M.P.H., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Epidemiology, 1999.
Ph.D., University of Kiel, Nutrition, 1998.
M.S., University of Kiel, Nutrition, 1994.
My research interest centers on the genetic and molecular epidemiology of common complex diseases, including cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, as well as intermediate traits, including inflammation, glucose, or insulin. Within well characterized and diverse study populations we are studying the impact of common and rare genetic variants across the entire genome, as well as interactions between genetic variants and environmental factors (such as diet, exercise, smoking, aspiring use). I am currently leading or co-leading three major programs:
1) The Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO) and the Colorectal Transdisciplinary (CORECT) Study. These are international collaborative efforts of researchers using data from approximately 40,000 participants. GECCO and CORECT aim to accelerate the discovery of colorectal cancer-related variants by replicating and characterizing Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) findings, conducting a large-scale meta-analysis of existing and newly generated GWAS data, and investigating how genetic variants are modified by environmental risk factors. Furthermore, this study is investigating less frequent and rare variants across the Exome through sequencing and large-scale genotyping. Future studies will focus on colorectal cancer survival, precursor lesions of colorectal cancer, and a rare variants screen across the genome using whole genome sequencing. More information can be found here: http://www.fhcrc.org/en/labs/phs/projects/cancer-prevention/projects/gecco.html.
2) Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE). This program is designed to study the "epidemiological architecture" of established GWAS findings in diverse and well characterized cohorts. The focus of this research is to investigate if genetic variants initially identified through GWAS research are a) generalizing across ancestral groups b) modified by environmental factors and c) associated with various outcomes (pleiotropy). PAGE is conducting candidate SNP genotyping of GWAS findings as well as comprehensive fine-mapping of GWAS regions to aid the identification of underlying functional variants. More information can be found here: https://www.pagestudy.org/.
3) The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI), Grand Opportunity Exome Sequencing Project (GO-ESP). This is a program aiming to discover novel genes and mechanisms contributing to heart, lung and blood disorders, using next generation sequencing technology. The program's focus is on the discovery of novel rare variants through sequencing the exome of several thousand subjects selected for early onset myocardial infarct, stroke, extreme obesity, blood pressure, lipids, and other related traits. More information can be found here: https://esp.gs.washington.edu/drupal/.
Reading, Writing, Speaking
English: Fluent, Fluent, Fluent
German: Fluent, Fluent, Fluent
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
American Society of Human Genetics
Molecular Epidemiology Group, AACR
Honors and Awards
2008, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers Program, National Institutes of Health
2003, Outstanding Research Paper Award, National Cancer Institute
2002-2005, Intramural Research Award, National Cancer Institute
2002, Scholar in Training, American Association for Cancer Research
2002, Fellows Award for Research Excellence, National Cancer Institute
1999, International DLG Award, German Agriculture Society
1999, Annual Scientific Award, German Bakery Federation
1998-1999, Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service
1998, Summa Cum Laude graduate- PhD program, University of Kiel
1997, Travel Grant Recipient, German Academic Exchange Service
1995-1996, Scholarship, University of Kiel
1995, Justus-von-Liebig European travel Scholar, Alfred Toepfer Foundation
1994, Honorary graduate (top 1%), University of Kiel, Master's program
2009-2013, Research Associate Professor, University of Washington, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Epidemiology