M. D. Anderson Cancer Prevention Researcher Chosen to Lead
International Epidemiology Society
M. D. Anderson News Release 05/11/01
An international medical society has elected an epidemiologist at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to its top post for the coming year. The International Genetic Epidemiology Society chose Dr. Christopher I. Amos, professor of epidemiology, to serve as president-elect for 2001, leading to his presidency in 2002. The International Genetic Epidemiology Society members primarily are interested in researching genetic components related to complex biological phenomena that lead to disease, Dr. Amos says.
“The society is devoted to developing methodology that allows researchers to apply findings to studies in humans, and Dr. Amos' experience makes him exceptionally well qualified to lead the society into the new millennium," says Dr. Margaret R. Spitz, chair of M. D. Anderson’s Department of Epidemiology.
Dr. Amos' goals as president-elect and president include broadening the membership to include a wider range of constituents, including epidemiologists studying gene-environment interactions and the bioinformatics community, and providing more educational opportunities for members. In
the past, the society has not focused on professional development, Dr. Amos says. But increasing complexity of analyses and the increased member interest in methodology call for society-sponsored educational events.
Dr. Amos' research interests include genetic etiology of common diseases. The methods he developed for linkage studies do not require a specified genetic model and therefore are more easily applied to research in common genetically influenced diseases. His current investigations include studies of gene-environment determinants of lung and head and neck cancers; assessing clinical correlations between changes in DNA mismatch repair genes and colorectal cancers; psychosocial aspects of genetic testing; detecting genetic changes for Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, a rare condition that significantly increases an individual's cancer risk.
Dr. Amos also serves as the coordinating statistical geneticist for the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium, which is collecting genetic linkage data from more than 800 sibling pairs with rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, he collaborates with other institutions to study the genetics of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Amos’ career at M. D. Anderson began in 1993, when he joined the Department of
Epidemiology. He completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in biometry at Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans, and completed an Intramural Research Training Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in the Genetic Epidemiology Branch.