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You are here: Home / Faculty / Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, PhD

Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, PhD

Head of Cancer Genetics, Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency
Professor, Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University
Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Phone 604-675-8153
Fax 604-675-8178


Please visit the Brooks-Wilson lab website for more information on publications, personal biographies and opportunities to join our group!

Current Research Studies


Genetic Susceptibility to Lymphoma

Cancer is considered a complex genetic trait in which genetic susceptibility, environmental exposures and lifestyle factors all play a role. Our laboratory group investigates the genetic basis of cancer susceptibility at the population level. One of our primary interests is Lymphoma. We are using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and haplotype-based case / control studies to discover novel genetic factors underlying susceptibility to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). These association studies will allow us to identify genetic factors underlying cancer susceptibility in the presence of genetic heterogeneity (when multiple genes contribute to a disease) and incomplete penetrance (when not all individuals who have the susceptibility factor are affected). Through collaboration with members of the Cancer Control Research group at the BCCA, particularly Dr. John Spinelli, we will also study the interaction between genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers in causing NHL. This work is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

We also collaborate with InterLymph, an international consortium of researchers collaborating on epidemiological studies of the genetic and environmental basis of NHL.


Lymphoid Cancer Families Study

We are currently seeking participants for this project.  Please click here for details.

We have also undertaken a family-based study to identify genetic factors contributing to lymphoid Cancers including lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma. Although most lymphoid cancers are sporadic in origin, the diagnosis of lymphoproliferative disorders within the same family may indicate the existence of genetic susceptibility factors. In this study, we hope to identify genes involved in susceptibility to lymphoma and/or lymphocytic leukemia using next generation sequencing methods.


The Healthy Aging Study

For the Healthy Aging Study we have recruited a cohort of 500 individuals over the age of 85 who live in Greater Vancouver and have never been diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, diabetes or Alzheimer's disease. We continue to accept "Super-Seniors" who meet these criteria, to join the study. Please call the study co-coordinator at 604-675-8151, or visit the Healthy Aging Study website above.

The number of elderly Canadians is increasing as the baby boomers age. The healthcare problems of this growing group will increasingly influence the volume of health care that will be required in the country as a whole. Insight into how to promote healthy aging, and advice that can be provided to our population as it ages will influence both our well-being and Canada's level of prosperity, as well as the quality of life of a large segment of our population.

A minority of Canadians are fortunate to be disease-free and have a good quality of life beyond the age of 85. These people represent a group who may either lack susceptibility factors that contribute to disease in the majority of people or may possess resistance factors that enhance their ability to resist disease and prolong lifespan. Part but not all of the extended life of these individuals is expected to be due to avoidance of lifestyle and environmental risk factors. Genetic variants found to be associated with healthy aging, or associated with protection against specific common age-related diseases will be useful as prognostics in the tailoring of individual disease prevention programs.

The Genomics, Genetics and Gerontology (G3) Multidisciplinary Team for the Study of Healthy Aging will study genetic factors that underlie healthy aging and resistance to common age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary disease. Our team is led by Angela Brooks-Wilson, and includes Nhu Le (Cancer Control Research, BCCA), Ken Madden (Gerontologist, Vancouver General Hospital and UBC), Denise Daley (iCapture, St.Paul's Hospital and UBC) and Joseph Connors (Medical Oncologist, BCCA).

Selected Publications

  1. Schuetz J, Leach S, Kaurah P, Jeyes J, Butterfield Y, D Huntsman* and A Brooks-Wilson*. Catenin Family Genes are not Commonly Mutated in Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer. *Equal contribution. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Dec;21(12):2272-4. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1110.
  2. Nieters A, Conde L, Slager SL, Brooks-Wilson A, Morton L, Skibola DR, Novak AJ, Riby J, Ansell SM, Halperin E, Shanafelt TD, Agana L, Wang AH, De Roos AJ, Severson RK, Cozen W, Spinelli J, Butterbach K, Becker N, de Sanjose S, Benavente Y, Cocco P, Staines A, Maynadié M, Foretova L, Boffetta P, Brennan P, Lan Q, Zhang Y, Zheng T, Purdue M, Armstrong B, Kricker A, Vajdic CM, Grulich A, Smith MT, Bracci PM, Chanock SJ, Hartge P, Cerhan JR, Wang SS*, Rothman N*, and CF Skibola*. PRRC2A and BCL2L11 gene variants influence risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma – results from the InterLymph consortium. Blood 2012 Nov 29;120(23):4645-8.
  3. Schuetz JM, Daley D, Graham J, Berry BR, Gallagher RP, Connors JM, Gascoyne RD, Spinelli JJ and AR Brooks-Wilson. Genetic variation in cell death genes and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. PLoS ONE February 2012, Vol 7, Issue 2, e31560.
  4. Schuetz JM¥, Johnson NA¥, Morin RD, Scott DW, Tan K, Ben-Nierah S, Boyle M, Slack GW, Marra MA, Connors JM, Brooks-Wilson AR* and RD Gascoyne*. BCL2 Mutations in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Leukemia 2012 Jun;26(6):1383-90. doi: 10.1038/leu.2011.378.
  5. Earp M, Rahmani M, Chew K and A Brooks-Wilson. Estimates of array and pool-construction variance for planning efficient DNA-pooling genome wide association studies. BMC Medical Genomics 2011 Nov 28;4:81.
  6. Smedby KE, Foo J-N, Darabi H, Hjalgrim H, Kumar V, Chang ET, Skibola CF, Rothman N, Cerhan JR, Brooks-Wilson A, Rehnberg E, Irwan ID, Ryder LP, Brown PN, Conde L, Bracci PM, Halperin E, Agana L, Riby J, Cozen W, Davis S, Hartge P, Morton LM, Severson  R, Want SS, Slager SL, Fredericksen ZS, Novak AJ, Kay NE, Habermann TM, Armstrong B, Kricker A, Milliken S, Purdue MP, Vajdic CM, Boyle P, Lan Q, Zahm SH, Zhang Y, Zheng T, Leach S, Spinelli JJ, Smity MT, Chanock SJ, Padyukov L, Alfredsson L, Klareskog L, Glimelius B, Melbye M, Liu ET, Adami H-O, Humphreys K Kiu J.  GWAS of Follicular Lymphoma Reveals Allelic Heterogeneity at 6p21.32 and Suggests Shared Genetic Susceptibility with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. PLoS Genetics 2011 Apr;7(4):e1001378.
  7. Bretherick KL, Bu R, Gascoyne RD, Connors JM, Spinelli JJ and AR Brooks-Wilson. Elevated circulating t(14;18) translocation levels prior to diagnosis of Follicular Lymphoma. Blood 2010 Dec 23;116(26):6146-7.
  8. Conde L, Halperin E, Akers NK, Brown KM, Smedby KE, Rothman N, Nieters A, Slager SL, Brooks-Wilson A, Agana L, Riby J, Liu J, Adami HO, Darabi H, Hjalgrim H, Low HQ, Humphreys K, Melbye M, Chang ET, Glimelius B, Cozen W, Davis S, Hartge P, Morton LM, Schenk M, Wang SS, Armstrong B, Kricker A, Milliken S, Purdue MP, Vajdic CM, Boyle P, Lan Q, Zahm SH, Zhang Y, Zheng T, Becker N, Benavente Y, Boffetta P, Brennan P, Butterbach K, Cocco P, Foretova L, Maynadié M, de Sanjosé S, Staines A, Spinelli JJ, Achenbach SJ, Call TG, Camp NJ, Glenn M, Caporaso NE, Cerhan JR, Cunningham JM, Goldin LR, Hanson CA, Kay NE, Lanasa MC, Leis JF, Marti GE, Rabe KG, Rassenti LZ, Spector LG, Strom SS, Vachon CM, Weinberg JB, Holly EA, Chanock S, Smith MT, Bracci PM, Skibola CF.  Genome-wide association study of follicular lymphoma identifies a risk locus at 6p21.32. Nature Genetics 2010 Aug; 42(8):661-4.
  9. Skibola CF, Bracci PM, Nieters A, Brooks-Wilson A, de Sanjose S, Hughes AM, Cerhan JR, Skibola DR, Purdue M, Willett E, Lan Q, Foretova L, Schenk M, Spinelli JJ, Slager SL, DeRoos A, Smith MT, Roman E, Cozen W, Boffetta P, Kricker A, Zheng T, Lightfoot T, Cocco P, Benavente Y, Zhang Y, Hartge T, Linet M, Becker N, Brennan P, Zhang L, Armstrong B, Smith A, Shiao R, Novak AJ, Maynadie M, Chanock S, Staines A, Holford TR, Holly EA, Rothman R, and S Wang. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and lymphotoxin-alpha (LTA) polymorphisms and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the InterLymph Consortium. Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Feb.  1;171(3):267-76.
  10. Schuetz JM, MaCarthur AC, Leach S, Lai AS, Gallagher RP, Connors JM, Gascoyne RD, Spinelli JJ, Brooks-Wilson AR. Genetic Variation in the NBS1, MRE11, RAD50 and BLM Genes and Susceptibility to non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). BMC Medical Genetics 2009, 10:117.
  11. Halaschek-Wiener J, Amirabbasi-Beik M, Monfared N, Pieczyk M, Sailer C, Kollar A, Turnbull R, Agalaridis G, Yamada S, Oliveira L, Collins JA, Meneilly G, Marra MA, Madden KM, Le ND, Connors JM and AR Brooks-Wilson. Genetic variation in healthy oldest old. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 14;4(8):e6641.
  12. Ng CH , Janoo-Gilani R, Sipahimalani P,  Gallagher RP, Gascoyne RD, Connors JM, Weber JP, Lai AS, Leach S, Le ND, Brooks-Wilson AR, Spinelli JJ. Interaction between organochlorines and the AHR gene, and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Cancer Causes Control 21(1):11-22 (2010).
  13. Skibola CF, Bracci PR, Halperin E, Agana L, Craig DW, Conde L, Iyadurai K, Nieters A, Angela Brooks-Wilson A, Curry JD, Spinelli J, Holly EA, Riby J, Becker N, Smith MT and KM Brown. Genetic variants at 6p21.33 influence follicular lymphoma risk. Nature Genetics. 2009 Aug 41(8):873-5.
  14. Moore RA, Ogilvie G, Fornika DJ, Moravan V, Amirabbasi-Biek M, Kollar A, Burgess T, Hsu R, Towers L, Lo J, Brisson M, Matisic J and Brooks-Wilson AR.  Prevalence and type distribution of human papillomavirus in 5,000 British Columbia women – Implications for vaccination. Cancer Causes and Control. 2009 Oct;20(8):1387-96.
  15. Halaschek-Wiener J, Vulto I, Fornika D, Collins J, Connors J, Le N, Lansdorp PM and Brooks-Wilson A. 2008. Reduced telomere length variation in healthy oldest old. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. 129 (2008): 638-641.
  16. Sipahimalani P; Spinelli J; MacArthur A, Lai A, Connors J, Gascoyne R, Gallagher R and Brooks-Wilson AR. A systematic evaluation of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated gene does not show an association with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. International Journal of Cancer. 2007 Nov 1;121(9):1967-75.
  17. Novik KL, Spinelli JJ, MacArthur A, Shumansky K, Sipahimalani P, Leach S, Lai A, Connors JM, Gascoyne RD, Gallagher RP, Brooks-Wilson AR.  Genetic Variation in H2AFX Contributes to Risk of Lymphoma.  Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention (2007) 16(6): 1098-1106.
  18. Rothman N, Skibola CF, Wang SS, Morgan G, Lan Q, Smith MT, Spinelli JJ, Willett E, De Sanjose S, Cocco P, Berndt SI, Brennan P, Brooks-Wilson A, Wacholder S, Becker N, Hartge P, Zheng T, Roman E, Holly EA, Boffetta P, Armstrong B, Cozen W, Linet M, Bosch GX, Ennas MG, Holford TR, Gallagher RP, Rollinson S, Bracci PM, Cerhan JR, Whitby D, Moore PS, Leaderer B, Lai A, Spink C, Davis S, Bosch R, Scarpa A, Zhang Y, Severson RK, Yeager-Jeffery M, Chanock S, Nieters A.  2006.  Genetic variation in TNF and IL10 and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma:  A report from the InterLymph Consortium. Lancet Oncology 7(1):  27-38.
  19. Halaschek-Wiener J, Khattra J, McKay S, Pouzyrev A, Stott J, Yang G, Holt R, Jones SM, Marra MA,  Brooks-Wilson A* and D Riddle. 2005. Analysis of Long Lived C. Elegans daf-2 Mutants Using Serial Analysis of Gene Expression.  Genome Research 15: 603-615.
  20. Marra MA, Jones SJ, Astell CR, Holt RA, Brooks-Wilson A, Butterfield YS, Khattra J, Asano JK, Barber SA, Chan SY, Cloutier A, Coughlin SM, Freeman D, Girn N, Griffith OL, Leach SR, Mayo M, McDonald H, Montgomery SB, Pandoh PK, Petrescu AS, Robertson AG, Schein JE, Siddiqui A, Smailus DE, Stott JM, Yang GS, Plummer F, Andonov A, Artsob H, Bastien N, Bernard K, Booth TF, Bowness D, Czub M, Drebot M, Fernando L, Flick R, Garbutt M, Gray M, Grolla A, Jones S, Feldmann H, Meyers A, Kabani A, Li Y, Normand S, Stroher U, Tipples GA, Tyler S, Vogrig R, Ward D, Watson B, Brunham RC, Krajden M, Petric M, Skowronski DM, Upton C, Roper RL.  2003 The Genome sequence of the SARS-associated coronavirus.  Science 300: 1399-404.
  21. Marcil M, Brooks-Wilson A, Clee SM, Roomp K, Zhang L-H, Yu L, Collins JA, van Dam M, Molhuizen HOF, Loubster O, Ouellette BFF, Sensen CW, Fichter K, Mott S, Denis M, Boucher B, Pimstone S, Jr. Genest J, Kastelein JJ, Hayden MR.  Mutations in the ABC1 gene in familial HDL deficiency with defective cholesterol efflux.  Lancet 1999; 354:1341-46.
  22. Brooks-Wilson A, Marcil M, Clee SM, Zhang L-H, Roomp K, van Dam M, Yu L, Brewer C, Collins JA, Molhuizen HOF, Loubster O, Ouellette BFF, Fichter K, Ashbourne-Excoffon KJD, Sensen CW, Scherer S, Mott S, Denis M, Martindale D, Frohlich J, Morgan K, Koop B, Pimstone S, Kastelein JJ, Jr. Genest J, Hayden MR.  Mutations in ABC1 in Tangier disease and familial high-density lipoprotein deficiency.  Nature Genetics 1999; 22:336-345.


Angela Brooks-Wilson's Complete Publications List including selected links to full text articles.


B.Sc. Biochemistry (Co-op), Simon Fraser University

M.Sc. Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto

Ph.D. Genetics, University of British Columbia


Professor, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University

Head, Cancer Genetics, Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency

Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Distinguished Scientist, BC Cancer Research Centre, BC Cancer Agency

Member, Cancer Control Research Unit, BC Cancer Agency