Symposium Speaker: Burcu Darst, PhD

Dr. Burcu Darst received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Wisconsin and recently completed post-doctoral training at the University of Southern California under the mentorship of Drs. Christopher Haiman and David Conti. Dr. Darst's research is focused on identifying and understanding genetic and multi-omic risk factors of prostate cancer in diverse populations. She has extensive expertise in genetic epidemiology as well as genetic association and metabolomic investigations. Her research focuses on understanding genetic risk of prostate cancer in multi-ancestry populations, particularly using rare variants captured with whole exome sequencing, genome-wide association studies, polygenic risk scores and metabolomics to distinguish aggressive from non-aggressive disease and to understand the stark health disparities that contribute to prostate cancer risk. She has also done research on genetic testing in precision medicine, developmental neurogenetics, and the genetics of complex aging traits and worked to integrate genomic and metabolomic data to understand the underlying mechanisms contributing to complex aging traits and Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, she is leading an effort to improve understanding of the genomic and metabolic mechanisms contributing to prostate cancer risk in men from diverse populations as well as improving the utility of polygenic risk scores and rare genetic variants for the prediction of prostate cancer across patient populations. Dr. Darst has received multiple awards for her work including the Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award and the AACR NextGen Star award.


Recent Publications

  1. Darst, BF, Saunders, E, Dadaev, T, Sheng, X, Wan, P, Pooler, L, Xia, LY, Chanock, S, Berndt, SI, Wang, Y et al.. Germline Sequencing Analysis to Inform Clinical Gene Panel Testing for Aggressive Prostate Cancer. JAMA Oncol 2023; : . PubMed PMID:37733366 .
  2. Joshi, AD, Rahnavard, A, Kachroo, P, Mendez, KM, Lawrence, W, Julián-Serrano, S, Hua, X, Fuller, H, Sinnott-Armstrong, N, Tabung, FK et al.. An epidemiological introduction to human metabolomic investigations. Trends Endocrinol Metab 2023; 34 (9): 505-525. PubMed PMID:37468430 PubMed Central PMC10527234.
  3. Darst, BF, Shen, J, Madduri, RK, Rodriguez, AA, Xiao, Y, Sheng, X, Saunders, EJ, Dadaev, T, Brook, MN, Hoffmann, TJ et al.. Evaluating approaches for constructing polygenic risk scores for prostate cancer in men of African and European ancestry. Am J Hum Genet 2023; 110 (7): 1200-1206. PubMed PMID:37311464 PubMed Central PMC10357473.
  4. Darst, BF, Shen, J, Madduri, RK, Rodriguez, AA, Xiao, Y, Sheng, X, Saunders, EJ, Dadaev, T, Brook, MN, Hoffmann, TJ et al.. Evaluating Approaches for Constructing Polygenic Risk Scores for Prostate Cancer in Men of African and European Ancestry. medRxiv 2023; : . PubMed PMID:37292833 PubMed Central PMC10246022.
  5. Huerta-Chagoya, A, Schroeder, P, Mandla, R, Deutsch, AJ, Zhu, W, Petty, L, Yi, X, Cole, JB, Udler, MS, Dornbos, P et al.. The power of TOPMed imputation for the discovery of Latino-enriched rare variants associated with type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia 2023; 66 (7): 1273-1288. PubMed PMID:37148359 PubMed Central PMC10244266.
  6. Hou, K, Ding, Y, Xu, Z, Wu, Y, Bhattacharya, A, Mester, R, Belbin, GM, Buyske, S, Conti, DV, Darst, BF et al.. Causal effects on complex traits are similar for common variants across segments of different continental ancestries within admixed individuals. Nat Genet 2023; 55 (4): 549-558. PubMed PMID:36941441 .
  7. Chen, F, Madduri, RK, Rodriguez, AA, Darst, BF, Chou, A, Sheng, X, Wang, A, Shen, J, Saunders, EJ, Rhie, SK et al.. Evidence of Novel Susceptibility Variants for Prostate Cancer and a Multiancestry Polygenic Risk Score Associated with Aggressive Disease in Men of African Ancestry. Eur Urol 2023; 84 (1): 13-21. PubMed PMID:36872133 PubMed Central PMC10424812.
  8. Panyard, DJ, Deming, YK, Darst, BF, Van Hulle, CA, Zetterberg, H, Blennow, K, Kollmorgen, G, Suridjan, I, Carlsson, CM, Johnson, SC et al.. Liver-Specific Polygenic Risk Score Is Associated with Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis. J Alzheimers Dis 2023; 92 (2): 395-409. PubMed PMID:36744333 PubMed Central PMC10050104.
  9. Johnson, AM, Teoh, D, Jewett, P, Darst, BF, Mattson, J, Hoffmann, C, Brown, K, Makaram, A, Keller, C, Blaes, AH et al.. Genetic variants associated with post-traumatic stress symptoms in patients with gynecologic cancer. Gynecol Oncol 2023; 170 : 102-107. PubMed PMID:36681010 PubMed Central PMC10023401.
  10. Haiman, CA, Kote-Jarai, Z, Darst, BF, Conti, DV. RE: Polygenic risk of any, metastatic, and fatal prostate cancer in the Million Veteran Program. J Natl Cancer Inst 2023; 115 (3): 341-342. PubMed PMID:36629487 PubMed Central PMC9996202.
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The Darst Lab Website

Curriculum vitae