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Christopher S. Carlson, Ph.D.


Christopher S. Carlson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Cancer Prevention Program
Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.667.7850
Mail Stop: M4-B402

Dr. Christopher Carlson is a molecular biologist and geneticist who studies the role genetics play in determining disease risk. His work involves the identification and functional dissection of polymorphisms, a type of genetic variation or mutation that correlate with common diseases and measurable traits. Most diseases are not caused by a single gene, but by a complex combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors. To pinpoint the genetic traits that influence disease risk, he first looks for statistical associations between gene variants and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, pancreatic cancer and colon cancer. By coupling genetic information with other known risk factors, such as high cholesterol and hypertension in the case of heart disease, Dr. Carlson believes scientists will be able to more accurately predict whether an individual is likely to develop a given illness. Dr. Carlson also translates the statistical patterns he finds into an understanding of the biological function of those gene variants, which can lead to better diagnostic tools and novel therapies. In addition to plumbing the genetic origins of obesity, colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease, Dr. Carlson studies Alzheimer’s disease through the national eMERGE (Electronic Medical Records and Genomics) network, a DNA biorepository linked to patient electronic health records.  

For questions or additional information:
Nancy Williamson
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N., M4-B402
P.O. Box 19024
Seattle, WA 98109-1024
Phone: 206.667.2117


Stanford University, 2000, Ph.D. (Genetics)

Pomona College, 1992, B.A. (Molecular Biology)

Research Interests

Identification and functional dissection of polymorphisms that correlate with common diseases and quantitative traits; assessing the functional impact of candidate SNPs on a variety of regulatory mechanisms, including promoter function and mRNA structure.

Functional Analysis of Genome Wide Associations in Colorectal Cancer

Find a Clinical Trial Led by Dr. Carlson

Dr. Carlson in the News

Democratizing DNA-based health risk scores

Hutch News - December 10, 2020

Diverse study populations drive new genetic insight

Science Spotlight - August 19, 2019

Sometimes it's better if you eat according to what you are

Science Spotlight - February 20, 2017

Chipping away at disparities in genetic studies

Science Spotlight - February 20, 2017

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with faculty.

Email or call 206.667.2210