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NCI News Note

Funding announced for new Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer Centers:

  • Posted: July 28, 2011

NCI announced today new funding of an existing cooperative agreement initiative that explores the relationship between obesity and cancer.  The Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) centers integrate the study of diet, weight, and physical activity and their effects on energy balance and cancer.  The centers also provide training opportunities for new and established investigators.  Projects range from the biologic and physiologic mechanisms of energy balance to the behavioral, socio-cultural, and environmental influences on nutrition, physical activity, and weight in cancer survivors and other populations at high risk.

The new TREC initiative will fund four research centers and one coordination center in a $45 million effort over five years, including the following: 

  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; principal investigator, Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D.   This project will focus on energetics and cancer survivorship, using exercise and weight loss interventions towards the goal of improving length and quality of cancer survivorship.
  • Harvard University, Boston; principal investigator, Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D.  This project is designed to increase our understanding of the behavioral and physiologic determinants of obesity, and to clarify the biological links of obesity with cancer risk and survivorship. 
  • University of California San Diego; principal investigator, Ruth Patterson, Ph.D.  This project will focus on insulin resistance and inflammation underlying the association of energy balance and breast cancer carcinogenesis.
  • Washington University, St. Louis; principal investigator, Graham Colditz, M.D, Dr.PH.  This project will focus on research to address obesity and physical inactivity’s influence on cancer outcomes, including cancer survivors, and also explores obesity and treatment outcomes that will inform policy and practice to prevent obesity and reduce the burden of cancer due to obesity. 
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle; principal investigator, Mark Thornquist, Ph.D.  This site will serve as the TREC Coordination Center and support communication, data sharing, dissemination, and evaluation among the TREC centers and with NCI. 

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