Jia Chen, ScD, Receives Visiting Scientist Award from International Agency for Research on Cancer

Dr. Chen will spend the 2010/2011 academic year continuing her research on breast and lung cancer with collaborators at IARC in Lyon, France.

New York, NY
 – June 14, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Jia Chen, ScD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine, Pediatrics, and Oncological Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been named recipient of a prestigious Visiting Scientist Award by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Dr. Chen will spend the 2010/2011 academic year working with collaborators at IARC in Lyon, France, to study how diet influences gene expression in relationship to breast and lung cancer risk and survival. The award was announced by IARC this month.

IARC, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), promotes international collaboration in cancer research and prevention. As a Visiting Scientist at IARC, Dr. Chen will explore the extensive resource that IARC has assembled through the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

The EPIC cohort is comprised of more than half a million participants from 23 centers in Western Europe. The data collected from EPIC are used to study the relationships between diet, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Dr Chen will also undertake research at IARC within the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium exploring interactions of environmental and genetic risk factors in the causation of cancer in children.

Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, Dean for Global Health, Ethel H. Wise Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said, "This is a marvelous opportunity for Dr Chen to undertake cancer research on a global scale. Diet and lifestyle are major risk factors for cancer worldwide, and in her work at IARC Dr. Chen will have the opportunity to work with the world’s leading cancer epidemiologists exploring how diet influences cancer risk in different countries. Dr Chen’s receipt of this award symbolizes Mount Sinai’s growing international reach."

Over the past decade, Dr. Chen’s laboratory at Mount Sinai has focused on systematic investigation of the role of dietary micronutrients on breast cancer. She and her collaborators have demonstrated that populations with diets deficient in certain nutrients, such as folate, are at a higher risk for cancer. They have published over 30 papers on this topic.

"Identifying how dietary factors contribute to the development of breast and lung cancer will ultimately lead to creating a strategy for prevention of these diseases,” said Dr. Chen. “That’s why being awarded the Visiting Scientist award at IARC is such an exciting opportunity. It will give me access to several large cohort studies and will allow me to expand on my existing research."

Dr. Chen earned her Doctor of Science degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She continued her studies as a Research Associate at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. After Harvard, Dr. Chen joined Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she has been a faculty member since 1998.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation’s top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

For more information, visit www.mountsinai.org.

For more information on the IARC Visiting Scientist Award visit http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/2010/vsa2010.php.