Our work focuses on understanding how the obese microenvironment, when combined with the metabolic and hormonal changes associated with menopause, promote tumor development, survival, and growth. In parallel, we are investigating the role of adipose tissue inflammation in the development of metabolic disease after menopause. Our hope is that the knowledge gained from studying the ‘normal’ adipose and breast environments during menopause will also help us understand the changes that occur to create a tumor-promoting environment in the breast of obese women during this same window of time.
Preclinical Models: small animal models of obesity, menopause, and breast cancer.
In vivo metabolism: indirect calorimetry, nutrient tracers, tumor metabolism, body composition.
Molecular Tools: cell and molecular biology techniques to isolate, manipulate, and analyze cells and tissues, including tumor cells, adipocytes, stromal vascular cells, and macrophages.
Our research is currently funded by:
K99/R00 (NCI): Obesity associated inflammation and postmenopausal breast cancer.
PI – Giles
Texas A&M Triads for Transformation: Impact of obesity on mammary development and breast cancer.
coPIs – Giles/Porter/Allred
Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas – High Impact High Risk Award
PI – Giles
Targeting the menopause transition to decrease the risk for obesity-associated postmenopausal breast cancer.
Recently completed funding:
Colorado Center for Women’s Health Research: Exercise, inflammation, and the menopausal transition.
Colorado Nutrition & Obesity Research Center Pilot Grant: Progesterone receptor expression & obesity-associated postmenopausal breast cancer.
AICR Research Fellowship: Metabolic Inflexibility: A potential link between obesity and post-menopausal breast cancer.
Thorkildensen Research Fellowship: Obesity and postmenopausal breast cancer.
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Fellowship: Mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis to bone.