The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has been awarded $8.2 million from the National Cancer Institutes to coordinate a national U.S. research consortium focused on investigating the links between obesity and cancer. The $45 million Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (Trec) Initiative also aims to study underlying behavioral causes of obesity and identify potential preventive measures, particularly among children, cancer patients, and others at high risk.
While the Hutchinson Center is coordinating the program, five-year research funding will also be provided to Trec project collaborators at Harvard University, University of California San Diego, University of Pennsylvania, and Washington University in St. Louis. Research projects will range from biological and physiological mechanisms of obesity, to behavioral, socio-cultural, and environmental influences on nutrition, physical activity, and weight.
“By approaching the problem from many directions and collaborating across studies we hope to make scientific progress faster than more narrowly focused research,” comments Mark Thornquist, Ph.D., principal investigator at the Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division. “The idea behind Trec was to attack the problem of obesity and cancer with teams of researchers from many scientific fields such as nutrition science, molecular epidemiology, and behavioral science.”