National Cancer Institute
Epidemiology and Genomics Research
December 2013

About Us 

Funding Opportunity
Cancer Detection, Diagnosis, and Treatment Technologies for Global Health (UH2/UH3)
Application due date: January 6, 2014
Expires: January 7, 2014


NCI Provocative Questions RFAs 

Application due dates: January 15, 2014; June 20, 2014

Expires: June 21, 2014



Sub-Saharan African Collaborative HIV and Cancer Consortia (U54)

Application due date:  January 17, 2014

Expires: January 18, 2014 



Interpreting Variation in Human Non-Coding Genomic Regions Using Computational Approaches and Experimental Assessment (R01)

Application due dates: January 21, 2014; January 21, 2015

Expires: January 22, 2015 



Analysis of Genome-Wide Gene-Environment (GxE) Interactions (R21)

Application due date:  February 14, 2014

Expires: February 15, 2014



Collaborative Activities to Promote Metabolomics Research (Admin. Supp.)

Application due date: February 14, 2014

Expires: February 15, 2014 



Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics Approaches for Nutrition Research (R01)

Application due dates: March 20, 2014; March 19, 2015; March 22, 2016

Expires: March 23, 2016



Research on Malignancies in the Context of HIV/AIDS (R01, R21)

Application due dates: Standard AIDS dates apply 

Expires: September 8, 2016 

Grants Policy AnnouncementsGrantsmanshipAnnouncements
NCI Small Grants Program for Cancer Research (NCI Omnibus R03) was released November 21, 2013, Principal Investigators should note changes to application receipt dates.

Change in the NIH Continuous Submission Policy
Job OpportunitiesJobOpportunity

Program Director, Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch, EGRP

Program Director, Host Susceptibility Factors Branch, EGRP

Cancer Research Training Award Fellow, Associate Coordinator for Cancer Epidemiology Cohorts and Consortia, EGRP

Chief, Laboratory of Translational Genomics, DCEG
Upcoming Seminars & WorkshopsEvents
NCI-NIBIB Point of Care Technologies for Cancer Conference
January 8-10, 2014 in Bethesda, MD

7th Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference: Advancing Survivorship through Multilevel Collaborations
Abstract Submission Deadline: January 22, 2014, 11:59 p.m.

Evaluating Genomic Evidence for Medical Decision-Making: A Workshop
February 3, 2014 in Washington, DC

Complex Systems, Health Disparities & Population Health: Building Bridges
February 24-25, 2014 in Bethesda, MD

HIV Drug Resistance Program Conference: Host Factors and Cofactors in HIV Infection
February 25, 2014 (rescheduled from October 16, 2013 due to government shutdown) in Frederick, MD
Blog PostBlogPosts


The Continued Importance of Research in Gene-Environment Interactions in 21st Century Epidemiology

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.
Send Us Your IdeasSendUsYourIdeas
EGRP encourages readers to submit items of interest to Cancer Epidemiology Matters E-News. EGRP reserves the right to decide whether or not materials are appropriate for inclusion.
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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
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Network Formed to Discover New Cancer OncoArraySusceptibility Variants
OncoArray Network Accepting New Members

The OncoArray Network encompasses a group of disease-based consortia interested in gaining new insights into the genetic architecture and mechanisms underlying breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers.  


To pursue this goal, they have partnered with Illumina in designing a new chip, the OncoArray, which includes approximately 570,000 single nucleotide polymorphism markers (SNPs); a backbone of approximately 260,000 SNPs providing genome-wide coverage of most common variants; fine-mapping markers for loci of interest identified for breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, lung, and other cancers; fine mapping of known susceptibility regions; and loci of interest to multiple cancer types (including loci associated with cancer- related phenotypes, drug metabolism, and radiation response).  


Additionally, SNPs relating to quantitative phenotypes such as body mass index (BMI), height, and breast density that correlate with common cancer risks are also included. The OncoArray Network will process more than 400,000 samples of cancer cases and controls. Because of its high-density genotyping and fine mapping, this project offers an unprecedented opportunity to determine causal variants in known loci and to identify new and rarer variants.

The OncoArray Network welcomes additional members, including investigators studying other diseases. Members can gain access to the SNP-limited annotation list and must agree to abide by the Network's internal data-sharing policies and publication guidelines. View the membership application form here.

The OncoArray Network is funded in part by grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Genome Canada, Cancer U.K., the European Union; and others.
Two Biospecimen Resources Are Now GTExUK_BiobankAccepting Proposals for Collaboration  
Image courtesy of Broad Institute
The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Common Fund Genotype-Tissue Expression Project (GTEx) and the UK Biobank are now open for researchers to submit proposals for collaboration. GTEx is a resource for the scientific community that aims to create a comprehensive public atlas of gene expression and regulation across multiple human tissues, and it recently released a new Biospecimen Access Policy to help reach that goal. The purpose of the new policy is to allow access to biospecimens in the GTEx biobank in order to facilitate the efficient use of this valuable resource.   


The new Biospecimens Access Policy governs all GTEx samples, whether renewable or non-renewable. GTEx biospecimens include: PAXgene fixed, frozen tissue; PAXgene fixed, paraffin embedded tissue; flash frozen brain samples; genomic DNA; mRNA and microRNA; and lymphoblastoid and fibroblast cell lines. Those interested in accessing GTEx biospecimens should log in to the GTEx Portal for more information about the availability, the new Biospecimen Access Policy, and all necessary request forms. If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail GTEx at


The UK Biobank is another potentially valuable biospecimen resource for cancer researchers, which is now open for research proposals. The UK Biobank cohort consists of 500,000 adults. There are a variety of biospecimens and data available in the UK Biobank including 1700 incident breast cancers, 900 colorectal and 1500 prostate cancers, among other sites, baseline blood on everyone (although it is strictly governed), as well as detailed questionnaire data and clinical assessments of weight, blood pressure, etc. Currently, they are running a standard set of assays on the whole cohort (IGF, sex hormones, etc.) in addition to whole genome sequencing, which is expected to be available in the next year. For more information about the UK Biobank, including access procedures and other resources, visit their website.

In addition to these resources, the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) has identified several other potential sources of biospecimens for investigators on our Biospecimen Resources for Population Scientists webpage. If you are aware of other resources that are not listed on our webpage, please let us know, and we will consider including them in the future.


For questions about biospecimens related to cancer epidemiology research, contact: 
The Breast Cancer and the Environment BCERPResearch Program's 10th Anniversary and Annual Meeting


On November 7-8, 2013, the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), an initiative co-funded by the NCI and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), held its 10th annual meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, to discuss the future of research on breast cancer and the environment as well as reflect on the program's accomplishments over the past decade. The meeting, BCERP Annual Extended Environmental Exposures Conference, Ten Years: Goals, Accomplishments, and Future Directions, brought together BCERP stakeholders including scientists in the area of breast cancer and mammary biology, environmental epidemiology, and children's health, as well as community, environmental health, and breast cancer advocates.


Currently, there are several ongoing epidemiologic and biologic studies within BCERP that are investigating the influence of extended environmental exposures on breast cancer risk throughout the lifespan and targeting "windows of susceptibility" that may represent periods of particular vulnerability to environmental stresses. To date, BCERP research has resulted in the discovery of novel biomarkers and the creation of public health interventions, such as the dissemination of toolkits and educational materials about environmental exposures and breast cancer risk. Despite these achievements, the discussions and presentations at the conference reinforced the reality that environmental impact on cancer is complex and continued research is needed.


The keynote address at the meeting was delivered by Dr. Kenneth Olden, the current Director of the Environmental Protection Agency's National Center for Environmental Assessment and former Director of NIEHS. Dr. Olden was a pioneer of the original Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers (BCERC) program, the precursor to BCERP, which formed in 2003 to address the interplay between genetic, chemical, physical and social factors, puberty, and breast cancer risk. His presentation highlighted NIEHS's work on breast cancer and the environment and discussed the expansion of the definition of "environment" to include both chemical and non-chemical stressors. Dr. Olden also touched on the creation of communication and outreach messages highlighting gene-environment interactions in the development of chronic diseases and how those efforts led to new programs, like BCERP, that are aimed at preventing chronic diseases.


The meeting also highlighted the past accomplishments of BCERC and ongoing progress in BCERP. Dr. Debbie Winn, Deputy Director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the NCI, gave a presentation on scientific gaps and research recommendations of the federally mandated Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee, and multiple agencies discussed their perspectives on future directions for breast cancer and environmental research.


For more information, including links to BCERP and related resources, key publications, and the meeting agenda, visit the BCERP website and the 2013 Annual Meeting webpage.


Meeting of NCI Cohort Consortium NCICohortConsortium
Members Focuses on Leveraging Existing Resources to Accelerate Discovery
Dr. Muin Khoury, Associate Director of EGRP, speaks about the recommendations and results of the Trends in 21st-Century
Epidemiology Workshop.
The NCI Cohort Consortium convened its Annual Meeting on November 18-19, 2013, on the NCI campus in Rockville, Maryland, coordinated by EGRP of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). Consortium members gathered to discuss scientific progress and priorities since the previous year, and identify gaps and new opportunities for collaboration.

The Cohort Consortium is a collaborative network of investigators that provides a coordinated, interdisciplinary approach to tackling important scientific questions, economies of scale, and opportunities to quicken the pace of research. Consortium members are responsible for more than 40 high-quality epidemiologic cohorts of 100,000 participants or more, which represent large and diverse populations in more than 15 different countries. The Cohort Consortium's mission is to promote communication and collaboration between member cohorts, identify common problems, and recommend possible solutions.   


The Consortium includes more than two dozen collaborative consortium working groups, several of which met over the course of the two-day meeting to discuss the status and progress of their various studies. The afternoon of November 18th featured several public meeting sessions, including:  

  • Presentations on new methods and technologies in cancer epidemiology;    
  • Breakout sessions featuring lively discussions around types of opportunities, challenges, short-term and long-term efforts, and infrastructure to facilitate and accelerate implementation in the Cohort Consortium; and    
  • Brief updates on the latest scientific findings and future directions from five working groups.  

In addition, Dr. Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, of the New York University School of Medicine, was honored with an Outstanding Service award for her leadership as Chairman of the Consortium Secretariat during the past year.  


A detailed summary of the meeting will be available on the Annual Meeting webpage in 2014. For additional details about the Consortium's membership and projects, visit the Cohort Consortium website or contact Nonye Harvey at NCI.  

Dr. Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte (center) receives an Outstanding Service award from Dr. Stephen Chanock, Director of DCEG, and Dr. Deborah Winn, Deputy Director of DCCPS.

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