Gloria M. Petersen, Ph.D., Consultant and Professor of Epidemiology, holds the Purvis and Roberta Tabor Professorship. Dr. Petersen is an American Board of Medical Genetics certified Ph.D. Geneticist and a Founding Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. Her research grant (R01 CA97075) for a Pancreatic Cancer Genetic Epidemiology (PACGENE) Consortium has a gene discovery goal. It is multicenter, encompassing six sites in the United States and Canada. She is a key leadership team member of the Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PANC4), and serves on the Scientific Advisory Panel for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). Her team has developed the largest, state-of-the-art patient and tissue registry in pancreatic cancer. Over 2,300 patients are enrolled, of which over 1,450 have histologically proven primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the most common and deadliest form of pancreatic cancer. This registry has facilitated numerous research projects that have heretofore not been possible (because patients are rapidly ascertained and their data and biospecimens are integrated for study).

Scientific and research interests

  • Genetic epidemiology of cancer to understand cancer etiology, which involves research using genetic linkage analysis of cancer families for gene discovery, and genetic association studies for characterizing gene-environment interaction.
  • Applying genetic epidemiologic methods to colorectal and pancreatic cancers.
  • Translation of gene discoveries into clinical application, with respect to improving risk assessment through modeling and studying impact of genetic testing.