Unhee Lim  PhD, MS
Full Member, Population Sciences in the Pacific Program (Cancer Epidemiology)University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Work Email: email@example.comINTERNET
Dr. Lim's research involves the epidemiologic investigation of nutrition and lifestyle risk factors and related racial/ethnic heterogeneity in cancer etiology. In particular, she is interested in understanding the carcinogenic effects of obesity and body fat distribution and how they vary across racial/ethnic populations. Obesity is becoming the leading risk factor for cancer, contributing to the development of over a dozen types of cancer. Combined disease burden of obesity or excess body fatness is estimated to be responsible for $150 billion in annual medical care and about 20% of all deaths in the U.S. Additionally, the detrimental metabolic effects of excess body fat is known to be greater when it is stored in the abdominal and intra-abdominal regions than in peripheral and sub-cutaneous regions. In the Multiethnic Cohort Study, Dr. Lim and colleagues have observed that Asian Americans, along with Latinos and Native Hawaiians, have a greater propensity to accumulate intra-abdominal fat in the viscera, liver, and pancreas, compared to whites or African Americans. In collaboration with multidisciplinary researchers, Dr. Lim is investigating additional disease burden from the high-risk fat depots, biomarkers for understanding their metabolic effects, and lifestyle interventions to improve the adiposity and metabolic profiles.
- Lim U, Monroe KR, Buchthal S, Fan B, Cheng I, Kristal BS, Lampe JW, Hullar MA, Franke AA, Stram DO, Wilkens LR, Shepherd J, Ernst T, Le Marchand L. (2019). Propensity for intra-abdominal and hepatic adiposity varies among ethnic groups. Gastroenterology; 156:966-975. PMC6409195.
- Song MA, Ernst T, Tiirikainen M, Tost J, Wilkens LR, Chang L, Kolonel LN, Le Marchand L, Lim U. (2018). Methylation of imprinted IGF2 regions is associated with total, visceral and hepatic adiposity in postmenopausal women. Epigenetics; 13:858-865. PMC6224210.
- Setiawan VW, Lim U, Lipworth L, Lu SC, Shepherd J, Ernst T, Wilkens LR, Henderson BE, Le Marchand L. (2016). Sex and racial/ethnic differences in the association of obesity with risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 14:309-16. PMC4718778.
- Lim U, Kocarnik JM, Bush WS, Matise TC, Caberto C, Park SL, Carlson CS, Deelman E, Duggan D, Fesinmeyer M, Haiman CA, Henderson BE, Hindorff LA, Kolonel LN, Peters U, Stram DO, Tiirikainen M, Wilkens LR, Wu C, Kooperberg C, Le Marchand L. (2014). Pleiotropy of cancer susceptibility variants on the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: the PAGE Consortium. PLoS ONE, 9(3):e89791. PMC3943855.
Recent GrantsU. Lim, Contact PI; Lampe, MPIs NCI R01 CA204368 "TMAO, the Gut Microbiome, and Colorectal Cancer Risk in the Multiethnic Cohort" 05/01/2016-04/30/2020