Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences, Division of Epidemiology
EDUCATION AND TRAINING:
Ph.D., University of Iowa, Iowa City, 2000
M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1995
B.S., Drake University, Des Moines, 1991
Pre-Doctoral Fellow, National Epidemiology Program, Indian Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, 1997-2000
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Surveillance Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 2000-2002
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 2002-2004
SECONDARY APPOINTMENT(S)/ INSTITUTE(S)/ CENTER(S):
Director, DrPH Program Development Team
Penn State Cancer Institute, Division of Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention
Chair, MPH Practicum and Service Committee, Penn State Program in Public Health
Faculty Affiliate, Penn State University Population Research Institute
Immediate Past Chair, Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association, 2013-15
Review Editor, Frontiers in Applied Genetic Epidemiology
Director, Disease Scene Investigators Workshop
Dr. Wilson is a former pre-doctoral fellow with the Indian Health Service’s National Epidemiology Program, and post-doctoral fellow with the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Research Program and the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch within the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.
Dr. Wilson’s laboratory focuses on vitamin D and cancer health disparities. Vitamin D has both nongenomic and genomic effects, and most of the known biologic functions are carried out through highly-specific binding of the active form (1,25(OH)2D3) to the vitamin D receptor (VDR). Polymorphisms in the VDR gene have been associated with cancer risk for several sites. Other genes in the vitamin D pathway may also be important. The prevalence of genetic polymorphisms in some vitamin D-responsive genes vary substantially by race/ethnicity.
Through research funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR, http://www.aicr.org/) our laboratory is working to identify and functionally characterize polymorphic variants in the vitamin D pathway and describe important variants related to racial/ethnic differences in serum vitamin D levels.
Through a collaboration with Dr. Susan Safford of Lincoln University, our laboratory is investigating the relation between ERP57 and vitamin D metabolism in epidemiologic and cell-based model systems.
CURRENT LAB MEMBERS:
Robin Perry-Smith, MHA, EPIC Project Manager
Shwetha Srikanth, MS, EPIC Research Associate
Taylor Ottomano, AICR Research Associate
Genetic, Dietary and Environmental Influences on Vitamin D Metabolism, American Institute for Cancer Research (http://www.aicr.org/cancer-research/grants/grant-209517.html)
Early Preparation and Inspiration for Careers in the Biomedical Sciences (EPIC), National Institutes of Health (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8574235&icde=0)
HONORS AND AWARDS:
Inaugural Dean’s Diversity Champion Award, Penn State College of Medicine, 2012
Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, Alpha Phi Chapter, University of Iowa, 2011
Samuel F. Hinkle Outstanding Young Investigator Award Finalist, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, 2010
Outstanding Mentor Award, Penn State College of Medicine, 2008
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American Institute for Cancer Research: