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Findlay, Turner latest researchers to join Cancer Prevention and Control program

May 19, 2022

Findlay and Turner

This month, Massey welcomes Victoria Findlay, Ph.D., and David Turner, Ph.D., as members of the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) research program and associate professors in the Department of Surgery. Additionally, Findlay will serve as co-lead of the CPC program.

Findlay and Turner come to Richmond after almost two decades of research at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. Both researchers are co-primary investigators for an NIH/NCI research project (R01) grant focusing on lifestyle-associated reactive metabolites and their negative impact on breast cancer risk.

“Having researchers like Drs. Findlay and Turner join the Massey team is further evidence that our community-to-bench model is both impactful and necessary,” said  Robert A. Winn, M.D., Massey director and Lipman Chair in Oncology. “Their work focusing on empowering communities to reduce cancer disparities is crucial to our mission here at Massey. I look forward to joining them at future community events.”

Through their research, Findlay and Turner are examining the negative links between advanced glycation end products (A.G.E.s) and mammary gland development. A.G.E.s are harmful oxidative compounds that play a significant role in many chronic diseases. Commonly consumed through food, A.G.E.s are extremely prevalent in highly processed foods, as well as foods that are cooked at higher temperatures through grilling, broiling, roasting and frying.

Focusing on A.G.E.s and human health, Findlay and Turner co-founded the Anti-A.G.E. Foundation, a non-profit organization which spreads awareness about the severity of processed foods and their impact on our health and lifespan. Their research on A.G.E.s and diet have resulted in a large amount of community outreach, with Turner focusing on adult communities while Findlay works with schools and younger audiences.

Findlay joined MUSC in 2004 as a postdoctoral fellow and was later named director of graduate studies and an associate professor for the department of pathology and laboratory medicine. Her research focuses on the impact of A.G.E.s on childhood development and the female reproductive system. She earned her Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.

“Dr. Winn’s vision for the future and wanting to reach out to our communities is what made this role so exciting,” said Findlay. “My passion is using education and bench work to address cancer disparities so this is truly an alignment of our visions.”

Turner has conducted research as an associate professor with the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center since 2004, where he also began as a postdoctoral fellow. He is currently the co-director of the Hollings Cancer Center translational cancer team and the director of the AGE analysis core. His research focuses on A.G.E.s and adults, particularly the biological links between A.G.E.s and prostate cancer in African American males. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England and recently completed a TEDx talk on the topic of AGEs.

“Thanks to the work done at Massey, VCU is at the forefront of disparities research,” said Turner. “It’s a natural progression to continue our work at a center that is so intimately connected with its community.”

Findlay and Turner are married and are parents of twins. In their free time, Turner works on bringing his golf handicap down and Findlay enjoys baking and is working on publishing a cookbook focused on low-AGE foods. Although they are currently focusing on the links between AGEs and cancer, they are very open to collaborating with researchers across all diseases.

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