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. Jiang, L, Shen, J, Darst, BF, Haiman, CA, Mancuso, N, Conti, DV. Hierarchical joint analysis of marginal summary statistics-Part II: High-dimensional instrumental analysis of omics data. Genet Epidemiol 2024; : . PubMed PMID:38887957 .
  2. Yan, D, Hu, B, Darst, BF, Mukherjee, S, Kunkle, BW, Deming, Y, Dumitrescu, L, Wang, Y, Naj, A, Kuzma, A et al.. Biobank-wide association scan identifies risk factors for late-onset Alzheimer's disease and endophenotypes. Elife 2024; 12 : . PubMed PMID:38787369 PubMed Central PMC11126309.
  3. Saunders, EJ, Dadaev, T, Brook, MN, Wakerell, S, Govindasami, K, Rageevakumar, R, Hussain, N, Osborne, A, Keating, D, Lophatananon, A et al.. Identification of Genes with Rare Loss of Function Variants Associated with Aggressive Prostate Cancer and Survival. Eur Urol Oncol 2024; 7 (2): 248-257. PubMed PMID:38458890 .
  4. Park, SY, Setiawan, VW, Crimmins, EM, White, LR, Wu, AH, Cheng, I, Darst, BF, Haiman, CA, Wilkens, LR, Le Marchand, L et al.. Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Population-Attributable Fractions of Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias. Neurology 2024; 102 (3): e208116. PubMed PMID:38232335 PubMed Central PMC11097758.
  5. Fuller, H, Zhu, Y, Nicholas, J, Chatelaine, HA, Drzymalla, EM, Sarvestani, AK, Julián-Serrano, S, Tahir, UA, Sinnott-Armstrong, N, Raffield, LM et al.. Author Correction: Metabolomic epidemiology offers insights into disease aetiology. Nat Metab 2024; 6 (1): 187. PubMed PMID:38191668 .
  6. Hughley, RW, Matejcic, M, Song, Z, Sheng, X, Wan, P, Xia, L, Hart, SN, Hu, C, Yadav, S, Lubmawa, A et al.. Polygenic Risk Score Modifies Prostate Cancer Risk of Pathogenic Variants in Men of African Ancestry. Cancer Res Commun 2023; 3 (12): 2544-2550. PubMed PMID:38014910 PubMed Central PMC10720390.
  7. Wang, A, Shen, J, Rodriguez, AA, Saunders, EJ, Chen, F, Janivara, R, Darst, BF, Sheng, X, Xu, Y, Chou, AJ et al.. Characterizing prostate cancer risk through multi-ancestry genome-wide discovery of 187 novel risk variants. Nat Genet 2023; 55 (12): 2065-2074. PubMed PMID:37945903 PubMed Central PMC10841479.
  8. Fuller, H, Zhu, Y, Nicholas, J, Chatelaine, HA, Drzymalla, EM, Sarvestani, AK, Julián-Serrano, S, Tahir, UA, Sinnott-Armstrong, N, Raffield, LM et al.. Metabolomic epidemiology offers insights into disease aetiology. Nat Metab 2023; 5 (10): 1656-1672. PubMed PMID:37872285 PubMed Central PMC11164316.
  9. 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; 9 (11): 1514-1524. PubMed PMID:37733366 PubMed Central PMC10881219.
  10. 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.
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Curriculum vitae