Prostate Cancer Researcher to Hold New Endowed Chair in Urology

By Robin Hindery, UCSF Today | July 28, 2009

UCSF cancer researcher and epidemiologist June Chan, ScD, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Steven and Christine Burd-Safeway Endowed Chair in the Department of Urology.

Chan, as associate professor in the Department of Urology and the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, has focused much of her research on the role of hormones and nutrition in prostate cancer incidence, progression and mortality. She is currently studying the effects of diet and lifestyle changes -- including exercise, antioxidants and nutritional supplements -- following cancer diagnosis.

The Burd-Safeway endowment was created by Safeway Inc., one of North America's largest food and drug retailers, along with its CEO Steven Burd and his wife Christine "to support the research, teaching and service activities of the holder related to the causes, prevention and treatment of prostate cancer."

Chan's combined interests in nutrition and prostate cancer make her "perfectly matched to this chair," said Peter Carroll, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Urology.

"June is a brilliant and talented investigator and a warm, compassionate and skillful leader," Carroll wrote in an email announcing the appointment.

Chan and Carroll led a recently completed, National Cancer Institute-funded clinical trial called MENS (Molecular Effects of Nutritional Supplements), which aimed to determine whether the antioxidant-rich extracts from tomatoes or fish oil might reduce the recurrence of prostate cancer or causes genetic changes in the prostates of men undergoing active surveillance.

Chan, who joined the UCSF faculty in 2001, is a member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center's Prostate Cancer Program. She has led the Genitourinary Cancer Epidemiology and Population Science program in the Department of Urology since its inception in 2005.

Chan received her undergraduate and Doctor of Science degrees from Harvard and was a Fulbright Scholar in Sweden from 1994-95 working at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Uppsala University. In 1998, she received a Young Investigator Award from CaP CURE, now known as the Prostate Cancer Foundation.


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