Cheryl Thompson, PhD

Assistant Dean of Educational Initiatives
Graduate Education Office
School of Medicine
Associate Professor
Department of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Member
Population and Cancer Prevention Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Thompson is a cancer genetic and molecular epidemiologist. Her research is in the area of identification of factors influencing risk of cancer, as well as factors and biomarkers associated with prognosis and treatment outcomes. One of her primary areas of interest is the role of inherited genetic variation in cancer, and how genetic variations interact with lifestyle or behavior to influence risk of or outcomes for cancer. An area of specialization that she has is in the association of obesity and energetics and genetic pathways related to metabolism and energetics with cancer. Dr. Thompson was recently the first scientist to report the association of short sleep with having more aggressive types of breast cancer.

Dr. Thompson also serves as the Assistant Dean of Educational Initiatives for the School of Medicine. In this role, she provides support for all master's programs and their students and works with faculty around the University to develop new and innovative educational initiatives. 

Follow Dr. Thompson on Twitter: @cancerepicheryl

View Dr. Thompson's CV

Teaching Information

Courses Taught

NTRN 529. Nutritional Epidemiology for Evidence Based Health Practice

Research Information

Research Interests

I am a cancer genetic and molecular epidemiologist in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University.  My research is in the area of identification of factors influencing risk of cancer, as well as factors and biomarkers associated with early detection, prognosis and treatment outcomes, including miRNAs.  My current research focuses on breast cancer, but I’m also involved in numerous other cancers through collaborations.  One of my main research interests is in the discovery of clinical biomarkers in oncology.  I have experience in a variety of different types of biomarkers (for example, protein, RNA, DNA) for use across the cancer care spectrum, including a highly cited article on circulating miRNAs for breast cancer detection. 

My other main area of interest is the role of inherited genetic variation in cancer, and how genetic variations interact with lifestyle or behavior to influence risk of or outcomes for cancer.  An area of specialization that I have had is in the association of obesity and energetics and genetic pathways related to metabolism and energetics with cancer.  I was recently the first scientist to report the association of short sleep with having more aggressive types of breast cancer.  I am currently actively working on following up on this discovery as well as the identification of other genetic and lifestyle variants associated with cancer.

Research Projects

  • Racial differences in breast tumor gene expression and epigenetics
  • Environmental factors and breast cancer DNA methylation
  • Extracellular vesicles for breast cancer diagnosis (with Chip Tilton)
  • Neighborhood constructs and breast cancer disparities
  • Melanoma genetics and epigenetics

Recent Funding

R03 CA241956
7/1/20-6/30/22
National Cancer Institute
“Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Epigenetic Age Acceleration”
MPI: Cheryl Thompson, PhD (contact PI) and Fredrick Schumacher, PhD
Role: Co-PI This investigates the association between known breast cancer risk factors and epigenetic age acceleration as a potential mediator of breast cancer disparities.

P01CA206980 (PIs: Marianne Berwick and Nancy Thomas, University of New Mexico)
6/1/17-5/31/22
NIH/NCI “Integration of Clinical and Molecular Biomarkers for Melanoma Survival”
Project 1: Impact of Melanoma Genetic, Clinical and Immune Sub-classification on Survival
Role: Site Co-PI of CWRU; Co-I Project 1
This P01 will jointly explore the genomic, methylation and transcriptomic changes in melanoma subtypes and will help support a new consortium (Inter-MEL) dedicated to exploring the genetics of melanoma.

P30 CA043703
9/01/18-8/31/19
NIH/NCI “Contribution of Gynecologic and Breast Cancer Specimens” (in extension)
Role: Co-investigator
This is an administrative supplement to the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center P30 grant. This is one of a few nationally funded supplements to provide minority cancer specimens to an NCI repository as part of a larger effort to increase the availability of samples and data on minority cancer patients.

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Donor Funds
5/01/18-4/30/21
“Breast Cancer Biorepository”
Role: Principal Investigator
These fund support our efforts to build a biorepository of biospecimens and clinical data from breast cancer patients and high risk controls. This biorepository supports the research efforts of dozens of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members to propel their breast cancer research forward into clinical specimens.

NIH/NCI RO1CA213843 (PI: Keri, Ruth
8/1/17-7/31/22
“Elucidating and Leveraging the mTOR Negative Feedback Pathway in Breast Cancer”
Role: Co-investigator

NIH/NCI RO1CA206505 (PI: Keri, Ruth)
4/1/16-3/31/21
“BET Regulation of Triple Negative Breast Cancer”
Role: Co-investigator

NIH/NCI R01CA196687 (PI: Muzic, Raymond)
5/1/15-4/30/20
“Accurate MR-based PET Attenuation Correction for Quantitative Clinical Trials” (in extension)
Role: Co-investigator

External Appointments

Executive Committee, American Society of Preventive Oncology (2012-)

Secretary/Treasurer, American Society of Preventive Oncology (2017-2020)

Publications

Education

Doctor of Philosophy
Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology
Case Western Reserve University
2007
Master of Science
Computer Science
Case Western Reserve University
2003
Bachelor of Science in Engineering
Computer Engineering
School: Case Western Reserve University
2000