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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Lynn R. Goldin, Ph.D.

Deputy Branch Chief and Senior Investigator

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Lynn R. Goldin, Ph.D.

Lynn R. Goldin, Ph.D.

Organization:National Cancer Institute
Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, Genetic Epidemiology Branch
Address:NCI Shady Grove
Room 6E432


Dr. Goldin received a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the Genetic Epidemiology Branch (GEB) in 1998 as a senior investigator after conducting genetics research at the NIH National Institute of Mental Health. Since 2011, she has also served as Deputy Chief of GEB. Dr. Goldin's major research interests are in developing and evaluating methods and study designs for detecting susceptibility genes for complex diseases, quantifying familial aggregation of disease, and applying these methods to familial cancer studies. Her specific focus is on solving the underlying genetics of hematologic malignancies.

Research Interests

Registry Studies to Quantify Familial Risk of Hematologic Malignancies

We conducted a series of studies and demonstrated significant familial aggregation of hematological malignancies using linked registry data from Sweden and Denmark. We have also used these data to quantify risk of hematologic malignancies due to prior medical conditions, with a specific focus on autoimmune diseases. In addition, we conducted studies of disease outcome associated with family history.

Gene Identification in Lymphoid Malignancies

There is significant familial aggregation of lymphoid malignancies including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Hodgkin lymphomas, and other non-Hodgkin lymphomas. We have conducted studies of high risk families in order to identify underlying susceptibility genes and have participated in consortia to pool our data with other family studies. We are applying next-generation sequencing technologies to these studies in order to look for rare variants segregating with disease in families. In addition, we work with collaborators to apply genome-wide association studies in order to identify genes in samples of unrelated familial cases compared to controls. In some patients with familial CLL, we are studying somatic changes in order to define the relationship of germline and somatic changes.

Precursors to Lymphoid Malignancies

We have found that compared to the general population, monoclonal b-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is more common in CLL families and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is more common in Waldenström Macroglobulinemia families. Thus, these precursors may represent early cellular changes predisposing to carcinogenesis. Using our family resource with longitudinal evaluation of patients and relatives, we are conducting studies to characterize the underlying genetics of these precursor traits, determine whether there are shared genes with the malignant state, and identify the determinants of progression.