Professor Douglas Easton



My main research focuses on understanding the genetic basis of common cancers and applying this knowledge to cancer prevention and understanding cancer biology. I co-ordinate the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, a collaborative group involving more than 50 research groups. My group is involved in the development of a widely used risk prediction tool, BOADICEA I also have an active interest in developing statistical methods, particularly with application to genetics.

Prospective PhD Applications
I am always on the lookout for bright students, particularly with a good degree in mathematics or statistics, who are interested in research projects in cancer genetics or epidemiology.

Subject areas

Public Health

Research Interests

I currently teach genetic epidemiology on the M.Phil. in Epidemiology. I have also taught cancer epidemiology and statistical methods for epidemiologists.


2019 Basser Global Prize

2019 Honorary Doctor of Medicine (Medicine doctor honoris causa), Karolinska Institutet

2017 Niehaus Southworth Weissenbach Award for Clinical Cancer Genetics

2017 National Cancer Institute Visiting Scholar

2008 Inaugural AACR/Susan Komen Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research

Links to online publications, articles or other work


Some problems in the genetic epidemiology of cancer. Ph.D. University of London, 1992.


Selected publications

  • Michailidou K, Lindstrom S … Easton DF. Association analysis identifies 65 new breast cancer risk loci. Nature 2017 551(7678):92-94
  • Easton DF, Pharoah PDP, Antoniou AC, Tischkowitz M, Tavtigian SV, Nathanson KL, Devilee P, Meindl A, Couch FJ, Southey M, Goldgar DE, Evans DGR, Chenevix-Trench G, Rahman N, Robson M, Domchek SM, Foulkes WD. Gene-panel sequencing and the prediction of breast-cancer risk. N Engl J Med 2015 372(23):2243-57
  • Michailidou K, Hall P, …, Easton DF. Large-scale genotyping identifies 41 new loci associated with breast cancer risk. Nat Genet 2013; 45:353-361.
  • Easton DF, et al. Genome-wide association study identifies novel breast cancer susceptibility loci. Nature 2007; 447:1087-1093.
  • Antoniou A, Pharoah PDP, Narod S, Risch HA, Eyfjord JE, Hopper J, Loman N, Olsson H, Johansson O, Borg A, Pasini B, Radice P, Manoukian S, Eccles D, Tang N, Olah E, Anton-Culver H, Warner E, Lubinski J, Gronwald J, Tulinius H, Thorlacius S, Nevanlinna H, Thompson D, Evans C, Peto J, Lalloo F, Evans DG, Easton DF. Average risks of breast and ovarian cancer associated with mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 detected in case series unselected for family history: a combined analysis of 22 studies. Am J Hum Genet 2003; 72:1117-1130.
  • Easton DF, Deffenbaugh AM, Pruss D, Frye C, Allen-Brady K, Tavtigian SV, Monteiro ANA, Iversen ES, Couch FJ, Goldgar DE. A Systematic Genetic Assessment of 1,433 Sequence Variants of Unknown Clinical Significance in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 Breast Cancer Predisposition Genes. Am J Hum Genet 2007; 81:873-883.
  • Easton DF, Peto J, Babiker AG. Floating absolute risk: an alternative to relative risk in survival and case-control analysis avoiding an arbitrary reference group. Stat Med 1991; 10:1025-1035.

Forthcoming publications

  • Dorling L...Easton DF. Breast cancer risk genes: association analysis in more than 113,000 women. N Engl J Med, in press.