Darren BrennerDr. Brenner is a molecular cancer epidemiologist in the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research. His research is focused on the intersection of lifestyle, genetics and molecular pathways in the development of several cancers, including lung, breast and colon. The impact of chronic inflammation from lifestyle (obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, poor nutrition) and environmental factors on breast and lung cancer risk are currently being evaluated in several case-control, cohort and randomized intervention trials. The aim of this research is to identify high risk populations, novel risk factor profiles and potential markers of early detection of cancer.

Dr. Brenner has been working to examine to the impact of physical inactivity on cancer risk in less well-studied cancer sites including pancreatic cancer and lung cancer. He conducted an analysis of a case-control study in Central Europe that suggested that regular leisure-time physical activity reduces pancreatic cancer risk by 30-40%. He is also undertaking a multi-centered, multi-country study to examine the role of tobacco in the association between physical activity and lung cancer. This association has been plagued by the potential for confounding by tobacco. This new study will provide clarity to this association using serum cotinine levels as objective measures of tobacco consumption.

Dr. Brenner has been researching the impact of physical inactivity and obesity on cancer burden in Canada. This research interest has led to the development of multiple research projects that are focused on cancer prevention through burden quantification. Current projects in Alberta and at the national level are working to quantify the current and future (up to 2045) impacts of all known lifestyle (tobacco consumption and exposure, dietary factors, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity, sexually transmitted infections and hormone use) and environmental (air pollution, water contaminants, radon, UV radiation) factors on cancer incidence.

Current Appointments

Research Scientist
Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research
Alberta Health Services – CancerControl Alberta
Calgary, Alberta

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Oncology and Community Health Sciences
Cumming School of Medicine
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta

Education and Training
  • 2013-2014, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Population Health Research, CancerControl Alberta, Alberta Health Services. Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 2012-2013 Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetic Epidemiology Group, Section of Genetics, International Agency for Research on Cancer. Lyon, France
  • 2008-2012 PhD, Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • 2006-2008 MSc, Applied Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • 1994 B.Sc., Statistics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
  • 2002-2004 BSc, Health Sciences (Honours), Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Current Research Studies