Current and past research activities

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 730 individuals over the age of 85 who 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 and, as well, invite other Seniors over the age of 85 who wish to participate in this research. Please call the study co-coordinator at 604-675-8151, or visit the Healthy Aging Study website above for more information.

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

155 total publications, 1988-2019 | 13,695 total citations | H-index 46 | i10-index 105 tracked by Google Scholar as of Jan. 11, 2019.

  1. Moore RA, Ogilvie G, Fornika D, Moravan V, Brisson M, Amirabbasi-Beik M, Kollar A, Burgess T, Hsu R, Towers L, Lo J, Matisic J and Brooks-Wilson A.  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.
  2. Halaschek-Wiener J, Amirabbasi-Beik M, Monfared N, Pieczyk M, Sailer C, Kollar A, Thomas R, Agalaridis G, Yamada S, Oliveira L, Collins JA, Meneilly G, Marra MA, Madden KM, Le ND, Connors JM and Brooks-Wilson AR. Genetic variation in healthy oldest old. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 14;4(8):e6641.

  3. 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, Nov 16; 10:117.

  4. Yamada S, Richardson K, Tang M, Halaschek-Wiener J, Cook VJ, Fitzgerald JM, Elwood K,  Marra F and Brooks-Wilson A. Genetic Variation in Carboxylesterase Genes and Susceptibility to Isoniazid-induced Hepatotoxicity. Pharmacogenomics J. 2010 Dec;10(6):524-36.

  5. Bretherick KL, Bu R, Gascoyne RD, Connors JM, Spinelli JJ and Brooks-Wilson AR. Elevated circulating t(14;18) translocation levels prior to diagnosis of Follicular Lymphoma. Blood 2010 Dec 23;116(26):6146-7.

  6. Earp MA, Rahmani M, Chew K and Brooks-Wilson A. Estimates of array and pool-construction variance for planning efficient DNA-pooling genome wide association studies. BMC Medical Genomics 2011 Nov 28;4:81.

  7. 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 Gascoyne RD. BCL2 Mutations in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Leukemia  2012 Jun;26(6):1383-90.

  8. 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.

  9. Schuetz JM, Leach S, Kaurah P, Jeyes J,Butterfield Y, Huntsman D and Brooks-Wilson A. Catenin Family Genes are not Commonly Mutated in Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer.Equal contribution. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Dec;21(12):2272-4.

  10. Bashash M, Shah A, Hislop G, Treml M, Bretherick K, Janoo-Gilani R, Leach S,  Le N, Bajdik C and Brooks-Wilson A.  Genetic polymorphisms at TIMP3 are associated with survival of adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59157.

  11. Bretherick KL, Schuetz JM, Morton LM, Purdue MP, Conde L, Gallagher RP, Connors JM, Gascoyne RD, Berry BR, Armstrong B, Kricker A, Vajdic CM, Grulich A, Hjalgrim H, Smedby KE, Skibola CF, Rothman N, Spinelli JJ and Brooks-Wilson AR. Sex- and subtype-specific analysis of HAFX polymorphisms in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. PLoS ONE. 2013 Sep 17; 8(9):e74619.

  12. Schuetz JM, Daley D, Leach S, Conde L, Berry BR, Gallagher RP, Connors JM, Gascoyne RD, Bracci PM, Skibola CF, Spinelli JJ and Brooks-Wilson AR.  Non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk and variants in genes controlling lymphocyte development. PLoS ONE. 2013 Sep 30; 8(9):e75170.

  13. Tindale LC, Leach S, Ushey K, Daley D and Brooks-Wilson AR. Rare and common variants in the Apolipoprotein E gene in healthy oldest-old. Neurobiology of Aging 2014 Mar; 35(3):727.e1-3.

  14. Earp MA, 131 other authors, Brooks-Wilson A; Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Genome-wide Association Study of Subtype-Specific Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Risk Alleles Using Pooled DNA. Human Genetics 2014 May;133(5):481-97.

  15. Bretherick KL, Leach S and AR Brooks-Wilson. Functional characterization of genetic polymorphisms in the H2AFX distal promoter. Mutation Research 2014 Aug-Sept; 766-767:37-43.

  16. Cerhan JR, Sonja I Berndt, 12 other authors, Angela R Brooks-Wilson, et al.  Genome-wide association study identifies multiple susceptibility loci for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Nat Genet. 2014 Nov; 46 (11): 1233-8.

  17. Tindale LC, Zeng A, Bretherick KL, Leach S, Thiessen N and Brooks-Wilson AR. Burden of common complex disease variants in the exomes of two healthy centenarian brothers. Gerontology. 2015 Dec;62(1):58-62. doi: 10.1159/000430462.



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

Page last modified Jul 10, 2019