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Kim Receives Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Award

By Laura Hall
November 2009

Awardee Sangmi Kim
Awardee Sangmi Kim (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Mentor and Epidemiology Branch Chief Dale Sandler
Mentor and Epidemiology Branch Chief Dale Sandler (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Co-mentor Jack Taylor
Co-mentor Jack Taylor (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Sangmi Kim, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Group, received a Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) of the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for 2009 on October 7. "This prestigious fellowship will serve as a tremendous asset in helping me attain my goal of a career in academic research," said Kim. "With this fellowship, I will gain invaluable experience in the detailed process of designing and conducting molecular epidemiologic studies."

The two-year award was given to Kim to pursue a project that involves determining the influence of endogenous levels of prostaglandin E2 on estrogen bioavailability and subsequent breast cancer risk. In addition, Kim will study how the inflammation pathway is involved in the effects of environmental factors on estrogen bioavailability.

The BCRP funds innovative research that could significantly impact breast cancer research or addresses neglected issues. The program seeks to instigate multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations and seeks to involve early career investigators with a "strong desire to pursue a career in breast cancer research." The BCRP has a two-tiered review process that engages breast cancer survivors as well as scientists in evaluating research projects.

The BCRP reviewers mentioned the strong training environment at NIEHS as one of the elements in Kim's favor. Training and mentoring that facilitates the development of the awardee as a breast cancer researcher is an important BCRP goal.

Kim's mentor, Dale Sandler, Ph.D., said she is "thrilled that Dr. Kim received this award." Sandler noted that "the research plan represents Dr. Kim's independent work. The award will provide an opportunity for Dr. Kim to further demonstrate she has what it takes to become an independent investigator." Jack Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator in the Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology Group will act as co-mentor.

(Laura Hall is a biologist in the NIEHS Laboratory of Pharmacology currently on detail as a writer for the Environmental Factor.)

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