Research Summary

The Witte Lab is a computational and epidemiological research group investigating the genetic and environmental contributions to disease risk and progression. We develop and apply novel genetic epidemiological methods to decipher the mechanisms underlying complex diseases. In particular, we focus on: 1) Pleiotropy: assessing the shared genetic basis across cancers and other diseases; 2) Risk Modeling: evaluating disease risk with polygenic risk scores (PRS) and hierarchical models; 3) Prostate Cancer: finding genetic risk factors, improving screening, and reducing disparities; and 4) Liquid Biopsy: detecting tumor mutations and determining response to immunotherapy.

Research Funding

  • June 16, 2021 - May 31, 2026 - Leveraging Diversity in Cancer Epidemiology Cohorts and Novel Methods to Improve Polygenic Risk Scores , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: U01CA261339
  • December 1, 2004 - June 30, 2025 - Training in the Molecular & Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: T32CA112355
  • April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2024 - Precision Prostate Cancer Screening with Genetically Adjusted Prostate-Specific Antigen Levels , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA241410
  • August 5, 1999 - May 31, 2023 - Cancer Center Support Grant , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: P30CA082103

Education

University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, BS, 1986, Mathematical Sciences
University of California, Berkeley, CA, MS, 1988, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, PhD, 1994, Epidemiology

Honors & Awards

  • 1986
    Undergraduate Honors, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 1989-1994
    National Research Service Award, NIH
  • 1994
    Ruth F. Richards Outstanding Student Award, UCLA School of Public Health Alumni Association
  • 1999-2000
    Glennan Fellow, Case Western Reserve University
  • 2002-2003
    Visiting Scientist Award, International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • 2010
    Directors Invited Lecture, NHGRI / NIH
  • 2011
    Stephen B. Hulley Award for Excellence In Teaching, UCSF Training in Clinical Research
  • 2016
    Up for a Challenge Grand Prize, National Cancer Institute
  • 2017
    Robert Millikan Symposium Memorial Lecture, Univ North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2018
    Leadership Award, International Genetic Epidemiology Society

Selected Publications

  1. Dawed AY, Yee SW, Zhou K, van Leeuwen N, Zhang Y, Siddiqui MK, Etheridge A, Innocenti F, Xu F, Li JH, Beulens JW, van der Heijden AA, Slieker RC, Chang YC, Mercader JM, Kaur V, Witte JS, Lee MTM, Kamatani Y, Momozawa Y, Kubo M, Palmer CNA, Florez JC, Hedderson MM, 't Hart LM, Giacomini KM, Pearson ER, for MetGen Plus, for the DIRECT Consortium, Ewan Pearson, Adem Dawed, Kaixin Zhou, Rury Holman, Ruth Coleman, Leen ‘t Hart, Roderick Slieker, Joline Beulens, Amber van der Heijden, Giel Nijpels, Petra Elders, Femke Rutters, Bruno Stricker, Fariba Ahmadizar, Catherine de Keyser, Adriaan Koov, Mattijs Out, Janis Klovinš, Linda Zaharenko, Martin Javorsky, Ivan Tkac, Jose Florez, Kathy Giacomini, Sook Wah Yee, Monique Hedderson, Michiaki Kubo, Alison Motsinger-Reif, Michael Wagner, Sabina Semiz, Tanja Dujic, Mette Christensen, Kim Brøsen, Dawn Waterworth, Meg Ehm, Ronald Ma, Bruce Psaty, James Floyd. Response to Comment on Dawed et al. Genome-Wide Meta-analysis Identifies Genetic Variants Associated With Glycemic Response to Sulfonylureas. Diabetes Care 2021;44:2673-2682. Diabetes Care. 2022 Apr 01; 45(4):e82-e83.  View on PubMed
  2. Gruhn S, Witte J, Greiner W, Damm O, Dietzsch M, Kramer R, Knuf M. Epidemiology and economic burden of meningococcal disease in Germany: A systematic review. Vaccine. 2022 Mar 18; 40(13):1932-1947.  View on PubMed
  3. Press BH, Jones T, Olawoyin O, Lokeshwar SD, Rahman SN, Khajir G, Lin DW, Cooperberg MR, Loeb S, Darst BF, Zheng Y, Chen RC, Witte JS, Seibert TM, Catalona WJ, Leapman MS, Sprenkle PC. Association Between a 22-feature Genomic Classifier and Biopsy Gleason Upgrade During Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol Open Sci. 2022 Mar; 37:113-119.  View on PubMed
  4. Jiang Y, Meyers TJ, Emeka AA, Cooley LF, Cooper PR, Lancki N, Helenowski I, Kachuri L, Lin DW, Stanford JL, Newcomb LF, Kolb S, Finelli A, Fleshner NE, Komisarenko M, Eastham JA, Ehdaie B, Benfante N, Logothetis CJ, Gregg JR, Perez CA, Garza S, Kim J, Marks LS, Delfin M, Barsa D, Vesprini D, Klotz LH, Loblaw A, Mamedov A, Goldenberg SL, Higano CS, Spillane M, Wu E, Carter HB, Pavlovich CP, Mamawala M, Landis T, Carroll PR, Chan JM, Cooperberg MR, Cowan JE, Morgan TM, Siddiqui J, Martin R, Klein EA, Brittain K, Gotwald P, Barocas DA, Dallmer JR, Gordetsky JB, Steele P, Kundu SD, Stockdale J, Roobol MJ, Venderbos LDF, Sanda MG, Arnold R, Patil D, Evans CP, Dall'Era MA, Vij A, Costello AJ, Chow K, Corcoran NM, Rais-Bahrami S, Phares C, Scherr DS, Flynn T, Karnes RJ, Koch M, Dhondt CR, Nelson JB, McBride D, Cookson MS, Stratton KL, Farriester S, Hemken E, Stadler WM, Pera T, Banionyte D, Bianco FJ, Lopez IH, Loeb S, Taneja SS, Byrne N, Amling CL, Martinez A, Boileau L, Gaylis FD, Petkewicz J, Kirwen N, Helfand BT, Xu J, Scholtens DM, Catalona WJ, Witte JS. Genetic Factors Associated with Prostate Cancer Conversion from Active Surveillance to Treatment. HGG Adv. 2022 Jan 13; 3(1).  View on PubMed
  5. Costello JM, Steurer MA, Baer RJ, Witte JS, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL. Residential particulate matter, proximity to major roads, traffic density and traffic volume as risk factors for preterm birth in California. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2022 Jan; 36(1):70-79.  View on PubMed
  6. Hayes-Larson E, Shaw C, Ackley SF, Zimmerman SC, Glymour MM, Graff RE, Witte JS, Kobayashi L, Mayeda ER. The role of dementia diagnostic delay in the inverse cancer-dementia association. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021 Nov 12.  View on PubMed
  7. Lyu C, Huang M, Liu N, Chen Z, Lupo PJ, Tycko B, Witte JS, Hobbs CA, Li M. Detecting methylation quantitative trait loci using a methylation random field method. Brief Bioinform. 2021 11 05; 22(6).  View on PubMed
  8. Dawed AY, Yee SW, Zhou K, van Leeuwen N, Zhang Y, Siddiqui MK, Etheridge A, Innocenti F, Xu F, Li JH, Beulens JW, van der Heijden AA, Slieker RC, Chang YC, Mercader JM, Kaur V, Witte JS, Lee MTM, Kamatani Y, Momozawa Y, Kubo M, Palmer CNA, Florez JC, Hedderson MM, 't Hart LM, Giacomini KM, Pearson ER, for MetGen Plus, for the DIRECT Consortium, MetGen Plus investigators:. Genome-Wide Meta-analysis Identifies Genetic Variants Associated With Glycemic Response to Sulfonylureas. Diabetes Care. 2021 12; 44(12):2673-2682.  View on PubMed
  9. Cooley LF, Emeka AA, Meyers TJ, Cooper PR, Lin DW, Finelli A, Eastham JA, Logothetis CJ, Marks LS, Vesprini D, Goldenberg SL, Higano CS, Pavlovich CP, Chan JM, Morgan TM, Klein EA, Barocas DA, Loeb S, Helfand BT, Scholtens DM, Witte JS, Catalona WJ, Collaborators. Factors Associated with Time to Conversion from Active Surveillance to Treatment for Prostate Cancer in a Multi-Institutional Cohort. J Urol. 2021 11; 206(5):1147-1156.  View on PubMed
  10. Cooley LF, Emeka AA, Meyers TJ, Cooper PR, Lin DW, Finelli A, Eastham JA, Logothetis CJ, Marks LS, Vesprini D, Goldenberg SL, Higano CS, Pavlovich CP, Chan JM, Morgan TM, Klein EA, Barocas DA, Loeb S, Helfand BT, Scholtens DM, Witte JS, Catalona WJ. Reply by Authors. J Urol. 2021 11; 206(5):1156.  View on PubMed
  11. Kachuri L, Jeon S, DeWan AT, Metayer C, Ma X, Witte JS, Chiang CWK, Wiemels JL, de Smith AJ. Genetic determinants of blood-cell traits influence susceptibility to childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Am J Hum Genet. 2021 10 07; 108(10):1823-1835.  View on PubMed
  12. Ospina-Romero M, Brenowitz WD, Glymour MM, Mayeda ER, Graff RE, Witte JS, Ackley SF, Lu KP, Kobayashi LC. The Association Between Cancer and Spousal Rate of Memory Decline: A Negative Control Study to Evaluate (Unmeasured) Social Confounding of the Cancer-memory Relationship. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2021 Jul-Sep 01; 35(3):271-274.  View on PubMed
  13. Desai AS, Sagar V, Lysy B, Weiner AB, Ko OS, Driscoll C, Rodriguez Y, Vatapalli R, Unno K, Han H, Cohen JE, Vo AX, Pham M, Shin M, Jain-Poster K, Ross J, Morency EG, Meyers TJ, Witte JS, Wu J, Abdulkadir SA, Kundu SD. Correction: Inflammatory bowel disease induces inflammatory and preneoplastic changes in the prostate. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2021 Jun 22.  View on PubMed
  14. Li M, Lyu C, Huang M, Do C, Tycko B, Lupo PJ, MacLeod SL, Randolph CE, Liu N, Witte JS, Hobbs CA. Mapping methylation quantitative trait loci in cardiac tissues nominates risk loci and biological pathways in congenital heart disease. BMC Genom Data. 2021 06 10; 22(1):20.  View on PubMed
  15. Desai AS, Sagar V, Lysy B, Weiner AB, Ko OS, Driscoll C, Rodriguez Y, Vatapalli R, Unno K, Han H, Cohen JE, Vo AX, Pham M, Shin M, Jain-Poster K, Ross J, Morency EG, Meyers TJ, Witte JS, Wu J, Abdulkadir SA, Kundu SD. Inflammatory bowel disease induces inflammatory and pre-neoplastic changes in the prostate. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2021 May 25.  View on PubMed
  16. Chen E, Cario CL, Leong L, Lopez K, Márquez CP, Li PS, Oropeza E, Tenggara I, Cowan J, Simko JP, Kageyama R, Wells DK, Chan JM, Friedlander T, Aggarwal R, Paris PL, Feng F, Carroll PR, Witte JS. Cell-Free DNA Detection of Tumor Mutations in Heterogeneous, Localized Prostate Cancer Via Targeted, Multiregion Sequencing. JCO Precis Oncol. 2021; 5.  View on PubMed
  17. Gaylis FD, Cooperberg MR, Chen RC, Malin J, Loeb S, Witte JS, Carroll PR, Cohen ES, Dato PE, Lin DW, Zheng Y, Seibert TM, Setzler C, Wilt W, Gomez SL, Chan JML, Catalona WJ. Defining Quality Metrics for Active Surveillance: The Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative Experience. Letter. J Urol. 2021 07; 206(1):171-172.  View on PubMed
  18. Graff M, Justice AE, Young KL, Marouli E, Zhang X, Fine RS, Lim E, Buchanan V, Rand K, Feitosa MF, Wojczynski MK, Yanek LR, Shao Y, Rohde R, Adeyemo AA, Aldrich MC, Allison MA, Ambrosone CB, Ambs S, Amos C, Arnett DK, Atwood L, Bandera EV, Bartz T, Becker DM, Berndt SI, Bernstein L, Bielak LF, Blot WJ, Bottinger EP, Bowden DW, Bradfield JP, Brody JA, Broeckel U, Burke G, Cade BE, Cai Q, Caporaso N, Carlson C, Carpten J, Casey G, Chanock SJ, Chen G, Chen M, Chen YI, Chen WM, Chesi A, Chiang CWK, Chu L, Coetzee GA, Conti DV, Cooper RS, Cushman M, Demerath E, Deming SL, Dimitrov L, Ding J, Diver WR, Duan Q, Evans MK, Falusi AG, Faul JD, Fornage M, Fox C, Freedman BI, Garcia M, Gillanders EM, Goodman P, Gottesman O, Grant SFA, Guo X, Hakonarson H, Haritunians T, Harris TB, Harris CC, Henderson BE, Hennis A, Hernandez DG, Hirschhorn JN, McNeill LH, Howard TD, Howard B, Hsing AW, Hsu YH, Hu JJ, Huff CD, Huo D, Ingles SA, Irvin MR, John EM, Johnson KC, Jordan JM, Kabagambe EK, Kang SJ, Kardia SL, Keating BJ, Kittles RA, Klein EA, Kolb S, Kolonel LN, Kooperberg C, Kuller L, Kutlar A, Lange L, Langefeld CD, Le Marchand L, Leonard H, Lettre G, Levin AM, Li Y, Li J, Liu Y, Liu Y, Liu S, Lohman K, Lotay V, Lu Y, Maixner W, Manson JE, McKnight B, Meng Y, Monda KL, Monroe K, Moore JH, Mosley TH, Mudgal P, Murphy AB, Nadukuru R, Nalls MA, Nathanson KL, Nayak U, N'Diaye A, Nemesure B, Neslund-Dudas C, Neuhouser ML, Nyante S, Ochs-Balcom H, Ogundiran TO, Ogunniyi A, Ojengbede O, Okut H, Olopade OI, Olshan A, Padhukasahasram B, Palmer J, Palmer CD, Palmer ND, Papanicolaou G, Patel SR, Pettaway CA, Peyser PA, Press MF, Rao DC, Rasmussen-Torvik LJ, Redline S, Reiner AP, Rhie SK, Rodriguez-Gil JL, Rotimi CN, Rotter JI, Ruiz-Narvaez EA, Rybicki BA, Salako B, Sale MM, Sanderson M, Schadt E, Schreiner PJ, Schurmann C, Schwartz AG, Shriner DA, Signorello LB, Singleton AB, Siscovick DS, Smith JA, Smith S, Speliotes E, Spitz M, Stanford JL, Stevens VL, Stram A, Strom SS, Sucheston L, Sun YV, Tajuddin SM, Taylor H, Taylor K, Tayo BO, Thun MJ, Tucker MA, Vaidya D, Van Den Berg DJ, Vedantam S, Vitolins M, Wang Z, Ware EB, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Weir DR, Wiencke JK, Williams SM, Williams LK, Wilson JG, Witte JS, Wrensch M, Wu X, Yao J, Zakai N, Zanetti K, Zemel BS, Zhao W, Zhao JH, Zheng W, Zhi D, Zhou J, Zhu X, Ziegler RG, Zmuda J, Zonderman AB, Psaty BM, Borecki IB, Cupples LA, Liu CT, Haiman CA, Loos R, Ng MCY, North KE. Discovery and fine-mapping of height loci via high-density imputation of GWASs in individuals of African ancestry. Am J Hum Genet. 2021 04 01; 108(4):564-582.  View on PubMed
  19. Chen E, Cario CL, Leong L, Lopez K, Márquez CP, Chu C, Li PS, Oropeza E, Tenggara I, Cowan J, Simko JP, Chan JM, Friedlander T, Wyatt AW, Aggarwal R, Paris PL, Carroll PR, Feng F, Witte JS. Cell-free DNA concentration and fragment size as a biomarker for prostate cancer. Sci Rep. 2021 03 03; 11(1):5040.  View on PubMed
  20. Conti DV, Darst BF, Moss LC, Saunders EJ, Sheng X, Chou A, Schumacher FR, Olama AAA, Benlloch S, Dadaev T, Brook MN, Sahimi A, Hoffmann TJ, Takahashi A, Matsuda K, Momozawa Y, Fujita M, Muir K, Lophatananon A, Wan P, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR, Stevens VL, Gapstur SM, Carter BD, Schleutker J, Tammela TLJ, Sipeky C, Auvinen A, Giles GG, Southey MC, MacInnis RJ, Cybulski C, Wokolorczyk D, Lubinski J, Neal DE, Donovan JL, Hamdy FC, Martin RM, Nordestgaard BG, Nielsen SF, Weischer M, Bojesen SE, Røder MA, Iversen P, Batra J, Chambers S, Moya L, Horvath L, Clements JA, Tilley W, Risbridger GP, Gronberg H, Aly M, Szulkin R, Eklund M, Nordström T, Pashayan N, Dunning AM, Ghoussaini M, Travis RC, Key TJ, Riboli E, Park JY, Sellers TA, Lin HY, Albanes D, Weinstein SJ, Mucci LA, Giovannucci E, Lindstrom S, Kraft P, Hunter DJ, Penney KL, Turman C, Tangen CM, Goodman PJ, Thompson IM, Hamilton RJ, Fleshner NE, Finelli A, Parent MÉ, Stanford JL, Ostrander EA, Geybels MS, Koutros S, Freeman LEB, Stampfer M, Wolk A, Håkansson N, Andriole GL, Hoover RN, Machiela MJ, Sørensen KD, Borre M, Blot WJ, Zheng W, Yeboah ED, Mensah JE, Lu YJ, Zhang HW, Feng N, Mao X, Wu Y, Zhao SC, Sun Z, Thibodeau SN, McDonnell SK, Schaid DJ, West CML, Burnet N, Barnett G, Maier C, Schnoeller T, Luedeke M, Kibel AS, Drake BF, Cussenot O, Cancel-Tassin G, Menegaux F, Truong T, Koudou YA, John EM, Grindedal EM, Maehle L, Khaw KT, Ingles SA, Stern MC, Vega A, Gómez-Caamaño A, Fachal L, Rosenstein BS, Kerns SL, Ostrer H, Teixeira MR, Paulo P, Brandão A, Watya S, Lubwama A, Bensen JT, Fontham ETH, Mohler J, Taylor JA, Kogevinas M, Llorca J, Castaño-Vinyals G, Cannon-Albright L, Teerlink CC, Huff CD, Strom SS, Multigner L, Blanchet P, Brureau L, Kaneva R, Slavov C, Mitev V, Leach RJ, Weaver B, Brenner H, Cuk K, Holleczek B, Saum KU, Klein EA, Hsing AW, Kittles RA, Murphy AB, Logothetis CJ, Kim J, Neuhausen SL, Steele L, Ding YC, Isaacs WB, Nemesure B, Hennis AJM, Carpten J, Pandha H, Michael A, De Ruyck K, De Meerleer G, Ost P, Xu J, Razack A, Lim J, Teo SH, Newcomb LF, Lin DW, Fowke JH, Neslund-Dudas C, Rybicki BA, Gamulin M, Lessel D, Kulis T, Usmani N, Singhal S, Parliament M, Claessens F, Joniau S, Van den Broeck T, Gago-Dominguez M, Castelao JE, Martinez ME, Larkin S, Townsend PA, Aukim-Hastie C, Bush WS, Aldrich MC, Crawford DC, Srivastava S, Cullen JC, Petrovics G, Casey G, Roobol MJ, Jenster G, van Schaik RHN, Hu JJ, Sanderson M, Varma R, McKean-Cowdin R, Torres M, Mancuso N, Berndt SI, Van Den Eeden SK, Easton DF, Chanock SJ, Cook MB, Wiklund F, Nakagawa H, Witte JS, Eeles RA, Kote-Jarai Z, Haiman CA. Publisher Correction: Trans-ancestry genome-wide association meta-analysis of prostate cancer identifies new susceptibility loci and informs genetic risk prediction. Nat Genet. 2021 Mar; 53(3):413.  View on PubMed

Go to UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI