I am a molecular epidemiologist with a background as a board-certified internal medicine physician. My main research interest is how potentially modifiable exposures cause solid tumors through genomic heterogeneity and influence cancer progression. I am passionate about combining well-defined observational studies and state-of-the-art genomics in order to inform primary prevention, risk stratification, and biomarker-guided treatment. My methodologic and teaching interests include the application of epidemiologic methods to high-dimensional biomarker studies and to clinical studies.
As a Research Associate with Dr. Philip Kantoff’s group, I lead highly interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects across epidemiology, genomics, pathology, bioinformatics, and clinical medicine, with additional experimental validation in cell culture systems. I am the principal investigator of a 2017 Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award and a 2018 Department of Defense Early-Investigator Research Award.
As an example of my work on genomic heterogeneity of prostate cancer, I showed that tumors that are very active in synthesizing cholesterol are more likely to metastasize. These results support that cholesterol-lowering statin medications could indeed improve patients’ prognosis, and cholesterol synthesis activity may be a suitable predictive biomarker for clinical trials. In another research lead, I developed methodology to measure the extent of aneuploidy—aberrant numbers of chromosomes—in the tumor transcriptome. We showed that aneuploidy is a strong risk factor for progression to lethal disease, suggesting a potential to better understand the etiology of lethal tumors and to identify therapeutic targets in prostate cancer and beyond.