Department of Translational and Applied Genomics (TAG)

The TAG Department was founded in 2019 by former CHR Distinguished Investigator Katrina Goddard, PhD. It builds on a legacy of genetic and genomic research at CHR. Beginning in the 1970s, Andy Glass (1939-2017), MD, a KPNW physician and CHR Investigator, helped establish the KPNW Tumor Registry and encouraged the health care system to preserve all surgical cancer specimens for research.

Dr. Glass was also a pioneer in breast and cervical cancer research. In one of his studies, biospecimens were collected from over 20,000 women—which directly contributed to the development of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.

Emily Harris, PhD, MPH, a former Senior Investigator, led one of CHR’s first genetic studies, the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) study. The HEIRS study assessed the prevalence of the C282Y/C282Y genotype, the cause of most cases of hemochromatosis in White individuals. The study found that this genotype did not explain the elevated iron levels in blood in many Asian and Pacific Islander participants, which highlighted the importance of genetic research in diverse populations and the need to tailor genetic tests and treatments to groups and individuals.

TAG investigators contribute to the strength of genomic research at CHR through implementation research, biobanking, and national guideline development.

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