Diversity in Life Sciences

Initiatives to Enhance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Science


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Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor
Vanderbilt University

My research is focused on understanding why there are differences in lung cancer risk and survival among different racial/ethnic populations. We focus on identifying genetic and non-genetic risk factors for lung cancer and related phenotypes, such as pulmonary function. We are building an African American collaborative study to investigate mechanisms driving lung cancer racial disparities. We work with the Southern Community Cohort Study, ILCCO, and the Vanderbilt DNA biobank (BioVU) and other collaborators to investigate lung cancer. We are also investigating the genetics of immunotherapy treatment among lung cancer patients. Additional ongoing work includes investigating the genetics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the population genetics of African Americans and other admixed populations. My research also focuses on addressing inequities in lung cancer screening, particularly for underserved populations. My research has been used in key guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Research Keywords:

# Lung Cancer Epidemiology
# Genetic Epidemiology
# Underrepresented Populations
# Health Disparities
# Precision Medicine
# Admixed Populations

Mentor: Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, MD, PhD

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