Christopher I. Amos, PhD
AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Christopher I. Amos, PhD

Director, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
Associate Director for Population and Quantitative Science
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas

For his unique blend of expertise in biostatistics and bioinformatics, genetics, and cancer epidemiology. He has brilliantly leveraged these skills to capitalize on genomic technologies, making seminal contributions to the understanding of the joint contributions of genetic and environmental factors in causing complex diseases such as cancer.

The 2020 AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention was established by the AACR and the American Cancer Society in 1992 to recognize outstanding research accomplishments in the fields of cancer epidemiology, biomarkers, and prevention.

Amos has been instrumental in the development of novel and robust methods for the analysis of quantitative traits using variance components and strong linkage approaches for understanding the etiological basis of complex diseases such as cancer. The methods that Amos has developed are now widely applied and highly regarded, in part because they do not require genetic models to be specified. Therefore, such models are more easily used in studying common diseases that result from the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Additionally, Amos is heralded as a nationally recognized leader in the field of whole-genome analyses. He was the first author of a landmark paper in Nature Genetics that identified a region of robust linkage disequilibrium within 15q25 as a lung cancer susceptibility gene locus. This region encompasses the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes CHRNA3 and CHRNA5, which have a defined role in nicotine dependence and a hypothesized direct role in downstream signaling pathways that promote carcinogenesis. To learn more, please visit the press release.

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