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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Genetic Epidemiology Branch

Exploring gene-environment interactions in determining cancer risk

The Genetic Epidemiology Branch (GEB) conducts studies to evaluate the interaction of host and environmental factors in cancer causation.

Research Mission

GEB's mission is to design and conduct interdisciplinary clinical, epidemiologic, genetic, and laboratory studies of persons, families, and populations at high risk of cancer. GEB’s roots are in family studies, and a large proportion of our time and resources are still devoted to evaluation of kindreds. In addition to family studies, we conduct interdisciplinary studies in larger populations to evaluate the relevance of genetic variations in cancer etiology, where GEB investigators apply genetic and molecular epidemiologic approaches to study cancers of the lung, hematopoietic system, skin (melanoma), esophagus, stomach, and breast.

Learn more about specific GEB research areas.


GEB provides an exciting and collaborative environment which offers extraordinary opportunities for young scientists embarking on research careers. Meet the current GEB fellows and learn about research training opportunities in GEB

GEB Highlights

Abnet CC, Freedman ND, Hu N, Wang Z, Yu K, Shu XO, et al. A shared susceptibility locus in PLCE1 at 10q23 for gastric adenocarcinoma and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Nat Genet 2010;42:764-7

Royer RH, Koshiol J, Giambarresi TR, Vasquez LG, Pfeiffer RM, McMaster ML, et al. Differential characteristics of Waldenström macroglobulinemia according to patterns of familial aggregation. Blood 2010;115:4464-71

Lam TK, Rotunno M, Lubin J, Wachholder S, Consonni D, Goldstein AM, Tucker M, Caporaso N, Subar N, Landi MT. Dietary quercetin, quercetin-gene interaction, metaolic gene expression in lung tissue, and lung cancer risk. Carcinogenesis 2010;4:634-42

Landi MT, Zhao Y, Rotunno M, Koshiol J, Liu H, Bergen AW, et al. MicroRNA expression differentiates histology and predicts survival of lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2010;16:430-41

Goldin LR, Lanasa MC, Slager SL, Cerhan JR, Vachon CM, Strom SS, et al. Common occurrence of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis among members of high-risk CLL families. Br J Haematol 2010;151:152-8