by the study of genetic conflict. Malik joined the Hutchinson Center faculty in 2003.

Peters, who was nominated for the PECASE by the National Institutes of Health, which supports her work, is an associate member of the Cancer Prevention Program within the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division. She is also a research associate professor of epidemiology at the UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

A nutritional and genetic epidemiologist, Peters studies the link between nutrition and cancer prevention - particularly how the interplay of genetics and nutrition can impact cancer risk. Analyzing blood, DNA and tissue samples from large study populations, her work focuses on integrating genetic and molecular methods to better understand the role selenium, vitamin D, calcium and other dietary components may play in preventing prostate and colorectal cancer.

Selenium, for example, found in grains, bread, eggs, meat and fish, plays a key role in activating a small number of enzymes called selenoenzymes, which can protect cells against DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Peters and colleagues are studying whether genetic variations in selenoenzymes are associated with risk for prostate cancer, and whether such genetic variations alter the association between selenium intake and prostate-cancer risk.

Selenium represents only one aspect of Peters' research. Incorporating molecular and genetic approaches, she also studies vitamin D and calcium in the prevention of colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Peters also studies genetic variants across the entire genome and is currently conducting genomewide association studies for colon and breast cancer. The goal is to identify new genetic markers tha
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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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