PI: Christopher Haiman, Sc.D., University of Southern California

dbGaP Page

MEC website

The Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) has established a large biorepository of blood and urine (N=67,000) and cryopreserved lymphocytes (N=15,000) linked to extensive, prospectively collected risk factors (e.g., diet, smoking, physical activity), biomarkers and clinical data for five racial/ethnic groups. This cohort study of over 215,000 men and women in Hawaii and California is unique in that it is population-based and includes large representations of older adults (45-75 yrs at baseline) for five US racial/ethnic groups (Japanese Americans, African Americans, European Americans, Latinos and Native Hawaiians) at varying risks of chronic diseases. Within the PAGE investigation, the MEC proposes to study: 1) diseases for which we have DNA available for large numbers of cases and controls (breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, diabetes, and obesity); 2) important cancers that are less common (e.g., lung, pancreas, endometrial cancers, NHL) but for which we propose to pool our data with other funded groups; 3) common traits that are risk factors for these diseases (e.g., body mass index/weight, waist-to-hip ratio, height) and 4) relevant disease-associated biomarkers (e.g., fasting insulin and lipids, steroid hormones). The specific aims are: 1) To determine the population-based epidemiologic profile (allele frequency, main effect, heterogeneity by disease characteristics) of putative causal variants in the five racial/ethnic groups in the MEC; 2) for variants displaying effect heterogeneity across ethnic/racial groups, we will utilize differences in LD to identify a more complete spectrum of associated variants at these loci; 3) investigate gene x gene and gene x environment interactions to identify modifiers; 4) examine the associations of putative causal variants with already measured intermediate phenotypes (e.g., plasma insulin, lipids, steroid hormones); and 5) for variants that do not fall within known genes, start to investigate their relationships with gene expression and epigenetic patterns in small genomic studies.