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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Laufey Amundadottir Awarded Scientific Tenure by the NIH

Laufey Amundadottir, DCEG investigator and Steering Committee member of the NCI-Pancreatic Cancer Interest Group

Laufey Amundadottir

In February 2017, Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D., was awarded scientific tenure by the NIH, and promoted to senior investigator in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG). Dr. Amundadottir investigates inherited genetic risk factors that contribute to the etiology of pancreatic cancer and survival for patients with the malignancy. She employs multiple approaches to conduct this research, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify common inherited factors associated with risk, laboratory investigations of susceptibility alleles to identify the biological underpinnings that drive risk, and studies to investigate the interaction of genetic and epidemiological factors on both risk and survival.

Dr. Amundadottir is co-leader for the international Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium (PanScan), organized within the NCI Cohort Consortium, which brings together multiple, high-quality prospective studies to conduct multi-stage GWAS of pancreatic cancer. Together, the PanScan investigators have discovered fourteen common susceptibility loci. The next phase of PanScan is underway, along with efforts to identify less common and rare variants.

Dr. Amundadottir is following up on findings from PanScan with fine-mapping, functional analyses, and studies of gene expression in regions adjacent to the risk variants, as well as investigations of the transcriptome and epigenome in normal and tumor derived pancreatic tissue samples.

Dr. Amundadottir serves on the NCI Pancreatic Cancer Interest Group and is the LTG liaison to the DCEG Technology Transfer Committee. She also reviews manuscripts for multiple journals and scientific book publishers.