Research Program: Cancer Discovery Platforms Bridging the Engineering-Biology Continuum
Strategic Theme: Natural & Model Systems
Rebecca Smith is an epidemiologist with an interest in co-morbidities. Smith has extensive training in statistics, with a specialization in longitudinal data analysis and a strong background in risk analysis and disease modeling. Smith has collaborated with other CCIL members on targeting breast cancer issues, leading to important findings in breast cancer treatment with hormone therapy, diet, and obesity. The first work has found an association between the expression of the XPO1 gene and survival with ER(+) breast cancer. The second identified that pre-diagnosis diet quality was more prognostic for survival than post-diagnosis
diet quality. The third found that there were serum factors associated with obesity and race that are also associated with breast cancer cell motility, a risk for metastatic disease.
Smith has also collaborated on prostate cancer, with a study that found no association between circulating tumor cells and biopsy or survival time. She has been involved with analysis of the Mid-Life Health Study data set for a number of years, leading to the publication of important findings. As PI on an NIH-funded career development award, she has proven success in developing statistical and modeling techniques for new areas of research
Smith is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. She received her DVM from Cornell University, her MS in Biosecurity and Risk Analysis from Kansas State University, and completed her PhD in Epidemiology at Cornell University.