Rochester, Minnesota




The research interests of Robert A. Vierkant are focused on the application of data analysis methods for observational studies, primarily in the field of cancer epidemiology.

As a consulting statistician, Vierkant collaborates with a number of investigators in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, with much of his effort directed toward the study of breast, ovarian and colorectal cancer. He also works closely with the Cancer Center's Native American Programs.

Current research activities include the assessment of genetic associations with ovarian cancer, the identification and assessment of breast and colorectal cancer-related biomarkers, and the development of risk prediction models.

Focus areas

  • Identifying biomarkers of breast cancer risk in women with a history of benign breast lesions
  • Identifying genomic attributes associated with risk of ovarian cancer
  • Identifying genomic attributes associated with prognosis among women with ovarian cancer
  • Identifying risk factors associated with specific colorectal cancer and breast cancer subtypes

Significance to patient care

Although ovarian cancer risk and survival both have a strong genetic component, relatively little is known about the specific genetic variants that affect these outcomes. The goal of Vierkant and his colleagues is to identify a larger series of genetic factors that, when combined with known lifestyle factors, will better predict ovarian cancer risk and survival. The ultimate goal is to provide clinicians and practitioners with individualized medical information to help determine optimal prevention and treatment strategies.

Women with a personal history of benign breast lesions are at increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women without such lesions. However, current risk prediction estimates for these women are highly variable. Vierkant's goal is to identify biomarkers of risk for women with benign breast disease to better stratify breast cancer risk groups, thus assisting clinicians as they counsel patients regarding risk.


See my publications


Academic Rank

  1. Assistant Professor of Biostatistics


  1. MS - Applied Statistics Ohio State University
  2. BS - Statistics Winona State University

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