MEG Scholar-in-Training Award

Established in 2003 and funded by MEG membership dues, the MEG Award for Student Excellence in Molecular Epidemiology is awarded each year to three early-career scientists whose abstract accepted for presentation at the AACR Annual Meeting has been highly rated by the Program Committee. The purpose of the award is to highlight the work being done by talented early-career scientists and to promote the importance of the field to others who may be considering a career in the growing discipline of molecular epidemiology. Awardees are recognized at the MEG Town Meeting, and receive a complimentary year of membership in the Working Group.

To be considered for the MEG Award, associate members should indicate that they wish to be considered for a Scholar-in-Training Award when submitting an abstract in the online abstract submitter. All eligible candidates will automatically be considered.

MEG Scholar-in-Training Award Recipients for 2016

David A. Drew, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts
A prospective study of smoking habit and risk of synchronous colorectal cancers

Dr. Drew is a research fellow in the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit and Division of Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston, Massachusetts). He received a BS in biochemistry and biophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York) and a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of Connecticut Health Center (Farmington, Connecticut). His research interests include the role of early neoplasia in tumorigenesis and molecular, microbial, environmental, and lifestyle modifiers, especially cigarette smoking, of aspirin chemoprevention and the risk of colorectal cancer.

Lesley S. Park, PhD, MPH          
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, California
Multiplicative interaction between HIV infection status and FIB-4 in prediction of hepatocellular carcinoma risk

Dr. Park is an epidemiologist with strong quantitative, analytical, and programming skills. Her research experience has focused on the intersection of cancer and HIV, examining epidemiologic methods for cancer research, cancer incidence trends, and cancer prevention in persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Since receiving her doctorate, Dr. Park has been promoted to co-director of the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Cancer Core, overseeing cancer outcomes research in PLWHA. As a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University, she has been selected to participate in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP) fellowship. Her research aims to bridge epidemiology and health care "big data." Dr. Park brings seven years' experience using the national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) electronic health records database.

Lauren C. Peres, PhD, MPH
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Body powder use and ovarian cancer: The African-American Cancer Epidemiology Study
Dr. Peres is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia. Her primary research interests are in molecular cancer epidemiology, with an emphasis on health disparities. Dr. Peres is currently focused on examining the effects of inflammatory biomarkers and risk factors on ovarian cancer among African-American women.