The Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) initiative is a major scientific research effort aimed at reducing cancer linked with obesity, poor diet, and low levels of physical activity.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) established the TREC initiative in 2005 in response to growing public health concern with overweight and obesity in the United States and mounting evidence that obesity plays a role in the development of many types of cancer.
The relationships between obesity, energy balance, nutrition, physical activity, and cancer risk are highly complex. Finding answers to complex questions about obesity and cancer requires a transdisciplinary research approach where scientists from diverse fields come together to integrate knowledge across disciplines. The TREC initiative helps scientists conduct transdisciplinary research on obesity and cancer and also helps train new and established scientists to carry out this kind of integrated research. The TREC initiative complements NCI’s energy balance research endeavors and efforts of the NIH Obesity Task Force.
NCI funded the first four TREC Research Centers and one Coordination Center in 2005. The Research Centers included scientists from multiple disciplines and encompassed projects spanning the basic biology and genetics of behavioral, socio-cultural, and environmental influences on nutrition, physical activity, weight, energy balance, energetics, and cancer risk. The Coordination Center facilitated interactions across and between the Research Centers and the NCI. In the first five years of funding, fourteen research projects and several developmental pilot projects were supported and a transdisciplinary infrastructure to promote research collaborations in the area of energy balance and cancer was established. The first five years of funding for TREC ended in September 2010.