Host Susceptibility Factors Branch (HSFB)

Elizabeth Gillanders

Elizabeth M. Gillanders, Ph.D.
Branch Chief

The Host Susceptibility Factors Branch (HSFB) focuses on factors that influence personal susceptibility to cancer, such as genetic, epigenetic, immunological, and hormonal biological pathways; and social, cultural, and race/ethnic factors.

HSFB's mission is to plan, develop, direct, coordinate, and evaluate:

  • A comprehensive program of epidemiologic research in the etiology of cancer in human populations related to host (i.e., personal) susceptibility factors such as genetic, epigenetic, immunological and hormonal biological pathways; and social, cultural, and race/ethnicity factors;
  • A program of epidemiologic research to study differences in cancer susceptibility and risk in individuals and populations and the multiple environmental and genetic factors that jointly contribute to cancer, with the ultimate goal of elucidating the etiology of cancer;
  • A program of extramural epidemiologic research to evaluate the association of and magnitude of cancer risk associated with biomarkers of host susceptibility such as physiological status or function; and
  • Research resources, infrastructures, and consortia with a focus on personal susceptibility factors to facilitate and maximize the scientific potential of cancer epidemiology research.

Its mission also is to disseminate findings from the research supported by the Branch to the public, health care professionals, scientists engaged in cancer control, and the public health community.

HSFB Staff

Branch Name/Title Contact Info Interest Areas
HSFB Gillanders, Elizabeth M., Ph.D.
Branch Chief
Genetic epidemiology of cancer
HSFB Buccini, Laura D., Dr.P.H., M.P.H.
Bioethicist, Contractor
Public health and research ethics, specifically the intersection between genetic/genomic research with issues surrounding informed consent, informed decision making, access, and sharing of data
HSFB Carrick, Danielle Mercatante, Ph.D., M.H.S.
Program Director
Immunology, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases associated with cancer risk; pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacogenomics in relation to cancer risk; biospecimen research; translational medicine
HSFB Green, Tiffany, M.H.S., M.P.H.
Contractor, Program Analyst
Ethical and social issues surrounding advances in the genetic epidemiology of cancer and infectious diseases
HSFB Hutter, Carolyn M., Ph.D.
Program Director
Genetic epidemiology, statistical methods, and post-GWAS research
HSFB Lepage, Pascale, Ph.D.
Contractor, Public Health Advisor
Molecular biology of lung cancer
HSFB Martin, Damali N., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Program Director
Health disparities research, specifically for breast and prostate cancer and whether tumor biology contributes to differences in survival between African-American and Caucasian breast and prostate cancer patients
HSFB Mechanic, Leah E., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Program Director
Gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, biospecimen science, molecular epidemiology of lung cancer, hematological malignancies, and endometrial cancer
HSFB Mette, Eliza
Cancer Research Training Award Fellow
Global and domestic health disparities research and the role of social and behavioral factors associated with cancer risk
HSFB Nelson, Stefanie A., Ph.D.
Program Director
Genetic differences affecting cancer risk and response to treatment, understanding the function of cancer risk variants, and interactions between the germline and somatic cancer genomes
HSFB Tingle, Sharna, M.P.H.
Cancer Research Training Award Fellow
Health policy, bioethics, and public health genetics
HSFB Zanetti, Krista A., Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.
Program Director
Molecular epidemiology of lung and colon cancer, genome-wide association studies, use of emerging technologies in epidemiology studies, biological determinants of health disparities associated with cancer

Last Updated: 12 Jun 2012

Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences National Cancer Institute Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health