Thomas L. Vaughan, MD, MPH

Thomas L. Vaughan, MD, MPH

Member, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences Division


M.P.H., University of Washington, 1983.
M.D., University of Illinois, 1978.
B.S., Cornell University, Biomedical Engineering, 1974.

Research Focus

Over the past four decades, the incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus in the US and many other high-resource countries has increased dramatically, especially among white males. The major focus of my research is the identification of environmental and host factors that underlie this dramatic increase in incidence, so that effective primary and secondary prevention strategies can be devised. We have approached this through population-based case-control studies of cancer, community-based case-control studies of newly diagnosed Barrett’s esophagus (a key precursor), and a long-standing cohort study of persons with Barrett’s. Determinants of genetic susceptibility to esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma are also being investigated in genome wide association studies (GWAS) that take advantage of the international BEACON consortium of esophageal cancer studies.


1. Reid BJ, Li X, Galipeau PC, Vaughan TL. Barrett’s Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: Time for a New Synthesis. Nat Rev Cancer. 2010; 10(2):87-101. PMCID: PMC2879265

2. Levine DM1, Ek WE, Zhang R, Liu X, Onstad L, Sather C, Lao-Sirieix P, Gammon MD, Corley DA, Shaheen NJ, Bird NC, Hardie LJ, Murray LJ, Reid BJ, Chow WH, Risch HA, Nyrén O, Ye W, Liu G, Romero Y, Bernstein L, Wu AH, Casson AG, Chanock SJ, Harrington P, Caldas I, Debiram-Beecham I, Caldas C, Hayward NK, Pharoah PD, Fitzgerald RC, Macgregor S, Whiteman DC, Vaughan TL. A Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies New Susceptibility Loci for Esophageal Adenocarcinoma and Barrett’s Esophagus. Nature Genetics. 2013; 45(12):1487-93. PMCID: PMC3840115

3. Ek WE, Levine DM, D'Amato M, Pedersen NL, Magnusson PK, Bresso F, Onstad LE, Schmidt PT, Törnblom H, Nordenstedt H, Romero Y; Mayo Clinic Esophageal Adenocarcinoma and Barrett’s Esophagus Registry Consortium, Chow WH, Murray LJ, Gammon MD, Liu G, Bernstein L, Casson AG, Risch HA, Shaheen NJ, Bird NC, Reid BJ, Corley DA, Hardie LJ, Ye W, Wu AH, Zucchelli M, Spector TD, Hysi P, Vaughan TL, Whiteman DC, MacGregor S; BEACON study investigators. Germline genetic contributions to risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma, Barrett’s esophagus and gastroesophageal reflux. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013; 105(22):1711–8. PMCID: PMC3833931

4. Vaughan TL. From genomics to diagnostics of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Nat Genet. 2014; 46(8):806-7. PMCID: PMC4324622

5. Buas MF, Levine DM, Makar KW, Utsugi H, Onstad L, Li X, Galipeau PC, Shaheen NJ, Hardie LJ, Romero Y, Bernstein L, Gammon MD, Casson AG, Bird NC, Risch HA, Ye W, Liu G, Corley DA, Blount PL, Fitzgerald RC, Whiteman DC, Wu AH, Reid BJ, Vaughan TL. Integrative post genome-wide association analysis of CDKN2A and TP53 SNPs and risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(12):2740-7. PMCID: PMC4247522

6. Vaughan TL, Fitzgerald RC. Precision prevention of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015; 12(4):243-8. PMCID: PMC4382373

7. Dai JY, de Dieu Tapsoba J, Buas MF, Onstad LE, Levine DM, Risch HA, Chow WH, Bernstein L, Ye W, Lagergren J, Bird NC, Corley DA, Shaheen NJ, Wu AH, Reid BJ, Hardie LJ, Whiteman DC, Vaughan TL. A newly identified susceptibility locus near FOXP1 modifies the association of gastroesophageal reflux with Barrett’s esophagus. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015; 24(11):1739-47. PMCID: PMC4816532

8. Gharahkhani P, Tung J, Hinds D, Mishra A; Barrett's and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium (BEACON), Vaughan TL, Whiteman DC, MacGregor S; BEACON study investigators. Chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease shares genetic background with esophageal adenocarcinoma and Barrett’s esophagus. Hum Mol Genetics. 2016; 25(4):828-35. PMCID: PMC4743691

9. Gharahkhani P, Fitzgerald RC, Vaughan TL, Palles C, Gockel I, Tomlinson I, Buas MF, May A, Gerges C, Anders M, Becker J, Kreuser N, Noder T, Venerito M, Veits L, Schmidt T, Manner H, Schmidt C, Hess T, Böhmer AC, Izbicki JR, Hölscher AH, Lang H, Lorenz D, Schumacher B, Hackelsberger A, Mayershofer R, Pech O, Vashist Y, Ott K, Vieth M, Weismüller J, Nöthen MM; Barrett's and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium (BEACON); Esophageal Adenocarcinoma GenEtics Consortium (EAGLE); Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2), Attwood S, Barr H, Chegwidden L, de Caestecker J, Harrison R, Love SB, MacDonald D, Moayyedi P, Prenen H, Watson RG, Iyer PG, Anderson LA, Bernstein L, Chow WH, Hardie LJ, Lagergren J, Liu G, Risch HA, Wu AH, Ye W, Bird NC, Shaheen NJ, Gammon MD, Corley DA, Caldas C, Moebus S, Knapp M, Peters WH, Neuhaus H, Rösch T, Ell C, MacGregor S, Pharoah P, Whiteman DC, Jankowski J, Schumacher J. Genome-wide association studies in oesophageal adenocarcinoma and Barrett's oesophagus: a large-scale meta-analysis. Lancet Oncol. 2016; 17(10):1363-1373. PMCID: PMC5052458

10. Buas MF, He Q, Johnson LG, Onstad L, Levine DM, Thrift AP, Gharahkhani P, Palles C, Lagergren J, Fitzgerald RC, Ye W, Caldas C, Bird NC, Shaheen NJ, Bernstein L, Gammon MD, Wu AH, Hardie LJ, Pharoah PD, Liu G, Iyer P, Corley DA, Risch HA, Chow WH, Prenen H, Chegwidden L, Love S, Attwood S, Moayyedi P, MacDonald D, Harrison R, Watson P, Barr H, deCaestecker J, Tomlinson I, Jankowski J, Whiteman DC, MacGregor S, Vaughan TL, Madeleine MM. Germline variation in inflammation-related pathways and risk of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Gut. 2016 Aug 2. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2016-311622

Related News

Thomas Vaughan, MD, PhD

Contact Information

(206) 667-5134
(206) 667-4787
Additional contact

Mail Stop M4-B874