Aaron E. Hoffman earned his doctorate in epidemiology from Yale University in 2009, followed by an additional year of postdoctoral training. His research focuses on the molecular epidemiology of cancer, with a particular interest in the influence of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of circadian disruption on cancer susceptibility. He is also interested in more broad analyses of the inter-individual variability in gene expression, and the extent to which epigenetic mechanisms such as post-transcriptional gene regulation by small non-coding RNA species and other non-traditional regulatory instruments (e.g. alternative polyadenylation), influence cancer-relevant processes and contribute to the complex risk structure which is observable at the population level. In each case, the goal of his research is to generate insights with translational implications which may be useful for the treatment and prevention of cancer.
Dr. Aaron E. Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, is widely recognized for providing some of the initial epidemiological evidence demonstrating a link between germline genetic and epigenetic variants in core circadian genes and cancer susceptibility. Using a rare combination of population-based research and functional genetics bench science, Dr. Hoffman has shown that inherited mutations influencing the endogenous circadian machinery confer differential risk for a number of cancers, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was also a key contributor to the first study demonstrating that circadian disruption, caused by long-term exposure to shift work, has the potential to result in epigenetic reprogramming in the form of altered DNA methylation profiles. More recently, he has incorporated next-generation sequencing techniques into his research in order to advance our understanding of the role of the circadian system in orchestrating the human transcriptome, and he is currently involved in a multi-national effort aimed at further elucidating the molecular consequences of long-term shift work. In each case, Dr. Hoffman's research is geared toward improving our approach to chemoprevention and chemotherapy by identifying potential susceptibility markers which may be useful at the population level for identifying individuals at high risk for the deleterious effects of shift work, as well as providing information relevant for the interpretation and implementation of predictive or prognostic biomarkers, many of which may be circadian-regulated.
Tulane Cancer Center Program Member
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