EGRP News Flash - January 16, 2009

Gillanders Named Chief of EGRP's Host Susceptibility Factors Branch

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Elizabeth M. Gillanders, Ph.D. as the Chief of EGRP's Host Susceptibility Factors Branch (HSFB). Dr. Gillanders joined EGRP in 2007 as a Program Director in the Host Susceptibility Factors Branch. This branch focuses on personal susceptibility factors such as genetic, epigenetic, immunological and hormonal biological pathways, and social, cultural, and race/ethnic factors.

Dr. Gillanders represents EGRP in the NIH Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI) Genetics Program and has contributed to the development of several post genome-wide association study (GWAS) funding opportunities announced by the GEI. Dr. Gillanders has been involved with numerous NCI and NIH committees developing data access policies for GWAS. She also recently organized a new consortium for breast cancer studies among women of African ancestry.

Prior to joining EGRP, Dr. Gillanders worked intramurally at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) where she headed its Genetic Epidemiology Unit within the Cancer Genetics Branch. Her applied research at NHGRI focused primarily on genetic epidemiology of cancer susceptibility, with an emphasis on melanoma, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. She also investigated novel methods, which could improve upon the power of conventional methods of gene discovery for complex traits in general. Her honors include a research training fellowship to study the genetic epidemiology of melanoma.

Dr. Gillanders received her B.A. in French and Art History from The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA; M.S. in Molecular Genetics from The Johns Hopkins University; and Ph.D. in Genetic Epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, where she investigated genetic factors contributing to melanoma susceptibility and evaluated the value of molecular haplotyping information in a family-based linkage study. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she teaches an introductory human genetics course.

EGRP greatly appreciates the service and leadership provided by Mukesh Verma, Ph.D., who served simultaneously as the Acting Branch Chief for the Host Susceptibility Factors Branch and the Chief of EGRP's Methods and Technologies Branch since EGRP's reorganization in 2007. Thank you, Dr. Verma!!!

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