Research Projects and Resource Cores

Research Projects

Critical role of inducible salt-sensing kinase SGK1 in the inflammatory cytokine induced oncogene signaling and breast cancer development

Project Leaders:
Venkataswarup Tiriveedhi MD,PhD: TSU
Ann Richmond, PhD: VICC
Kristie Rose, PhD: VICC

Specific Aim 1:Determine the phospho-proteome changes in response to modulation of external salt (NaCl) concentration in breast cancer cells in a pro-inflammatory cytokine environment.

Specific Aim 2: Define the functional role of SGK1 in salt induced inflammatory biochemical signaling pathway leading to up-regulation of oncogenes, FAM83A and MYST2, and eventually leading to cancer development.


Navigated Early Survivorship Transition

Project Leaders:
Debra Friedman MD, MS-VICC
Maureen Sanderson MPH, PhD-MMC
Rebecca Selove MPH, PhD-TSU

Specific Aim 1: Develop two models of survivorship care planning: (1) planning started within the 1st month of therapy, followed by additional survivorship care planning at the end of therapy (intervention); and (2) planning provided at the conclusion of treatment (usual care)

Specific Aim 2: In an RCT of survivors and their identified caretaker (60 survivor-support person pairs each at VICC and at MMC), compare physical and psychosocial wellbeing, engagement, resource utilization and adherence to recommended treatment and follow-up between intervention and usual care

Specific Aim 3: Compare the outcomes of survivors-caretakers treated at VICC and MMC in each of the randomized arms to incorporate socioeconomic and cultural considerations


Oral Microbiomes and Lung Cancer Risk

Project Leaders:
Hua Xie, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D- MMC
Xiaofei Wang, Ph.D- TSU
Qiuyin Cai, M.D., Ph.D- VICC
William Blot, Ph.D- VICC

Specific Aim 1: To conduct a nested case-control study of lung cancer among 200 cases and 200 controls

  • Nested within the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS)
  • Sequence the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene to characterize and compare the oral microbiomes of lung cancer cases and controls.

Specific Aim 2: To compare oral microbiome profiles of AA and EA and of smoking status (current, former, never) among the 200 controls from Aim 1

Exploratory Aim: To compare whether using shotgun sequencing approach can better identify organisms in mouthwash samples.

  • Shotgun metagenomics in 100 samples included in Aim 1
  • Compare sequencing data from 16S rRNA gene and metagenomics

Resource Cores

Biostatistics Core

Core Leaders:
Yu Shyr,Ph.D- VICC

Specific Aim 1: To provide consultative services for investigators in statistical design, power analysis, sample size estimation, data analysis, interpretation of results and the writing of manuscripts.

Specific Aim 2: To collaborate with grant applicants and write the statistical analysis sections of their grants.

Specific Aim 3: To collaborate on funded research efforts initiated by investigators, providing statistical data analysis, interpretation of results, and assistance in the preparation of manuscripts, abstracts and posters for publication and conferences.

Specific Aim 4: To develop and evaluate statistical methods for experimental design and  data analysis.


Community Outreach Core

Core Leaders:
Pamela Hull, Ph.D- VICC
Maureen Sanderson, Ph.D,-MMC
Elizabeth Williams, Ph.D -TSU

Specific Aim 1: Convene and coordinate a Community Advisory Board to facilitate community input into MVTCP activities and research projects and to promote awareness of the MVTCP among community stakeholders.

Specific Aim 2: Provide support to community-engaged research projects focused on cancer prevention and minority participation in clinical trials.

Specific Aim 3: Advance a research agenda to test culturally-appropriate strategies through community-engaged intervention studies.

Specific Aim 4: Contribute to the NCI National Outreach Network on a coordinated agenda to identify, develop, and disseminate health promotion and cancer education information.


Clinical Trials  Core

Core Leaders:
Phil Lammers, M.D- MMC                                                                                                                                                                          Sandeep Anatha, M.D –MMC                                                                                                                                                                          Jill Gilbert, M.D,-VICC
John Murray, M.D., Ph.D-MMC

Specific Aims

Specific Aim 1:  Define and prioritize clinical trials that are relevant to the patient base of Nashville General Hospital at Meharry (NGHM).

Specific Aim 2: Assist in the Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement of the clinical trials office of NGHM

Specific Aim 3: Synergize with the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) grant to facilitate accrual to clinical trials.

Specific Aim 4: Promote and support the development of MMC and VICC investigator-initiated trials from pilot data from clinician, laboratory, and epidemiological researchers.

Specific Aim 5:  Enhance the educational experience of the Vanderbilt University Hematology/Oncology Fellowship by involvement in clinical research involving a minority and medically underserved population.

Translational Pathology Shared Resources

Core Leaders:
Billy Ballard, D.D.S., M.D- MMC
Shawn Goodwin, Ph.D,-MMC
Jim Goldenring, M.D., Ph.D-MMC

Specific Aim 1: To collect, process, bank, and distribute human neoplasms and matched normal tissue.

Specific Aim 2: To provide quality control and ensure that the relevant tissue supplied to the researcher are suitable for the planned research.

Specific Aim 3: To protect patient confidentiality

Specific Aim 4: To maintain a centralized database for collecting, banking and tracking specimen.

Specific Aim 5: To provide basic research histology, immunohistochemistry, and imaging services to Cancer Partnership investigators on a fee-for-service basis.