Douglas Easton

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Douglas Easton
NationalityUnited Kingdom
EducationUniversity of Cambridge
University of London
Known forResearch on the genetics of breast cancer
AwardsAACR/Susan Komen Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research (2008)
Scientific career
FieldsCancer epidemiology
Genetic epidemiology
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
ThesisSome problems in the genetic epidemiology of cancer (1992)

Douglas F. Easton FMedSci is a British epidemiologist who conducts research on the genetics of human cancers. He is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge. He founded Cambridge's Cancer Research UK Genetic Epidemiology Unit in 1995, and was a Principal Research Fellow there from 2001 to 2011.[1] He is a Professorial Fellow of Homerton College, Cambridge.[2]


Easton's research focuses on identifying single-nucleotide polymorphisms that increase the risk of common human cancers, in part through the use of genome-wide association studies.[1] In 2007, he and his colleagues reported that they had found four genes associated with breast cancer, based on a study of almost 50,000 women.[3][4] The gene with the strongest association with breast cancer risk was FGFR2; women with two copies of the gene's high-risk allele had a 60% increased risk of breast cancer.[5] This finding was described by New Scientist as "...the most significant advance in the genetics of breast cancer since researchers implicated the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2".[6] He has since published additional research identifying genes associated with breast cancer risk.[7][8]

Honors and awards[edit]

Easton was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2002.[9] In 2008, the American Association for Cancer Research chose him to receive its inaugural Outstanding Investigator Award in Breast Cancer Research in recognition of his research on the genetics of breast cancer.[10] In 2019 (March 14), the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Medicine.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Professor Douglas Easton (Director)". Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Douglas Easton | Homerton College". Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  3. ^ Ponder, Bruce A. J.; Cox, David R.; Day, Nicholas E.; Hartikainen, Jaana; Kataja, Vesa; Kosma, Veli-Matti; Mannermaa, Arto; Webb, Penny; Gertig, Dorota (June 2007). "Genome-wide association study identifies novel breast cancer susceptibility loci". Nature. 447 (7148): 1087–1093. Bibcode:2007Natur.447.1087E. doi:10.1038/nature05887. hdl:10536/DRO/DU:30025314. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 2714974. PMID 17529967.
  4. ^ Khamsi, Roxanne (29 May 2007). "Common gene mutation heightens breast cancer risk". New Scientist. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  5. ^ Whitfield, John (21 May 2007). "Geneticists identify four new breast-cancer genes". Nature News. doi:10.1038/news070521-13. ISSN 1744-7933.
  6. ^ "Upfront". New Scientist. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  7. ^ Taylor, Ashley P. (23 October 2017). "Genetic Risk Factors for Breast Cancer Identified". The Scientist. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Scientists find new gene links to breast cancer". Reuters. 9 May 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Professor Douglas Easton". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Awards, Appointments, Announcements". JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 101 (4): 227. 18 February 2009. doi:10.1093/jnci/djp011. ISSN 0027-8874.
  11. ^ "Honorary award". Karolinska Institutet. Retrieved 23 March 2019.

External links[edit]