Postdoctoral Scholar at the Intersection of Cancer, Dementia, and Genetic Epidemiology

Institution: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Principal Investigator: Dr. Rebecca Graff, ScD
Posting Date: January 18, 2021
Closing Date: March 1, 2021 or until the position is filled

Job Description

Dr. Rebecca Graff at UCSF has an opening for an enthusiastic postdoctoral scholar interested in exploring the inverse relationship between cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD). Though both cancer and AD/ADRD generally increase with age, studies drawing on varied samples, study designs, and analytic approaches have found that each condition is associated with a reduced risk of the other. Diagnostic bias, selective survival, and competing risks were initially thought to explain the association, but several lines of evidence – largely collected in European ancestry populations – now indicate that these are unlikely holistic explanations. Dr. Graff has thus been awarded funding to investigate the following in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California membership and Multiethnic Cohort: 1) patterns of the inverse comorbidity between cancer and AD/ADRD, overall and by race/ethnicity, education, and age; 2) genome-wide, gene expression, and variant level genetic factors that may contribute to the inverse comorbidity; 3) lifestyle factors that may contribute to the inverse comorbidity; and 4) physiologic or treatment responses to cancer that reduce the risk of AD/ADRD. Applicants to this position should be eager to address these research imperatives, though they will also have the opportunity to contribute to other facets of Dr. Graff’s research portfolio. She also studies PSA genetics, the metabolomic basis of lethal prostate cancer, the role of lifestyle in prostate cancer survivorship, and the role of lifestyle in kidney cancer risk and survivorship.

Essential Functions

  • Design of analytic research projects

  • Application of statistical methods for epidemiologic studies

  • Preparation of manuscripts for peer reviewed publication

  • Presentation of research at scientific meetings


    Applicants must have a PhD or equivalent degree in epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, or a related quantitative health research area, as well as expertise in statistical programming. Research experience in genetic epidemiology is strongly preferred.

    Application Process

    Please send a cover letter, CV, and the names of three or more references to Rebecca Graff ([email protected]) by March 1, 2021.