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Kevin Brown Laboratory

Research Focus

The laboratory of Dr. Kevin Brown focuses on the identification and functional characterization of cancer risk alleles, with a focus on melanoma. Dr. Brown works closely with other DCEG Investigators as well as a team of international collaborators investigating the genetics of melanoma risk, performing both genome-wide association studies (GWAS), as well as whole-genome and –exome sequencing of high-risk melanoma families to identify novel susceptibility loci and genes. In addition, Dr. Brown’s lab focuses on the functional characterization of melanoma risk loci, including identification and characterization of causal sequence variants and genes and the mechanisms by which they influence disease risk.

Brown Lab Members

Lab members have a range of skills and education, with fellows focused on either wet-lab or bioinformatics-based projects. As they focus on their specific research topics, they benefit from experience performing hands-on research, mentored by Dr. Brown, formal co-mentors within LTG or other DCEG branches, more experienced fellows, and other peers within LTG.

Life in the Lab

Labs are all about collaboration. Working together, the team keeps science moving forward, utilizing new tools and approaches, and helping each other learn.

Kevin Brown's Lab members stay connected to keep science moving forward.

Two lab members discussing a scientific poster.

Mentoring is an important activity in LTG. 

Staff members in Kevin Brown's lab

Staff members in Kevin Brown's lab share challenges—and triumphs.

Brown Lab (NCI) Alumni

Over the years, fellows working in Dr. Brown's lab have progressed in their careers. Former postdoctoral fellows have moved upward in DCEG or elsewhere in NIH, while most postbaccalaureate fellows moved on to graduate and/or medical school. Alumni include: 

Postdoctoral Fellows:

Postbaccalaureate Fellows:

  • Jun Fang
  • Wendy Kim
  • Matthew Makowski
  • Christine Lee
  • Michael Kovacs
  • Nghi Lam
  • Andrew Vu
  • Lindsey Mehl

    Selected Publications

    Choi J, Zhang T, [...] Brown K. Massively parallel reporter assays of melanoma risk variants identify MX2 as a gene promoting melanoma. Nature Commun 2020.

    Landi MT, Bishop DT, [...] Machiela MJ, et al. Genome-wide association meta-analyses combining multiple risk phenotypes provide insights into the genetic architecture of cutaneous melanoma susceptibility. Nat Genet 2020 May, Epub 2020 April 27.

    Zhang T, Choi J, [...]Brown K. Cell-type-specific eQTL of primary melanocytes facilitates identification of melanoma susceptibility genes. Genome Res 2018 Nov; Epub 2018 Oct 17.

    Crawford NG, [...] Kovacs MA, Xu M, et al. Loci associated with skin pigmentation identified in African populations. Science 2017 Nov; Epub 2017 Oct.

    Choi J, Xu M, [...] Brown K. A common intronic variant of PARP1 confers melanoma risk and mediates melanocyte growth via regulation of MITF. Nat Genet 2017; Epub 2017 Jul 31. 

    Ghislaine S, Purdue MP, Brown KM, [...] Chanock SJ. Genome-wide association study identifies multiple risk loci for renal cell carcinoma. Nat Commun 2017 Jun.

    Fang J, Jia J, Makowski MM, [...] Amundadottir LT. Functional characterization of a multi-cancer risk locus on chr5p15.33 reveals regulation of TERT by ZNF148. Nat Commun 2017 May.

    Zhang T, Xu M, Makowski MM, [...] Brown KM. SDHD promoter mutations ablate GABP transcription factor binding in melanoma. Cancer Res 2017 Apr; Epub 2017 Jan 20.

    Makowski MM, Willems E, Fang J, et al. An interaction proteomics survey of transcription factor binding at recurrent TERT promoter mutations. Proteomics 2016 Feb; Epub 2016 Jan 8.

    Yokoyama S, Woods SL, [...] Brown KM. A novel recurrent mutation in MITF predisposes to familial and sporadic melanoma. Nature 2011 Nov.