Jessica Ezzell Hunter, PhD


Jessica Ezzell Hunter, PhD, is a genetic epidemiologist with training in molecular genetics, biostatistics, and neuropsychological outcomes. Her research focuses on the impact that genomic variation has on health outcomes and the neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric outcomes associated with specific genes.

At the Center for Health Research, Dr. Hunter has worked on studies assessing the clinical actionability of genomic variation; maximizing the identification of inherited cancer syndromes and subsequent adherence to recommended care; measuring how pharmacogenetics moderate clinical morbidity; and improving health and quality of life outcomes in individuals with genetic intellectual and developmental disability disorders, such as fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome, and their families.

Dr. Hunter is currently Site Principal Investigator on a study assessing variation and effectiveness of universal tumor screening programs for Lynch syndrome across multiple health care systems, Site Principal Investigator on a study assessing the moderation of CYP2C19 polymorphism on the impact of proton pump inhibitor use on risk of osteoporotic hip fracture, and Principal Investigator on a study investigating the effects of mindfulness meditation on maternal stress for mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Dr. Hunter joined CHR in 2013 following postdoctoral training at Emory University and Oregon Health & Science University. She earned her doctorate in genetics and molecular biology from Emory University and her master’s degree in human genetics from Tulane University.

Selected Publications

  • JE Hunter, KA Arnold, JE Cook, J Zepp, MJ Gilmore, AF Rope, JV Davis, KM Bergen, E Esterberg, KR Muessig, SK Peterson, S Syngal, L Acheson, G Wiesner, J Reiss, KA Goddard. (2017) Universal screening for Lynch syndrome among patients with colorectal cancer: patient perspectives on screening and sharing results with at-risk relatives. Fam Cancer 16(3): 377-387.
  • JE Hunter, SA Irving, LG Biesecker, A Buchanan, B Jensen, K Lee, CL Martin, L Milko, K Muessig, AD Niehaus, J O’Daniel, MA Piper, EM Ramos, SD Schully, AF Scott, A Slavotinek, A Sobreira, N Strande, M Weaver, EM Webber, MS Williams, JS Berg, JP Evans, KAB Goddard, on behalf of the ClinGen Resource. (2016) A standardized, evidence-based protocol to assess clinical actionability of genetic disorders associated with genomic variation. Genet Med 18(12): 1258-1268.
  • JE Hunter, J Zepp, M Gilmore, J Davis, E Esterberg, KR Muessig, SK Peterson, S Syngal, L Acheson, MD, G Wiesner, J Reiss, KAB Goddard. (2015) Universal tumor screening for Lynch syndrome: Assessment of colorectal cancer patient perspectives on benefits and barriers. Cancer 121(18):3281-3289.
  • J Visootsak, L Huddleston, A Buterbaugh, A Perkins, S Sherman, J Hunter. (2015) Influence of congenital heart defects on psychosocial and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children with Down syndrome. Cardiology in the Young [Epub Feb 16].
  • J Hunter, O Rivero-Arias, A Angelov, E Kim, I Fotheringham, J Leal. (2014) Epidemiology of fragile X syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med Genet A 164(7):1648-1658.
  • JE Hunter, EG Allen, M Shin, LJH Bean, A Correa, C Druschel, CA Hobbs, LA O’Leary, PA Romitti, MH Royle, CP Torfs, SB Freeman, SL Sherman. (2013) The association of low socioeconomic status and the risk of having a child with Down syndrome: a report from the National Down Syndrome Project. Genet Med 15(9):698-705.
  • JE Hunter, M Leslie, G Novak, D Hamilton, L Shubeck, K Charen, A Abramowitz, MP Epstein, A Lori, E Binder, JF Cubells, SL Sherman. (2012) Depression and anxiety symptoms among women who carry the FMR1 premutation: impact of raising a child with fragile X syndrome is moderated by CRHR1 polymorphisms. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 159(5):549-559.
  • JE Hunter, MP Epstein, SW Tinker, A Abramowitz, SL Sherman. (2012) The FMR1 premutation and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): evidence for a complex inheritance. Behavior Genetics 42(3):415-422.
  • JE Hunter, MP Epstein, SW Tinker, KH Charen, SL Sherman. (2008) Fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency: evidence for additional genetic contributions to severity. Genetic Epidemiology 32(6):553-559.