Stephen B. Gruber

PIBBS Mentor

Medicine and Preventive Medicine
Keck School of Medicine

Research Topics

  • Cancer Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Cancer Epidemiology

Research Overview

The Gruber Lab focuses on the genetic and molecular epidemiology of cancer to better understand inherited susceptibility to cancer and how to modify risk. Genetics is not destiny, and research in the Gruber Lab is dedicated to understanding the biologic basis of incomplete penetrance through large epidemiologic study designs that take advantage of exceptionally large populations of individuals with and without cancer as well as detailed studies of individual patients and families with inherited susceptibility. A component of the lab also focuses on mechanistic studies of cancer susceptibility loci, including high-penetrance mutations of DNA repair genes and low penetrance susceptiibility loci identified through genome-wide association studies. A new focus in the lab also concentrates on the immune response as a modulator of both cancer risk and outcome. The Gruber Lab is the home to the Molecular Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Study, a population-based case-control study of colorectal cancer conducted in close collaboration with the CHS National Israeli Cancer Control Center in Haifa, Israel, as well as the CORECT (Colorectal Transdisciplinary Study), a genome-wide association study consortium involving more than 100,000 individuals with comprehensive genotype data. Environmental exposures including medications, tobacco, alcohol, and diet are explored through extensive datasets derived from validated survey instruments. The Gruber Lab also plays a large role in the Genes, Environment, and Melanoma Study, a multi-center study of single primary and multiple primary melanoma that explores both genetic and environmental contributions to melanoma.