Zoe joined the Cancer Epidemiology Unit in 2020. Her DPhil, funded by Cancer Research UK, will analyse the role of potentially modifiable lifestyle exposures in cancer risk and aggressiveness. This will include the link between glucose levels, obesity, genetics, and prostate cancer, as well as how metabolite concentrations can lead to common cancer types. Zoe’s supervisors are Associate Professor Ruth Travis, Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago, and Dr Julie Schmidt.
Before commencing her doctoral studies, Zoe received an MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Her dissertation examined how socioeconomic disadvantage can contribute to health disparities and comorbidities in British and American populations, thereby exacerbating the severity of COVID-19 in certain groups.
Prior to her master’s degree, Zoe attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology (biological emphasis). During this time, she worked as a researcher for the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), assisting in the discovery and population screening of novel LDLR gene mutations, which cause familial hypercholesterolemia. Zoe was invited to conduct her honours dissertation with UCSF, where she investigated the geographic distribution of LDLR gene mutations, as well as how diet-related lifestyle exposures can affect the phenotype of familial hypercholesterolemia patients, using patient case studies and genetic data. Her dissertation was subsequently awarded the UC Berkeley medical anthropology honours prize. Zoe is passionate about genetics, public health, and the role of nutrition and other lifestyle exposures in disease etiology.