Research Interests

As an epidemiologist I am involved in population- and family-based studies to identify the environmental and genetic determinants of cancer. Through computer-generated mapping of U.S. cancer mortality rates at the county level, my group uncovered and then investigated high-risk populations for particular tumors, which provided new insights into lifestyle and other environmental risk factors such as smokeless tobacco in oral cancer and asbestos and arsenical exposures in lung cancer. I have defined and investigated genetic susceptibility states for familial constellations of cancer, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome (with Frederick P. Li), and malformation-cancer syndromes, such as aniridia-Wilms's tumor (with Robert W. Miller). More recently, I have developed strategies that combine epidemiologic and molecular approaches to dissect the role of common susceptibility genes and environmental exposures, along with their interactive effects in the origins and progression of cancer. We hope to enlarge our understanding of cancer causation and inform new clinical and public health approaches aimed at cancer prevention by incorporating the emerging technologies of human genomics into robust population- and family-based designs.

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Section 41: Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology