Gloria M. Petersen, PhD, a respected genetic epidemiologist and pancreatic cancer researcher, died January 8, 2023, at the age of 72.
Petersen earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in physical anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Oregon; and the University of California, Los Angeles, respectively.
Petersen was deputy director for population sciences at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research utilized genetic epidemiology methods to understand cancer etiology, with a focus on pancreatic cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. Her work included research on the early detection of pancreatic cancer, genetic and nongenetic risk factors of the disease, and bioethical issues involved in informing patients with family histories of cancer. Additionally, Mayo Clinic noted her contributions to health disparities and community outreach research.
Among many professional affiliations, Petersen was a member of the Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee of the National Cancer Institute, a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Human Genome Research Institute, and a consortia leader for the Pancreatic Cancer Genetic Epidemiology (PACGENE) Consortium.
Petersen joined the AACR in 2001. She was a member of Women in Cancer Research and served as chair of the Population Sciences Working Group, formerly known as the Molecular Epidemiology Working Group, from 2010 to 2011. She was a member of the editorial board of Cancer Prevention Research from 2008 to 2017. She served on numerous AACR committees, including the Annual Meeting Program Committee from 2010 to 2011 and the selection committees for several grants and awards.
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