Katherine L. Nathanson, MD

Dr. Nathanson's research focuses on the genetics of human cancer – both germline changes, which confer susceptibility to cancer, and somatic genetic changes associated with outcome.

Her research projects fall into several areas:

  • Identification and characterization of germline genetic changes associated with breast cancer susceptibility. These projects utilize two sample sets, a large clinical database of high risk breast cancer patients and a case-control study of white and black patients with breast cancer. Currently the projects in the laboratory focus on resequencing of BRCA1-associated genes as candidate breast cancer susceptibility genes in patients with high risk breast cancer and studying copy number variation as associated with potential susceptibility to high risk breast cancer in families with multiple cases of breast cancer.
  • Identification of genetic changes associated with testicular cancer susceptibility in a case-control sample set. Dr. Nathanson recently completed a successful genome wide association study in testicular cancer, and is in the process of designing and doing a number of follow-up studies.
  • Identification of somatic genetic markers in melanoma as determinants of response to therapy. The projects in the laboratory focus on several aspects of melanoma genetics including genotyping patients to determine targeted therapy selection, using genetics and genomics to sub-set melanomas, as well as understand response to therapy, and identify novel genes important in melanoma progression.