UF researchers receive grant to study role of obesity in colorectal cancer

A team of UF Health Cancer Center researchers led by Young-Rock Hong, Ph.D., has received a three-year grant from the Florida Department of Health Bankhead-Coley Research Program to study the relationship between obesity and colorectal cancer. 

Headshot of Young-Rock Hong, Ph.D.
Young-Rock Hong, Ph.D.

About 40% of the population of Florida is affected by obesity, and rates are rising. The new study will examine the intersection of colorectal cancer with the collective physical, economic, policy, social and cultural factors that promote obesity. 

The goal is to identify modifiable factors that contribute to the risk of developing colorectal cancer and affect health outcomes of patients with colorectal cancer. In particular, it will focus on characterizing neighborhood factors such as access to food and physical activity that affect obesity.  

This approach will enable the researchers to develop targeted interventions to improve colorectal cancer outcomes, reduce the burden on the state’s health system and lessen the incidence of colorectal cancer. 

Hong is an assistant professor in the department of health services research, management and policy in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions and a member of the UF Health Cancer Center’s Cancer Control and Population Sciences research program. 

In addition to Hong, the multidisciplinary study team includes:

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