Prominent molecular epidemiologist Susan L. Neuhausen, Ph.D., has joined City of Hope as professor of population sciences and is the first Morris & Horowitz Families Professor in Cancer Etiology and Outcomes Research.
Neuhausen investigates the genetic causes of diseases and their connections to the environment so that researchers may identify ways to lower disease risk.
|Susan Neuhausen (Photo by p.cunningham)|
Neuhausen, who joined the institution in November 2009, will contribute extensive knowledge and experience to cancer genetics and outcomes research in the Department of Population Sciences, said Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of the department. She already has collaborated extensively with City of Hope’s Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., director of the Division of Cancer Etiology, and Jeffrey Weitzel, M.D., director of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics.
“Susan Neuhausen expands the scope of research we conduct in the Department of Population Sciences and adds greater depth to our understanding of the many factors that contribute to the origins of cancer,” said Bhatia.
Neuhausen joined City of Hope from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where she served as associate director of the university’s Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute and professor in the departments of epidemiology and pediatrics. She primarily performed research on breast cancer, prostate cancer and celiac disease.
Neuhausen has several R01s, or research project grants, from the National Institutes of Health. One of her grants from the National Cancer Institute is to investigate the role that genes involved in insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling may play in the development of breast cancer. Findings from this study will provide information to more accurately assess breast cancer risk. Study findings also may suggest targets for therapy and help identify women who could particularly benefit from these new, IGF-targeting drugs.
Prior to UCI, she was a faculty member at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
“I’m honored to be named the first Morris & Horowitz Families Professor,” said Neuhausen. “It is one of many factors that contributed to my decision to join City of Hope. I’m especially excited for the potential to do long-term follow-up of patients to better understand and improve their disease-free survival.”
Neuhausen is interested in examining the entire continuum of cancer, from origins to outcomes.
“Molecular epidemiology is intrinsically linked to all the different divisions and fields of population sciences research,” said Neuhausen. “You can’t look at cancer without looking at all the components that contribute to it, such as genetics, environment, treatment outcomes and survivorship.”
Neuhausen holds a patent for her discovery of a specific chromosome mutation linked to prostate cancer risk. She has written chapters for several books and published research into genetic mutations and cancer risk in numerous journals including Nature Genetics, Cancer Research, American Journal of Human Genetics and The Lancet. Additionally, she serves as a reviewer for journals including Breast Cancer Research, Human Molecular Genetics, Journal of the American Medical Association and Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Neuhausen is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society of Human Genetics.
She received her bachelor of science in horticulture and her master of science in crop and soil sciences from Michigan State University. She received her doctor of philosophy degree in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.
The Morris & Horowitz Families Professorship in Cancer Etiology and Outcomes Research was established through a donation from longtime City of Hope supporters Monique and Doug Morris. Doug Morris, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music Group, was honored with The Spirit of Life© Award by City of Hope’s Music and Entertainment Industry group in 2008. The Morrises have a longstanding family tie to City of Hope.
The professorship also honors the deep-rooted involvement of the Horowitz family in City of Hope. Zach Horowitz, a longtime leader of the Music and Entertainment Industry group, is a colleague of Doug Morris. Zach Horowitz’s father, Ben, was formerly executive director of City of Hope; Ben Horowitz’s wife, Beverly, previously headed City of Hope’s St. Louis office. And the couple’s daughter, Jody Horowitz Marsh, is a current City of Hope board member.