Harvard Awarded Grant to Study Obesity-Cancer Link

Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has been awarded a 5-year grant from The National Cancer Institute (NCI) for a research center to study the relationship between obesity and cancer.

The center is part of a multicenter cooperative research initiative, called Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The Harvard TREC Center is one of four research centers awarded $45 million over five years. The others are the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; University of California San Diego; and Washington University, St. Louis.

The TREC centers will integrate the study of diet, weight, and physical activity and their effects on energy balance and cancer, and will provide training opportunities for researchers. Projects range from a study on the mechanisms of energy balance to the behavioral, socio-cultural, and environmental influences on nutrition, physical activity, and weight in cancer survivors and other high-risk populations.

The center is designed to increase the understanding of the determinants of obesity from the molecular to societal level and across the lifespan, to clarify the biological links of obesity with cancer risk and survivorship, to translate these findings into actionable behavioral interventions, to train the next generation of investigators in energetics (the study of energy balance) and cancer, and to disseminate this knowledge and develop public health strategies to reduce risk of obesity and cancer.

“NCI is very concerned about the epidemic of obesity and its implications for cancer,” says Robert Croyle, director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. “This investment reflects the urgency of the problem and the need to accelerate scientific progress to inform cancer control strategies.”

Release Date: August 4, 2011
Source: Harvard School of Public Health

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