Junior Investigator Award 2015

Inaugural Junior Investigator Award
given to Dr Hongmei Nan


Dr Hongmei Nan has combined her expertise in clinical medicine with her extensive training in genetic, molecular and pathological epidemiology to establish the link between prevention

of colorectal cancer and the current and future uses of aspirin.

A graduate of Yanbian University in China, she pursued an academic career first in South Korea, then in Japan and finally in the United States, where she is now Professor of Epidemiology at the Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indiana University.

Her two major publications on aspirin, in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), have been groundbreaking. In them she combined data from 10 studies of more than 8,500 case-control pairs lasting for more than 40 years in 4 countries. She and her team discovered a small subset of people who were not protected from developing colorectal cancer, and identified the specific genetic variants linked to this lack of protection. Her work helps to explain why aspirin prevents colorectal cancer in most people, but does not do so in a very few.

JAMA’s editorial on her work states:

‘This study adds complexity to a clinical question that the cancer control community has grappled with for years: i.e. should healthy adults take aspirin regularly to reduce their risk of colon cancer?’

Dr Nan continues to break new ground on the subject of aspirin and colon cancer. The Aspirin Foundation is pleased and proud to support her.

Chairman of the International Aspirin Foundation Scientific Advisory Board - Prof Peter Elwood presents Hongmei Nan with her framed certificate and silver engraved Drake dish