Melissa Troester, PhD

Associate Professor
EpidemiologyMelissa Troester’s website
Curriculum Vitae
REACH NC (Collexis) Research Profile
2104H McGavran-Greenberg
135 Dauer Drive
Campus Box 7435
T: 919-966-7408

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1994 Macalester College BA, Chemistry
1995 University of Chicago MS, Chemistry
2001 Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PhD, Environmental Health
2006 Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill MPH, Epidemiology
EPID 770 Cancer Epidemiology and Pathogenesis Syllabus
Research interests

  • Aging
  • Cancer
  • Environment (general)
  • Minority health
  • Women’s health
Research activities

The Troester Laboratory is studying how normal breast tissue is altered by breast cancer risk factors and by interaction with breast cancers. Our research shows that from early in carcinogenesis, the normal tissue adjacent to the tumor shows gene expression changes consistent with activation of wound responses. These changes may have important translational implication if they prove to be targetable in chemoprevention or chemotherapy or if they are shown to predict recurrence. In parallel investigations, we are also evaluating how breast tissue gene expression is affected by age, reproductive history, and other breast cancer risk factors. By combining observational studies using normal breast tissue from patients with experimental studies using cell line models of breast cancer, we aim to contribute to a better understanding of normal breast tissue biology and the alterations that are induced during carcinogenesis.

Staff/administrative responsibilities

Co-Director, Center for Environmental Health Sciences Integrated Sciences Facility Core

Key publications
Troester MA, Lee MH, Carter M, Fan C, Cowan DW, Perez ER, Pirone JR, Perou CM, Jerry DJ, Schneider SS. (2009)
Activation of Host Wound Response in Breast Cancer Microenvironment..
Clin Cancer Res: vol.15, p.7020-8.

Troester MA, Millikan RC, Perou CM. (2009)
Microarrays and epidemiology: Ensuring the impact and accessibility of research findings..
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev: vol.18, p.1-4.

Troester MA, Herschkowitz JI, Oh DS, He X, Hoadley KA, Barbier CS, Perou CM. (2006)
Gene expression patterns associated with p53 status in breast cancer..
BMC Cancer: vol.6, p.276.