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Dr. Hongmei Nan’s major research interest is in the molecular and genetic epidemiology of cancer. Dr. Nan’s studies are focused on investigating the roles of genetic susceptibility; epigenetic factors, such as methylation; biomarkers; and environmental factors, and their potential interactions in the etiology and prevention of cancer. Dr. Nan evaluates genetic susceptibility using both candidate gene and genome-wide association study (GWAS) approaches. Dr. Nan’s research also includes studies in Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE). In a recent study aiming to evaluate the effect of aspirin use, the 8q24 cancer susceptibility SNP rs6983267 identified from the GWAS, and their interaction on the risk of colorectal cancer according to CTNNB1 alterations, Dr. Nan and her colleagues found that the joint protective effects of regular use of aspirin and the T allele of rs6983267 on the risk of colorectal cancer was limited to tumors with activated CTNNB1. Since the functional significance of risk alleles identified by GWAS remain largely uncertain, a GWAS-MPE approach should be one of the next steps after GWAS. In addition, as a member of the Colorectal Cancer GWAS Consortium (GECCO), Dr. Nan led a genome-wide analysis of gene × environment interactions between aspirin/NSAID use and ~2.7 million SNPs in more than 8,500 case-control pairs from 10 large national and international population-based studies to comprehensively identify common genetic markers that may confer differential benefit from aspirin/NSAIDs chemoprevention. As reported in JAMA, Dr. Nan and her colleagues found that colorectal cancer risk differed according to two SNPs at chromosomes 12 and 15. The JAMA editorial commentary highlighted that this study is scientifically noteworthy for several distinct reasons, including its high impact on clinical practice. Her JAMA paper has also been commented on by Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, in his NIH Director’s Blog, wherein Dr. Nan’s study has been highlighted to provide an important proof-of-principle of the potential of expanding the President’s Precision Medicine approach into disease prevention as well as therapy. Moreover, as a director of Epidemiology Consultation Core at IU Simon Cancer Center, Dr. Nan supports clinicians’ research projects and proposals which need epidemiologic advice, thereby promoting collaborative interactions between clinicians and epidemiologists and thus facilitating joint research projects and grant funding proposals.