Congratulations to Alleigh Wiggs, a student researcher with the Sumner Lab, whose research on the effects of diet and exercise on endogenous estrogens and subsequent breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women was recently published in Frontiers in Endocrinology.

Alleigh is a senior Nutrition BSPH student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her interest in breast cancer research stems from her involvement with The Pink Bowz, an organization that provides grants to families battling a breast cancer diagnosis. She currently serves as the president for the UNC student-organized chapter of The Pink Bowz. Alleigh has been involved with The Pink Bowz since her sophomore year at Topsail High School when she founded and served as president of the organization. Her passion for and commitment to serving the Topsail community resulted in her being selected for HOSA’s Barbara James Service Award in 2016.

Alleigh’s recent research was completed under the mentorship of Delisha Stewart, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the Nutrition Research Institute (NRI). Stewart, along with Dr. Aynur Aktas at Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute, recently submitted a grant that proposes using a co-trial study design to identify biomarkers of breast cancer progression and treatment respond, influenced by common dietary patterns for women participating in a new prospective observational trial called PERFECT (PattErn InFluences BrEast Cancer OuTcomes), then compared to mouse models where the benefits of nutritional modification can be investigated to improve cancer outcomes. Dr. Atkas was also a co-author on Alleigh’s recent publication.

As Alleigh continues her work with the Sumner Group, she will work under the mentorship of Blake Rushing, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the NRI. Alleigh hopes to attend medical school next fall.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To learn more about breast cancer research at the Nutrition Research Institute, visit our website.

Posted October 7, 2021