Scott Langevin, PhD, joined the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine Department of Environmental Health in July 2013, where he will focus on cancer-related gene-environment interaction research as part of the UC Cancer Institute. The UC Cancer Institute and Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center together make up the Cincinnati Cancer Center.
Langevin was most recently with Brown University, where he served as a post-doc researcher studying environmental pathology. He received his doctoral training in epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.
In May 2013, Langevin published a study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention that pointed to heartburn as an independent factor in developing throat cancer. The study showed that people with history of frequent heartburn were 78 percent more likely to have cancer than those who did not.
Tell us about the focus of your research. How will it fit into the UC Cancer Institute and Cincinnati Cancer Center's efforts?
"The focus of my research is molecular cancer epidemiology, primarily on cancer-associated epigenetic alterations, genetic/epigenetic-environment interactions and identification and evaluation of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. I have a particular interest in the study of head and neck cancers, which fits nicely into existing interests here at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute and Cincinnati Cancer Center. I also hope to offer a useful skill set and expertise though my work in epigenome-wide association study methodologies.”
Why were you interesting in coming to Cincinnati to continue your research?
"The UC College of Medicine Department of Environmental Health has a great reputation in the public health research community and the research interests of the department fit really well into my own agenda. Plus Cincinnati seems to be a great, family friendly city, which aligns nicely with where I am currently in life.”
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
"It is hard to pinpoint to one particular moment. Overall, I have been really happy with the gains that I have made in conducting epigenome-wide association studies, which represent a large amount of effort on my part. But I like to think that my work in that arena has not peaked quite yet. At least I hope not!”
You are in the running for a K22 grant. Tell us about that project.
"The K22 is an unmentored career transition grant that I submitted to the National Cancer Institute to apply a DNA methylation array-based approach to mouthwash samples for discovery and development of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for mouth and throat cancers.”
What keeps you motivated to do your research?
"Cancer research is a really rewarding career for obvious reasons. Plus I enjoy the freedom and flexibility that you get in the research world. For the most the part, my time is spent investigating things that strike me as interesting. When your job centers around your own interests and you love what you do, I think it is much easier to stay driven.”
What keeps you busy in your spare time?
"I was a runner in a former life but with the birth of my daughter earlier this year that has gone right out the window! Now most of my free-time is spent hanging out with her. Little kids are really amazing—they are like little giggling sponges taking everything in for the first time. It is every bit as exhausting as running marathons but unbelievably rewarding.”