Erika Trapl Appointed to Serve as Co-Lead of the Cancer Prevention, Control & Population Research Program (CPC) at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Fred Schumacher, PhD, MPH and Erika Trapl, PhD as new co-leaders of the Cancer Prevention, Control and Population Research Program (CPC). Together with current program leader Greg Cooper, MD, Trapl and Schumacher will continue to grow the work of the Prevention Program in the areas of disease-specific genomics, high-risk populations including Barrett’s esophagus, inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer in young adults, tobacco research, interventions and policy and lung cancer screening, and disparities research in our catchment area as well expansion to rural areas.

Genetic epidemiologist Fred Schumacher is an associate professor in the department of quantitative health sciences. Schumacher is an international leader studying the role of germline genetics in cancer susceptibility and progression and has a researcher interest in cancer, especially prostate cancer. His research findings have enabled the discovery of cancer genetic risk factors, generalizability of genetic effects among non-White populations, and evaluated the utility of genetics in cancer risk prediction. Recent projects include the identification of new prostate cancer loci associated with prostate cancer as well as early onset of cancer. This study increased knowledge of prostate cancer genetic risk factors, allowing the team to create genetic risk scores of developing prostate cancer. The work has also led to a clinical trial to assess the utility of the polygenic risk score in a cohort of men at high-risk for prostate cancer (Schumacher, Nat Genet, 2018). “One of my major priorities for CPC is fostering the development and submission of program project grants to further complement the outstanding research programs of our members,” said Schumacher. He is also prioritizing the development of inter-programmatic collaborations across the cancer center.

Erika Trapl is an associate professor in the department of quantitative health sciences, having trained in epidemiology with a focus on health behavior and statistical methodology. Her research is focused on adolescent health risk behavior, multiple determinants of health and tobacco prevalence and prevention. She is currently the PI of the Ohio Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network funded by the CDC/NCI, Co-I and Associate Director of the CDC-funded Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN), and Co-Director of the PRCHN’s Neighborhood Environmental Assessment Project. Trapl has extensive experience in community-based tobacco control research and evaluation, with specific interest in cigar, cigarillo and little cigar use among urban adolescents and young adults (Antognoli, Tob Control, 2019Trapl, Ethn Dis, 2018). One of Trapl’s goals as co-leader is to strengthen the portfolio of primary and secondary prevention research within CPC. “We have great opportunities to partner across clinical and community-based organizations to study expansion of evidence-based interventions to reduce cancer risk,” she said.

Please join us in congratulating Fred and Erika on their new leadership roles!

This piece was featured in Case Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Director’s Message on February 1, 2019.