Associate Professor, Cancer Prevention Program
Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutch
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:
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N., M4-B402
P.O. Box 19024
Seattle, WA 98109-1024
Pomona College, 1992, B.A. (Molecular Biology)
Stanford University, 2000, Ph.D. (Genetics)
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
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