Immaculata De Vivo, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School Of Public Health
DF/HCC Program AffiliationCancer EpidemiologyCancer Genetics
Director, High-Throughput Polymorphism Detection
Member, Center Scientific Council
My research focuses on understanding cancer causation, specifically understanding the relationship between genetic variation and disease risk for future prevention. My research base is the Nurses' Health Study, where 33,000 germline DNA samples are available for determining inherited genetic susceptibility to cancer and other chronic diseases. A pivotal part of my research involves developing and implementing high through-put molecular techniques which can be used to analyze the large number of samples that are used in epidemiology research. I work in collaboration with human geneticist, David Housman, as well as geneticists in the Population Genetics department at the Harvard School of Public Health to develop such techniques. Molecular techniques such as automated DNA sequencing will help in identifying molecular biomarkers which can be used in the study of carcinogenic mechanisms and in early detection and prevention. Some of my current projects include studying polymorphisms in hormone-metabolizing genes in endometrial and breast cancer and tumor suppressor genes like PTEN, in women with multiple primary cancers.
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