Epidemiology and Genomics Research

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DECEMBER 2017 Features
Contact Us
 Opportunity Announcements
RFA-ES-17-009 (R01)*
Population-Based Model Organism Research for G x E Exploration in Complex Disease Outcomes 
Applications Due: February 1, 2018
Expiration Date: February 2, 2018 
RFA-AT-18-003  (R01)*
Discovery and Biological Signatures of Diet Derived Microbial Metabolites
Applications Due: March 19, 2018
Expiration Date: March 20, 2018

PAR-18-292  (K12)
Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology
Applications Due: June 15, 2018
Expiration Date: June 16, 2018

PAR-18-242  (R21)
Mobile Health: Technologies and Outcomes in Low and Middle Income Countries 
Applications Due: August 31, 2018
Expiration Date: September 1, 2018

RFA-CA-18-010  (P50)
RFA-CA-18-009  (P01)
RFA-CA-18-008 (U54)
RFA-CA-18-007  (U01)
RFA-CA-18-006  (R01)
Revisions for Incorporation of Novel NCI-Supported Technology to Accelerate Cancer Research 
Applications Due: February 28, 2018; May 29, 2018; September 28, 2018
Expiration Date: September 29, 2018
PAR-18-246  (R01)
PAR-18-247  (R21)
Intervening with Cancer Caregivers to Improve Patient Health Outcomes and Optimize Health Care Utilization
Applications Due: April 11, 2018; October 10, 2018; April 11, 2019
Expiration Date: April 12, 2019
PAR-18-024 (R21)
Predicting Behavioral Responses to Population-Level Cancer Control Strategies
Applications Due: April 11, 2018; October 10, 2018; April 11, 2019
Expiration Date: April 12, 2019

PAR-18-251  (R01)
PAR-18-250  (R21)
Improving Smoking Cessation in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Populations via Scalable Interventions 
Applications Due: June 13, 2018; October 11, 2018; June 13, 2019
Expiration Date: June 14, 2019
PAR-18-189 (R01)
PAR-18-190 (R21)
Multidisciplinary Studies of HIV/AIDS and Aging
Applications Due:  Standard datesapply
Expiration Date: September 8, 2020

PA-18-484  (Parent R01)
NIH Research Project Grant 
Applications Due: Standard dates apply
Expiration Date: January 8, 2021

PA-18-489  (Parent R21)*
NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program
Applications Due: Standard dates apply
Expiration Date: January 8, 2021

PA-18-488  (Parent R03)*
NIH Small Research Grant Program
Applications Due: Standard dates apply
Expiration Date: January 8, 2021

PA-18-397   (Parent K99/R00)
PA-18-398 (Parent K99/R00) 
NIH Pathway to Independence Award 
Applications Due: Standard dates apply
Expiration Date: January 8, 2021

PAR-18-476 (R25)
Cancer Research Education Grants Program - Curriculum or Methods Development 
Applications Due: Standard dates apply
Expiration Date: January 8, 2021
PAR-18-477 (R25)
Cancer Research Education Grants Program - Courses for Skills Development
PAR-18-478 (R25)
Cancer Research Education Grants Program - Research Experiences 
Applications Due: Standard dates apply
Expiration Date: January 8, 2021

PA-18-504  (Parent R15)
Academic Research Enhancement Award
Applications Due: Standard dates apply
Expiration Date: January 8, 2021
PAR-18-466  (K22)
PAR-18-467  (K22)
NCI Transition Career Development Award 
Applications Due: Standard dates apply
Expiration Date: March 13, 2021

* NCI is not participating in these funding opportunities.
PolicyGrants Policy Announcements
Notice of Intent to Revise the NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in Research Involving Human Subjects

Revision: NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research

Reminder: Policy on Funding Opportunity Announcements for Clinical Trials Takes Effect January 25, 2018

NIH Enforcement of Closeout Policies

Revision: NIH Announces New Review Criteria for Career Development Award Applications Involving Clinical Trials

Additional Short-Term Administrative Relief to Institutions Impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Reminder: Annual Reports to the Office of Laboratory Welfare due January 31, 2018
RFIRequests  for
Informatio n

Request for Information on the Office of Disease Prevention Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2019 - 2023
Responses Due: January 22, 2018

Soliciting Input for the Tribal Health Research Office Strategic Plan (FY2018-2022)
Responses Due: February 4, 2018
JobJob Opportunities
TrainingTraining Opportunities
June 17-22, 2018 
Westbrook, CT
Notice of Intent to Apply Due: January 2, 2018
Applications Due: January 15, 2018
Note: 2018 cohort runs from June 2018 - May 2019

NCI Principles and Practice of Cancer Prevention & Control Course
July 9 - August 3, 2018
Rockville, MD
Applications Due: February 1, 2018

NCI Molecular Prevention Course
August 6 - 10, 2018
Rockville, MD
Applications Due: February 1, 2018
EventsUpcoming Webinars & Workshops

January 10-11, 2018
Washington, D.C.

Cancer Epidemiologic Research in Understudied Populations Webinar: Cancer Prevention and Control Research in Appalachian Kentucky
January 17, 2018

Workshop on Improving Health Research on Small Populations
January 18-19, 2018
Washington, D.C.

NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration
May 2-4, 2018
Washington, D.C.
BlogsBlog Posts
Dr. Norman E. Sharpless
NCI Cancer Currents Blog

NCI Cancer Currents Blog
AboutAbout EGRP
The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) funds research in human populations to understand the causes of cancer and related outcomes.

The Program fosters interdisciplinary collaborations, as well as the development and use of resources and technologies to advance cancer research and translation of this research, which serve as the basis for clinical and public health interventions.
ContactContact Us
email: nciepimatters@mail.nih.gov
website: epi.grants.cancer.gov
twitter: twitter.com/NCIEpi
Reflections on 2017 
Kathy J. Helzlsouer, M.D., M.H.S.
Message from Associate Director, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
2017 has been an exciting and active year in NCI's Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP). We continuously look for opportunities to facilitate cancer epidemiology research and support the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences' (DCCPS) vision to reduce incidence, morbidity, and mortality from cancer. Many of these activities would not be possible without collaborations with other NCI and NIH partners and the broader scientific community.

In addition to our ongoing grants management activities and oversight of resources to facilitate research, many EGRP staff have been involved with NCI's implementation teams for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Staff members are involved with NCI's efforts to expand proven cancer prevention and early detection strategies and symptom management research, and establish a national cancer data ecosystem as well as a network for direct patient engagement.  
Our efforts began with organizing a two-day workshop to discuss approaches to Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations related to prevention and early detection for hereditary cancer syndromes, using Lynch Syndrome as an example. This identified research priorities from the patient and research communities and, in September 2017, NCI published a Request for Applications ( RFA-CA-17-041) to increase identification of individuals at high risk of cancer due to an inherited genetic susceptibility and optimize delivery of evidence-based healthcare for such individuals. Applications are due January 9, 2018. I encourage investigators in the extramural community to visit NCI's Cancer Moonshot funding web page to learn about other funding opportunities that may be of interest. 
In our final newsletter of 2017, we highlight staff changes in EGRP, various funding opportunities that our scientific staff have developed for furthering cancer research, briefly recap our scientific workshops and webinars, and more.  
As we look ahead to 2018, EGRP would like to thank all of its scientific collaborators and grantees for their passion and dedication to reducing the burden of cancer. Best wishes for a happy holiday season and new year!

Staffing Changes in EGRP
Office of the Associate Director

Britt C. Reid, D.D.S., Ph.D.
This August, EGRP said farewell to Dr. Britt Reid, who served as Deputy Associate Director from 2015 to 2017, and Chief of the Modifiable Risk Factors Branch (now the Environmental Epidemiology Branch) from 2008 to 2015. Dr. Reid was a great colleague and mentor, and his humor and wisdom will be greatly missed. We are thankful for all he has contributed to EGRP and DCCPS and wish him a wonderful retirement.
Emily L. Harris, Ph.D., M.P.H.
In October, Dr. Emily Harris became EGRP's newest Deputy Associate Director. Emily was previously Chief of the Translational Genomics Research Branch in the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 
In her role as Deputy Associate Director, Dr. Harris provides support and expertise to EGRP's Associate Director on planning, developing, and implementing long-term scientific goals and activities, the annual budget cycle and processes, and scientific planning activities, as well as enhances connections and collaborations across the EGRP and DCCPS. Her scientific interests include the interplay of genetic and environmental factors in cancer susceptibility, modifiers of risk in high-risk cancer families, and the integration of family history and genetics into health care.

Risk Factor Assessment Branch

Susan Krebs-Smith, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Susan Krebs-Smith, Chief of EGRP's Risk Factor Assessment Branch announced she will retire at the end of 2017 after more than 30 years of federal service at NCI and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Although we will miss having her here on a daily basis, we are fortunate that she plans to continue as a Special Volunteer at NCI. We are grateful that we will continue to benefit from her knowledge and expertise.

Dr. Krebs-Smith has overseen EGRP's research portfolio and initiatives focused on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of high-quality risk factor metrics, methods, tools, technologies, and resources. Her own research emphasized trends in intake of food and nutrients, and her contributions in the area of dietary assessment methodology have focused on developing methods to assess dietary patterns and the usual intake of foods.

Dr. Krebs-Smith provided data analyses and consultation in support of the last several editions of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and was a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Committee which developed Framework for Assessing the Effects of the Food System as well as the Committee on Optimizing the Process to Update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Dr. Krebs-Smith was a long-standing member of the Advisory Committee for the International Conference on Dietary Assessment Methods. She has served on several journals' editorial boards and on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association.

She has had a strong impact in the nutritional sciences community, authoring more than 100 publications and being invited to present at more than 50 national and international conferences. Dr. Krebs-Smith was recognized on the 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list from Clarivate Analytics, which acknowledges researchers with manuscripts ranking in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in Web of Science.
Amy F. Subar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Amy F. Subar will serve as the Acting Chief of the Risk Factor Assessment Branch as of January 1, 2018. Dr. Subar has been a Program Director and Research Nutritionist in the Branch and previously in other DCCPS research programs for more than 25 years.

Dr. Subar has focused on developing, designing, and conducting nutrition research related to dietary methods, dietary instruments, measurement error, dietary surveillance, and nutritional epidemiology, including the web-based Automated, Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Assessment Tool (ASA24) and NCI's Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ).

Dr. Subar is a member of several collaborative research groups, including the Dietary Patterns Methods Project, the Interactive Diet and Activity Tracking (IDATA), and the Validation Studies Pooling Project. She also was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Dietary Assessment Tools Network Partnership.

Dr. Subar has more than 200 publications, and was also included on Clarivate Analytics' 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list, acknowledging researchers with manuscripts ranking in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in Web of Science.

Environmental Epidemiology Branch

Armen Ghazarian, Ph.D., M.P.H.
In January 2017,
Dr. Armen Ghazarian joined EGRP's Environmental Epidemiology Branch as a Program Director. 

His responsibilities include overseeing a research portfolio of grants and initiatives related to the social drivers of cancer risk; geospatial, multilevel, and contextual approaches across the cancer continuum; and endogenous and exogenous hormones and cancer risk. 

Before joining EGRP, Dr. Ghazarian was a pre-doctoral fellow in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch of NCI's intramural Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). In this position, he researched testicular dysgenesis syndrome, a compilation of male reproductive disorders thought to initiate in early fetal life. Dr. Ghazarian first joined NCI in 2010 as a summer fellow in DCCPS' Surveillance Research Program. He then completed a two-year Cancer Research Training Award fellowship in EGRP, where he worked on studies relating to gene and environment interactions, indoor air pollution, and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

View EGRP's complete staff list at https://epi.grants.cancer.gov/staff

Supporting Researchers
EGRP and DCCPS join with other Divisions, Offices, and Centers at NCI, as well as other NIH Institutes, to fund investigator-initiated research and applications submitted in response to Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). EGRP supports projects in the United States and globally. The graphic below provides a quick snapshot of our commitment to funding cancer epidemiology research in the extramural community. View a list of EGRP-supported research projects

Graphic summarizing total number of EGRP-supported grants, new investigators, and cohort infrastructure grants in Fiscal Year 2017. 

Several new and re-issued FOAs, in which EGRP staff serve as scientific contacts, were published in 2017, including FOAs that support:
  • Translational and clinical safety and efficacy studies for substantiating the functional benefits of probiotic/prebiotic components, understand the underlying mechanism(s) of their action(s), and variability in responses to these interventions
  • Discovery and development of novel strategies to achieve a functional cure for HIV and hepatitis B virus co-infected adult and pediatric populations through clinical research
  • Validation of molecular, cellular, and imaging markers and assays for cancer detection, diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring, and prediction of response or resistance to treatment, as well as markers for cancer prevention and control
  • U.S. - Caribbean collaborative research to develop or extend cohort or surveillance studies on chronic diseases in the Caribbean region that are aligned with existing publicly available U.S. datasets
  • Development and distribution of genomic community resources
  • Ethical, legal, and social implications of genomics research
  • Maintenance of existing cancer epidemiology cohorts' infrastructure, methodologic research, and resource sharing with broader scientific communities
  • Multidisciplinary research to understand the influence of multiple factors that cause liver disease and cancer health disparities
  • Secondary data analysis and integration of existing data to elucidate the genetic architecture of cancer risk and related outcomes
View a complete list of FOAs sponsored or co-sponsored by EGRP that are currently accepting applications.

Scientific Meetings and Webinars
In collaboration with other NCI and NIH programs, EGRP brought together experts and interested individuals to collaborate on finding solutions to pressing scientific questions and research needs. 

EGRP collaborated with the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch in NCI's intramural Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genomics (DCEG) to host a workshop on "Next Steps in Studying the Human Microbiome and Health in Prospective Studies" in May. The purpose of this workshop was to identify opportunities for advancing research on the microbiome and cancer in humans, especially through prospective cohort studies. EGRP contacts are Somdat Mahabir, Ph.D., M.P.H., Program Director, Environmental Epidemiology Branch, and Mukesh Verma, Ph.D., Chief, Methods and Technologies Branch. 
In June, NIH hosted the 5th International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM), which was presented by the International Society for the Measurement of Physical Behavior, NIH, and the National Science Foundation. EGRP staff led the local organizing committee. The conference brought together leading researchers, new investigators, and research students interested in the measurement of physical behaviors, including physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep. Discussion topics included monitoring of youth, adults, older adults and persons with chronic disease and disabilities. Other issues addressed included accelerometer device measures, from data collection to data analysis, as well as place-based measures, multimodal measures, and even "digital exhaust." For questions, contact Rick Troiano, Ph.D., Program Director, Risk Factor Assessment Branch.

EGRP hosted a workshop on "Understanding the Role of Muscle and Body Composition in Studies of Cancer Risk and Prognosis in Cancer Survivors" in September. The workshop identified key methodological challenges in measuring body composition and approaches for using these measures in studies of cancer survivors by building upon past examples studying sarcopenia, cachexia, and frailty in aging populations. Videotaped recordings of the workshop presentations will be available through the workshop webpage in early 2018. EGRP's contact for this workshop is Joanne Elena, Ph.D., M.P.H., Program Director, Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch. 

The Annual Meeting of the NCI Cohort Consortium took place in November 2017. It included a strategic planning session for future directions of the NCI Cohort Consortium as well as presentations of methodologic insights into consortium studies, ghost-time bias from imperfect mortality ascertainment, and innovative data capture for cancer surveillance and cohort studies. Several Cohort Consortium working groups also met during the meeting. For questions about the NCI Cohort Consortium, contact Ms. Nonye Harvey, M.P.H., Public Health Advisor, Office of the Associate Director.
In addition to offering webcasts for many of the meetings listed above, EGRP organized 20 webinars in 2017 for four recurring webinar series focused on topics related to cancer epidemiologic research in understudied populations, ethical and regulatory issues in cancer research (a partnership between EGRP and NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis), infectious agents and cancer epidemiology research, and sequencing strategies for population-based studies
Learn more about EGRP's events at  https://epi.grants.cancer.gov/events .
New Resources for Researchers
EGRP continues to expand existing research resources for the cancer epidemiology community and make new resources available for cancer epidemiology and genomic research.
In 2017, the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2015 was published for use by the research community. The HEI is a measure of diet quality, independent of quantity, that can be used to assess compliance with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and monitor changes in dietary patterns. The HEI also is a valuable tool for epidemiologic and economic research and can be used to evaluate nutrition interventions and consumer nutrition education programs. 
Radar plot showing two similar total HEI scores. Though the overall HEI scores are similar, there are notable differences in certain foods categories.
The HEI-2015 is the latest iteration of the HEI. Previous iterations included HEI-2010 and HEI-2005. The HEI was developed through a partnership between staff in EGRP's Risk Factor Assessment Branch and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. EGRP's contact for the HEI is Jill Reedy, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D. , Program Director, Risk Factor Assessment Branch.
We invite our readers to explore  additional research resources on our website . These resources include compilations of biospecimen resources, cancer patient and survivor cohort studies, genomic resources, links to national and state cancer registries, data collection resources and tools, databases and analytical tools, surveys for monitoring diet and physical activity, and much more. We are continuously updating these resources, so please check back frequently. 
Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute | 9609 Medical Center Drive | 4 East, MSC 9763 | Bethesda | MD 20892