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Bay Area Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center

Project Two: Epidemiology

Cohort study of Young Girls' Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET)

The epidemiologic project is entitled “Cohort study of Young Girls’ Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET).” This project is focused on understanding the determinants of pubertal maturation in girls. We know that there has been a trend of puberty occurring at younger ages, and early puberty is a risk factor for breast cancer. Of particular interest is whether exposure to various chemicals in the environment results in earlier puberty. Also, since greater body fat is known to increase the likelihood of early puberty, we are examining developmental and lifestyle factors such as changes in weight, physical activity patterns, and food intake. Additionally, we are also examining whether genetic and psychosocial factors influence early puberty and interact with environmental exposures. Through this study, we hope to better understand whether there are important, unrecognized factors that result in early puberty and may place girls at increased risk of the future development of breast cancer.

Project Leader


  • Christine Ambrosone, PhD
    Roswell Park Cancer Institute

  • Julie Deardorff, PhD
    UC San Francisco

  • Christine Erdmann, PhD, MPH
    University of Michigan

  • Barbara Sternfeld, PhD
    Kaiser Permanente, Division of Research

  • Gayle Windham, PhD
    California Dept. of Public Health

Project Coordinator

CYGNET Newsletters

2006 Newsletters

Spring 2006

Summer 2006

Holiday 2006

2007 Newsletters

Spring 2007

Summer-Fall 2007

2008 Newsletters

Winter-Spring 2008