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Dr. Han is interested in understanding the influence of genetic and environmental factors on the etiology and prevention of skin lesions. His genetic epidemiological research started with the etiology of skin cancers and expanded to other skin lesions such as psoriasis, moles, and acne. Besides a series of genetic susceptibility investigation, he has also conducted a great deal of epidemiological research to identify lifestyle and environmental risk factors and comorbidities for skin cancers, psoriasis, and acne. Currently he leads post-GWAS collaborative projects examining the biological function of genetic variants using bioinformatics and molecular biology tools. In addition to a series of newly identified genetic markers for human pigmentation and skin cancers, he recently has conducted cancer network research. He has also played a leading role in large national and international collaborative consortia on melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and human pigmentation. He has also worked on breast, endometrial and lung cancers. In addition, he serves as a key investigator on multiple NIH-funded projects, providing critical expertise in genetic and molecular epidemiology to other faculty members and researchers. He has been the Principal Investigator on a dozen of NIH grants. He has published over 160 original research articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has been invited to speak about his research at regional, national, and international scientific meetings. He has served as ad hoc reviewer for over 100 peer-reviewed scientific journals and is currently an Associate Editor for the journal Cancer Causes and Control. He also serves on the editorial board of Experimental Dermatology and has acted as Guest Associate Editor of PLoS Genetics. Dr. Han has served on a number of national and international committees and grant review panels in the NIH study sections, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the American Cancer Society. He has been on several committees and chaired sessions of national and international scientific societies.
I am interested in understanding the influence of genetic and environmental factors in the etiology and prevention of skin lesions, particularly skin cancer. Initially, I was engaged in studies of inherited susceptibility to skin cancers, focusing on DNA repair and related genes. I then moved from candidate genes to multiple candidate molecular pathways, including cell cycle, pigmentation, immunity, telomere, and microRNA biosynthesis. Beyond the candidate gene and pathway approach, I am also conducting a series of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify novel loci on pigmentation, nevogenesis, skin cancers, and several other related phenotypes and outcomes. Currently, I am conducting post-GWAS research projects examining the biological function of top significant variants identified from GWAS and integrating the gene expression profile for pathway enrichment evaluation. Meanwhile, I have expanded my research on the etiology of skin cancer to other skin lesions such as psoriasis. Besides genetic susceptibility, I have expanded my research to identify lifestyle and environmental risk factors for skin cancers and psoriasis.