About this Program: The Research Team

Neil J. Risch, PhD

Director, UCSF Institute for Human Genetics
Co-chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Lead Co-Investigator, Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health,
and Adjunct Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research

Dr. Risch is widely known for developing and applying an array of approaches to genetic epidemiology -- the effort to identify the genetic basis for diseases caused by gene interaction with environmental and dietary factors. His population-based and family-based studies employ gene-mapping and innovative bio-statistical tools to identify genetic and environmental risk factors for such conditions as coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and Crohn's disease. He has collaborated with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research for the past 8 years on population-based genetic epidemiology studies.

Risch received his PhD in biomathematics from UCLA in 1979. He was professor of genetics at Stanford with appointments also in statistics and health research and policy before coming to UCSF in 2005 to head the Institute for Human Genetics. The Institute brings together scientists from a very broad range of human genetic studies -- from basic to clinical, and from psychiatry to cardiovascular research -- to identify genes that contribute to human disease and variation in response to drugs.