Karen L. Mohlke

PhD, Genetics, UNC-Chapel Hill, Cancer Genetics

PhD
Professor and Associate Chair for Research; Oliver Smithies Investigator
Genetics
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Genetics

Area of interest

We are interested in understanding the genetic basis for susceptibility to obesity and type 2 diabetes, including their relationships to cancer risk. Epidemiological data demonstrate a positive correlation between obesity and several forms of cancer, including those of the colon, breast, endometrium, kidney, and esophagus, as well as a decreased risk of prostate cancer among individuals affected with diabetes. The molecular mechanisms underlying these disease relationships are unclear and may involve diet, physical activity, insulin resistance, and hormone changes, in addition to genetic differences between individuals. We are particularly interested in understanding whether the mechanisms relating obesity, diabetes and cancer are influenced by the same genes, shared common DNA variants, and/or cell environments. We apply genetic, genomic, transcriptomics, epigenomics and molecular and cellular biology approaches to identify susceptibility variants, genes, and mechanisms.

Awards and Honors

  • Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics – Highly Cited Researcher’ 2014-present
  • 2011, UNC Ruth and Phillip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement
  • 2006, Pew Scholar Award in the Biomedical Sciences
  • 2003, NHGRI Intramural Research Award
  • 2000, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences

Reach NC Profile

Find publications on Pubmed