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Research Training Opportunities in Genetic Epidemiology


The goals of the Genetic Epidemiology Branch (GEB) are to identify host and environmental factors in cancer causation and evaluate the interactions between them. To accomplish these goals, GEB investigators currently apply genetic and molecular epidemiologic approaches to study cancers of the lung, hematopoietic system, skin (melanoma), esophagus, stomach, breast, and kidney. We also conduct methodologic research to develop new statistical analytic approaches.

  • Genetic Epidemiology Research: Branch investigators design and conduct interdisciplinary clinical, population, and laboratory studies of individuals and families at high risk of cancer. These studies identify and map genes using family linkage and association approaches, define exposures that increase cancer risk, and explore the interactions between elevated risk and specific exposures.
  • Molecular Epidemiology Research: Branch investigators also conduct molecular epidemiologic studies to examine associations between genes, environmental factors and cancer from case-control and cohort studies, explore the interactions between genes and the environment, and investigate familial aggregations of cancer.

GEB provides an exciting and collaborative environment which offers extraordinary opportunities for young scientists embarking on research careers. New fellows are matched with mentors who work with them to develop a research training program and guide them through the training experience. Fellows also work with other researchers in the Branch and Division on a variety of projects. Fellows work on interdisciplinary and/or multicenter collaborations, conduct studies on their own, participate in all Branch activities, and attend scientific meetings.

Our fellows gain experience in all aspects of research including protocol development, feasibility studies, data collection, and data analysis. Taking course work and participating in workshops to broaden knowledge in areas related to fellows' research endeavors is encouraged and supported.

Two special opportunities exist for GEB fellows:

  • Clinically-trained fellows may rotate through the Branch's Cancer Genetics Clinic to gain practical knowledge in the conduct of clinical studies, and
  • Laboratory-trained fellows may conduct part of their research in the Branch's Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory Unit.

For application details, see below. To discuss potential research opportunities, you may contact branch investigators directly. Meet current fellows in the Genetic Epidemiology Branch.


Postdoctoral fellowships: Individuals must hold an M.D. or Ph.D. in epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, genetics, biostatistics, human or molecular genetics, clinical cancer genetics, or public health.

Predoctoral fellowships: Individuals must be enrolled in a doctoral program with a desire to complete their dissertation in the Branch or have completed a master's degree in a field of relevance to the Branch.

Application Process

Predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship applications in the branch are accepted on an ongoing basis. See the Fellowship Information page for an overview, qualifications, and application details. Branch-specific opportunities are listed below.

Other Training Programs

GEB investigators serve as mentors for pre- and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in research in cancer genetics and genetic epidemiology but who are enrolled in a variety of other fellowship programs, listed below, within the National Institutes of Health.

Trainees who are currently enrolled in an NIH training program may contact Dr. Phil Taylor (telephone 301-594-2932, email: for further information about mentored research projects in GEB.

Selected Research Opportunities - High Dimension Data Analyses

  • Evaluate behavioral genotypes/phenotypes for tobacco and alcohol use with 550K genome-wide association study (GWAS) data.
  • Assess genes, environmental risk factors, and interactions for lung cancer in a case-control study with 550K GWAS data.
  • Examine candidate genes and pathways for melanoma or dysplastic nevi in population- or family-based case-control studies using data from a custom 29K SNP chip.
  • Analyze candidate genes and pathways for esophageal or gastric cancer in case-control or cohort studies using data from a custom 29K SNP chip.

Contact Dr. Phil Taylor (telephone 301-594-2932, e-mail: for further information about these special opportunities in GEB.

TO APPLY: See the Division Fellowship Information page for an overview, qualifications, and application details.