Riki Peters, PhD, MPH

Riki Peters

Personal Statement

Dr. Ulrike “Riki” Peters, a molecular and genetic epidemiologist, is Professor and Associate Director of the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch. Her research focuses on the genetic epidemiology of colorectal cancer as well as the impact of race and ethnicity on underlying genetic risk factors for common complex diseases. In 2007, Dr. Peters initiated the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, or GECCO, the world’s largest molecular and genetic consortium for colorectal cancer. This highly active consortium involves researchers around the world and has published over 100 research articles. Together, they identify novel genetic risk factors for colorectal cancer to create personalized screening strategies and better drug therapies. Using GECCO data, Dr. Peters and colleagues study the interplay between genes and the environment on colorectal cancer risk via genome-wide association studies. Furthermore, the consortium is conducting tumor sequencing and immune profiling in thousands of samples to investigate the link between germline genetic, lifestyle, environmental risk factors and somatic mutations and tumoral immune response. She is the co-leader of the Translational Research Program in Colorectal Cancer Disparities (TRPCD) which studies molecular and microbial differences in colorectal cancer by race/ethnicity and how these differences contribute to risk of lethal colorectal cancer. In addition, Dr. Peters leads research that utilizes data from the Women’s Health Initiative minority cohort to understand potential genetic contributions to health disparities within the Population Architecture using Genetics and Epidemiology (PAGE) Consortium.