Genetic Susceptibility to Cancer


The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) is a strong supporter of epidemiology studies investigating genetic susceptibility to cancer across all populations, including family studies, candidate gene studies, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and use of next generation sequencing techniques to identify variants associated with specific cancers. Such studies have identified many genetic variants that may be associated with cancer.

To further our understanding of cancer etiology and outcomes, the Program also supports studies to determine the function of identified cancer risk variants associated with specific cancers, especially in high risk or under-served populations. EGRP is also interested in research investigating gene-gene and gene-environment interactions and the integration of germline and somatic information as it contributes to understanding of cancer etiology and outcomes.

Return to Top

Selected Projects

View genomic epidemiology grants portfolioExternal Web Site Policy.

EGRP staff manage and provide technical assistance for several ongoing grant-supported initiatives and research resource contracts in the area of genomic epidemiology, including:

Return to Top

Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunity Announcements

NCI-sponsored Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) related to genetic epidemiology include:

  • Ethical, Legal, Social Implications of Human Genome Research – expires September 8, 2017, unless reissued
  • Genomic Resource Grants for Community Resource Projects – expires January 26, 2017, unless reissued

EGRP also encourages investigator-initiated grant applications on genetic susceptibility to cancer. It also joins with other NCI Divisions, and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund grant applications submitted in response to FOAs.

View the full list of EGRP FOAs.

Return to Top

Research Resources

  • Genomic Resources
    Includes links to collaborative initiatives, datasets, and NIH policy information related to population-based genetics research.
  • Genetic Simulation Resources (GSR)External Web Site Policy
    A searchable catalogue of genetic simulation programs (coming soon).
  • Risk Prediction Models
    Information about various types of cancer risk prediction models, including compilation of existing risk prediction models by cancer type. Some are gene carrier risk status prediction models.
  • Biospecimen Resources for Cancer Epidemiologists
    This list provides links to biospecimen resources that may be of interest to cancer epidemiologists.
  • Cancer Epidemiology Cohorts
    Cohorts are powerful tools with the potential to address scientific questions not amenable, or unlikely to be addressed, by other study designs like prevention or clinical trials. Evidence generated has also been useful in providing the basis for the design and testing of many preventive, therapeutic, and health policy interventions.
  • Cancer Research Consortia
    EGRP supports a growing number of national and international research consortia focusing on intradisciplinary and translational research on common and rare cancers, many of which are investigating genetic variants associated with cancer. The sharing of data and other resources by consortia members enables rapid replication of research results from individual studies and increases the statistical power of analyses.

Return to Top

Webinars and Workshops

EGRP co-sponsors webinars, seminars, and workshops to convene experts in the fields of cancer epidemiology and genetics research to review the state of the science, identify research gaps, and establish scientific agendas and priorities for the future, such as:

Return to Top


Charlisse Caga-anan, J.D. – Ethics of genetics and genomics research

Danielle Carrick, Ph.D., M.H.S. - Immunology, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases associated with cancer risk; pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacogenomics; biospecimen research; functional genomics

Elizabeth M. Gillanders, Ph.D. - Genetic epidemiology of cancer

Damali N. Martin, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Health disparities in populations of African descent, globally; global health and cancer epidemiology with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and the Carribean

Leah E. Mechanic, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Gene-gene and gene-environment interactions; biospecimen science; molecular epidemiology of lung cancer, hematological malignancies, and endometrial cancer

Stefanie A. Nelson, Ph.D. - Genetic differences affecting cancer risk and response to treatment, understanding the function of cancer risk variants, and interactions between the germline and somatic cancer genomes

Melissa Rotunno, Ph.D.M – Genetic epidemiology of lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, and Hodgkin's lymphoma; application of new analytical methods in genomics; pleiotropic effects in cancer susceptibility; next-generation sequencing in cancer epidemiology

Krista A. Zanetti, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D. - Molecular epidemiology of lung and colon cancer, genome-wide association studies, use of emerging technologies in epidemiology studies, biological determinants of health disparities associated with cancer

Return to Top