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Ting-Yuan Cheng

I am a Cancer Epidemiologist.

Ting-Yuan Cheng, Ph.D.

University of Florida

I was profoundly influenced by the obesity pandemic in a global scale and its disproportional consequence in minority and underserved populations.

Dr. Ting-Yuan (David) Cheng is a cancer epidemiologist. He received his MHS degree in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Washington, and cancer epidemiology training from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. His laboratory has been devoted to understanding cancer etiology and factors that affect cancer outcomes in different racial and ethnic populations. His approaches involve molecular epidemiology and molecular pathological epidemiology, using integrative analyses of epidemiologic data and tumor biomarkers. A current focus of his lab is to understand how energy imbalance influences the etiology and outcomes of breast cancer. He is the Principal Investigator of an NIH/NCI K07 Mentored Career Development Award (K07CA201334, 2016-2021) and a R37 research award (R37CA248371 2021-2028). The R37 project will continue Dr. Cheng's work to elucidate the inter-relations between modifiable factors of energy imbalance (obesity and physical inactivity) and activation of the target of rapamycin pathway (mTOR). Although behavioral interventions leading to weight reduction have shown a potential to reduce breast cancer recurrence and mortality, the biological mechanisms between obesity and breast cancer outcomes are not clear. This study will illuminate the potential for promoting energy balance and using mTOR inhibitors as a combination strategy to improve clinical outcomes.

Dr. Cheng first became interested in this field of research when he received post-doc training in molecular pathology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was amazed that by investigating tumor tissue, researchers can know more about the etiology and prognosis of cancers. It was an eye-opening experience for him that epidemiology is not limited by questionnaires, data, and exposure biomarkers. What is also important is to look at "cancer" itself, and see what it can tell us about the prevention and treatment.


Grant Listing
Project Title Grant Number Program Director Publication(s)
Energy Balance, mTOR pathway signaling, and breast cancer prognosis
1R37CA248371-01A1
Joanne Watters Elena


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Last Updated: 08/18/2021 12:57:31