Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer. While 90 percent of lung cancer patients are smokers, less than 20 percent of smokers get cancer. These estimates have led scientists to the theory that genes play an important role in lung cancer susceptibility.
SPH professor Lisa Peterson is working to understand the link between DNA and cancer by studying two important tobacco carcinogens known as NNK and NNN. She and LiLi, a postdoctoral researcher, are conducting this work in a lab at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center.