• Project Title: Using Published Summary Data to Assess Causal Relationships between Sleep Habits and the Risk of Lung Cancer

  • BASIS Advisor: Dr. Ryan Grove

  • Internship Location: GW Columbian College of Arts & Sciences

  • Onsite Mentor: Dr. Hua Liang

In 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared “shift work leading to a disruption of circadian rhythm” as likely carcinogenic to humans. Disrupted sleep and exposure to light at night are among several hypothetical mechanisms that might link circadian rhythm disruption to cancer. It is not clear whether certain sleep habits can directly affect the risk of lung cancer (LC). Using publicly available summarized results from large scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on four sleep traits, including two chronotype-related traits (one with 2 levels, the other with 5 levels), sleep duration (hours of sleep), and insomnia (defined as never/rarely vs. frequent insomnia symptoms), and summarized results from a lung cancer GWAS, we will conduct Mendelian Randomization (MR) analyses in R to evaluate the potential causal effect from each considered sleep trait on the development of LC and summarize results in a research report. Each MR analysis uses selected genetic markers (i.e., single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)) as proxies for the sleep trait to assess its direct effect on LC.