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Another area that has been of great interest to Dr. Skibola is her work with the InterLymph Consortium (International Consortium of Investigators Working on Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Epidemiologic Studies), As a co-leader over the last decade, Dr. Skibola has been working with this group to identify disease biomarkers and other exposures medical history, lifestyle factors, environmental exposures that may influence risk of various types of lymphomas.

We re finally beginning to publish our work, and it s fairly groundbreaking, she says. We ve identi- fied several new genetic risk factors that may be potentially relevant in the near future for therapeutic targets or helping identify people highly susceptible to the disease. Other Interests

Some of Dr. Skibola s research interests have trickled into her personal life. One of my passions is gardening. I love to eat and grow my own veg-

etables, she says, adding that the ties between health outcomes and healthy eating is an area she plans to continue investigating.

Outside of gardening, Dr. Skibola enjoys hiking, exercising, creative writing and oil painting a hobby she shares with her husband of almost 40 years, Vlado. When we met, we had that in common. He ll help me paint my picture, and I ll help him with his. Once we tried painting a picture together, but that was a disaster.

Dr. Skibola is excited about the future of her research as well as the field of epidemiology in general. Our next phase is to determine what the actual causal gene variants are, she says. For example, we ll soon be able to profile a patient and determine his or her risk of lymphoma based on the number of these variants. It s important for us to understand how both genetics and exposures interact and play a role in the disease pro- cess. It s an exciting area of research for me.

U A B C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R 17

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