Dr. Ting-Yuan (David) Cheng, an assistant professor in the department of epidemiology in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF College of Medicine, is studying the molecular pathology of breast cancer among African American women. His research is supported by a Career Development Award (K07) from the National Cancer Institute.
[Photo: Dr. Ting-Yuan (David) Cheng]
African American women are more likely to develop specific breast cancer subtypes, such as estrogen receptor negative (ER-), triple-negative and basal-like tumors, that have a poorer prognosis. Dr. Cheng is exploring breast cancer risk factors, including obesity and abdominal fat, and their influence on molecular pathways associated with these breast cancer subtypes.
“The results from this line of research are expected to lead to a better understanding of mechanisms of obesity in breast cancer and shed light on preventive strategies for ER-, triple-negative, and basal-like breast cancer in African American women,” Dr. Cheng said.
Dr. Cheng is particularly interested in a molecular pathway known as mTOR, which is an important component in the regulation of cell growth and proliferation and has been implicated in breast cancer development.
Dr. Cheng’s Career Development Award mentors include Dr. Thomas Pearson, UF Health’s executive vice president for research and education and a professor of epidemiology and medicine; Dr. Martha Campbell-Thompson, a professor of experimental pathology and director of the molecular pathology core in the UF College of Medicine; Dr. Christine Ambrosone, Dr. Song Liu and Dr. Thaer Khoury, researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and Dr. Elisa Bandera researcher at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.