Department of Medicine
Epidemiology and Population Sciences
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX, US
Associate Director of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences
Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States
McNair Scholar
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States
Dan L Duncan Chair
Baylor College of Medicine


PhD from University Of Texas School Of Public Health
MS from University Of Texas School Of Public Health
BS from University Of Texas At Austin

Professional Statement

My research focus is in genetic and molecular epidemiology and is at the forefront of developing innovative ways to assess the roles of heredity and genetic susceptibility in the etiology of cancer, primarily brain and breast cancer. Currently I lead the largest multi-national family study of glioma patients. The goal of the research is to characterize genes in glioma families using a genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism approach and conduct linkage analysis to identify new genomic regions or loci that could harbor genes important for gliomagenesis. The Gliogene Consortium initiated a second study, a case-control study with the goal to recruit ~4000 cases and ~4000 controls to better understand the role of gene and environment interactions in glioma etiology.

I have on-going research in breast cancer to study molecular predictors of survival after treatment for breast cancer. I have launched a collaborative study with researchers at the Arizona Cancer Center (AZCC) and investigators in Mexico in academic centers at the University of Sonora in the state of Sonora and at the University of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. The partnership was formed to address the hypothesis that the age-specific patterns of aggressive breast cancers differ between women of Mexican descent living in the US from those cases of women residing in Mexico and that the differences are at least partly explained by factors associated with acquisition of behavioral characteristics associated with the US culture.

When I was at MD Anderson, I developed a large Mexican-American cohort study in Harris County, Texas, that was designed to identify risk factors (e.g. smoking) associated with disease patterns in this understudied population. I still have a strong interest in health disparities.