Community of Science Listing (includes publications)
Pharmacogenetics and survivorship: In collaboration with clinicians at multiple institutions in the United States, Canada, and Australia Dr. Ulrich is leading studies of cohorts of cancer patients that investigate how polymorphisms in folate metabolism affect the response to chemotherapy with methotrexate or 5-fluorouracil. Research on biologic aspects of cancer survivorship is important and has received little attention. Dr. Ulrich's research aims to answer questions on pharmacogenetics, the impact of the use of nutritional supplements, and chemoprevention strategies among cancer survivors.
Polymorphisms in prostaglandin synthesis and risk of colorectal polyps: Dr. Ulrich heads interdisciplinary studies investigating genetic variability in prostaglandin/eicosanoid synthesis in relation to colorectal neoplasia. This biologic pathway is critical for the efficacy of aspirin and other NSAIDs in colorectal cancer prevention. In addition to epidemiologic studies of colon and rectal cancer, we will also undertake in vitro evaluation of the functional impact of polymorphisms. This work brings together researchers from the FHCRC, the University of Utah, TGen, and the University of Texas.
Transdisciplinary research in energy balance and cancer (TREC): Together with colleagues at the FHCRC and three other institutions in the United States, Dr. Ulrich is participating in a large interdisciplinary NIH initiative to elucidate the mechanisms linking obesity and energy balance to cancer risk, and explore new prevention strategies. She is leading a project that evaluates as part of a randomized controlled trial the effects of exercise and/or energy restriction on DNA repair capacity, gene expression, proteomics, and biomarkers of inflammation. Dr. Ulrich is also leading the Training and Education Core of the Seattle TREC.
DNA mutagen sensitivity and repair capacity: In addition to the effects of exercise/caloric restriction on this critical biomarker, Dr. Ulrich collaborates with other colleagues at the FHCRC in studies investigating within randomized controlled trials the effects of diets high in specific classes of fruits and vegetables on indicators of DNA damage and repair capacity, and on studies evaluating associations between supplement use and DNA repair capacity.
Folate and DNA repair polymorphisms and risk of colorectal neoplasia: Dr. Ulrich directs studies investigating associations between common genetic variability in folate-metabolizing and DNA-repair enzymes and risk of colorectal polyps or cancer. Gene-environment interactions with respect to relevant exposures are a special emphasis of this work. Collaborators include colleagues at the FHCRC and the University of Utah. We have also recently proposed a whole-genome scan of non-synonymous SNPs, using a two-stage design. This project will address the role of genetic variability in colon cancer risk on a genomic level.
Mathematical modeling of folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism: Dr. Ulrich leads an interdisciplinary investigation to develop a mathematical simulation model of the biochemistry of folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism, including its link to DNA methylation. This model has already shown intriguing insights into folate homeostasis and the relevance of regulatory mechanisms in folate metabolism for preserving methylation capacity. Collaborators include colleagues at Duke University, the University of Florida, the University of Berkeley, the University of Arkansas, and the FHCRC.
Immune function studies: Together with colleagues at the FHCRC and University of Washington Dr. Ulrich investigates the effects of 12-months moderate exercise on immune function as part of a randomized controlled trial of 115 postmenopausal women. This also includes studies exploring how dietary factors and weight-loss relate to measures of immune function in this population. We have recently submitted findings showing that exercise reduces the incidence of colds among postmenopausal women.