The Hanson Research Group studies the genetic and environmental influences on health throughout the life course, focused on the discovery sphere of translational research. My lab develops methods for population-based risk prediction (genetic and environmental) and relies on integration of many data sources, including genealogy, health information, and exposures, contained in the Utah Population Database and other large population health databases. Our specific areas of research include understanding how environmental influences in utero and early childhood affect later life risk for cancer, the relationship between fertility and later life health, and the interaction with social and physical environments, and familial, community, and socioeconomic factors affecting health outcomes.
We recently introduced a novel network-inspired clustering technique to explore multi-cancer signatures for high-risk cancer families in the UPDB. This multi-source database is an incredible gem, unique to Utah. We have successfully applied this clustering method to bladder and breast cancer, identifying novel risk patterns that could impact population-based cancer prevention.
Racial injustices propagate every corner of our society and will only be eradicated if we take the time to reflect on our own biases, plan for actionable change, and work to become anti-racists. Scientific culture has contributed to the reinforcement of systemic white privilege and racism on the individual, community, and societal level. We are committed to including all forms of diverse identities, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, ability, LGBTQIA+, national origin, religion, language and dialect, socioeconomic, age and appearance. We value an environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our lab holds regular, open discussions about the inclusion of marginalized populations in research. We are also committed to creating actionable plans for changing the status quo. Black Lives Matter.