I am an Assistant Professor on Research Track in the Department of Population Health Sciences and in the Division of Cancer Population Sciences at the University of Utah. I have earned my doctorate degree in cancer epidemiology from the Medical Faculty at the University of Heidelberg, Germany with the highest distinction “summa cum laude”. Since 2017 I am the the Scientific Coordinator of the ColoCare Cohort. An NCI funded cohort of prospectively followed colorectal cancer patients with six study sites in the US and one study site in Germany.
My science spans cancer etiology to survivorship in observational and clinical studies. Ongoing research projects are in the area of molecular and cancer epidemiology; metabolomics; nutrition; connections between obesity, adipose tissue, and the development and progression of cancer; and the role of energy balance and physical activity in cancer prevention and cancer survivorship. In the past years I have focused on colorectal and ovarian cancer with a specific interest in understanding etiologic differences across different histological and molecular subtypes.
My mentoring philosophy is to first to get to know each students’ unique talents and interests, identifying students’ goals and building and expanding on them. It is important for me to develop a relationship founded on mutual respect to create an interactive and safe research environment. It is ok to fail and make mistakes, independent on the level of education. However, it is important to learn to adjust and to move forward. Every criticism is aiming to improve the students’ performance and to help them grow to strong and independent researchers. Accountability and taking responsibility is important to me as a mentor and for the growth of the student. I enforce open communication when it comes to expectations, questions and frustrations at both ends of the mentor-mentee relationship. It is a wonderful experience for me to mentor young and motivated scientists and I am looking forward to accompany them a bit alongside their research avenues.