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Ulrike Peters, PhD, MPH

Research Professor, Epidemiology

Contact Information
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Box 358080
1100 Fairview Ave N,M4-B402
PO Box 1024
Seattle, WA 98109-1024
Tel: 206-667-2450
Fax: 206-667-5977

Research Interests

My research interest centers on the genetic and molecular epidemiology of common complex diseases, including cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as intermediate traits, including inflammation and metabolic measurements. 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 and aspirin use).

MPH, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina 1999
PhD, Nutrition, University of Kiel (Germany) 1998

I am currently leading or co-leading the following projects:

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 conducting large-scale meta-analyses of existing and newly generated genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and replicating and characterizing GWAS findings. Clinical and epidemiologic data are harmonized across studies to allow for comprehensive genome-wide analyses of gene-environment interactions. 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/content/public/en/labs/phs/projects/cancer-prevention/projects/gecco.html.

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/ and http://www.fhcrc.org/content/public/en/labs/phs/projects/cancer-prevention/projects/page.html.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI), Grand Opportunity Exome Sequencing Project (GO-ESP).
The aim of this project is 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 by 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/ and http://www.fhcrc.org/content/public/en/labs/phs/projects/cancer-prevention/projects/whisp.html.

Selenium, selenoenzymes and risk of cancer
This project aims to investigate the association between serum selenium and genetic variation in selenoenzymes and cancer risk, as well as genetic predictors of selenoenzymes activity and circulating selenium concentrations.

Selected Publications

Hutter CM , Chang-Claude J, Slattery M, Pflugeisen B, Lin Y, Duggan D, Nan H, Lemire M, Rangrej J, Jiao S, Harrison T, Liu Y, Chen L, Stelling D, Warnick G, Hofmeister M, Kury S, Hazra A, Kraft P, Hunter D, Gallinger S, Zanke B, Brenner H, Frank B, Ma J, Ulrich C, Kooperberg C, LaCroix A, Prentice R, Jackson R, Schoen R, Chanock SJ, Berndt S, Hayes RB, Caan B, Potter J, Hsu L, Bezieau S, Chan A, Hudson T, Peters U. Characterizing gene-environment interactions for previously identified colorectal cancer susceptibility loci. Cancer Res (submitted)

Carty CL, Johnson NA, Hutter CM, Reiner AP, Peters U, Tang H, Kooperberg C. Genome-wide association study of body height in African-Americans: the Women's Health Initiative SNP Health Association Resource (SHARe). Hum Mol Gen 2011: doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr489 [Epub ahead of print]

Peters U*, Hutter CM*, Hsu L, Schumacher FR, Conti DV, Carlson CS, Edlund CK, Haile RW, Gallinger S, Zanke BW, Lemire M, Rangrej J, Vijayaraghavan R, Chan AT, Hazra A, Hunter DJ, Ma J, Fuchs CS, Giovannucci EL, Kraft P, Liu Y, Chen L, Jiao S, Makar KW, Taverna D, Gruber SB, Rennert G, Moreno V, Ulrich CM, Woods MO, Green RC, Parfrey PS, Prentice RL, Kooperberg C, Jackson RD, LaCroix AZ, Caan BJ, Hayes RB, Berndt SI, Chanock SJ, Schoen RE, Chang-Claude J, Hoffmeister M, Brenner H, Frank B, Bézieau S, Küry S, Slattery ML, Hopper JL, Jenkins MA, Le Marchand L, Lindor NM, Newcomb PA, Seminara, D, Hudson TJ, Duggan DJ, Potter JD, Casey G, on behalf of CCFR and GECCO. Meta-analysis of new genome-wide scans for colorectal cancer Risk. Hum Genet 2011 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print] . *co-first authors who contributed equally to this work.

Dong LM, Potter JD, White E, Ulrich CM, Cardon LR, Peters U. Genetic susceptibility to cancer: the role of polymorphisms in candidate genes. JAMA 2008;28: 299: 2423-36

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