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Elaine Ostrander, PhD
Chief & NIH Distinguished Investigator
Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health
Dr. Elaine Ostrander is the Chief and Distinguished Investigator in the Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Ostrander received her Ph.D. from the Oregon Health Sciences University, and did her postdoctoral training at Harvard. She then went to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, where she and collaborators began the canine genome project and built canine linkage and radiation hybrid maps. She was at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington for 12 years, rising to the rank of member in the Human Biology and Clinical Research Divisions, and head of the Genetics Program, and then moved to NIH in 2004.
Dr. Ostrander works in both human and canine genetics to identify prostate cancer susceptibility genes. She is well known for studies of the domestic dog as a well-phenotyped species with an extensively documented population structure that offers unique opportunities for solving fundamental biological problems. Her laboratory developed key genomic mapping resources and was the first to map genes for canine epilepsy, Addison’s disease, and kidney, squamous cell and histiocytic cancers; and all are now models for comparable human disorders. Dr. Ostrander has published over 285 papers. She has won multiple awards including the American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, Burroughs Welcome Award for Functional Genomics, Asa Mays Award, Lifetime Achievement Awards for prostate cancer and canine genetic work, and the 2013 Genetics Society of America Medal.