Erin Peckham-Gregory's primary research focus is to elucidate inherited genetic factors underlying susceptibility to pediatric lymphoproliferative and hematologic malignancies, with particular emphasis on Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH).
She is interested in how inherited genetic and epigenetic factors contribute to the development of pediatric lymphoproliferative malignancies, and am dedicated to a research career focused on the molecular epidemiology of these disorders.
As a National Cancer Institute-funded postdoctoral fellow in The Histiocytosis Program and the Epidemiology and Population Sciences Program at the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), she gained hands-on experience through collaboration with experts in the field to assess epidemiologic and genetic risk predictors of LCH.
She continues to broaden her research skill-set by participating in several statistical genetics workshops and numerous scientific conferences, in addition to gaining membership to relevant societies, including: the Histiocyte Society, North American Consortium for Histiocytosis, Children’s Oncology Group, International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium and the American Society of Hematology. Together, these experiences have prepared her to successfully research both the demographic and molecular determinants of lymphoproliferative diseases.
She has also worked extensively on the design of case-parent trio studies and associated analytics. Moreover, she utilized her training in epidemiologic methods, bioinformatics, genomics and epigenomics to develop an integrated approach for understanding the molecular underpinnings of LCH. Specifically, she conducted the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of LCH and identified disease susceptibility loci that are associated with LCH risk and are enriched in specific racial/ethnic groups. Observations from this study may thus explain differences in susceptibility between different ethnic groups in a disease thought to be driven by somatic mutations.
Her current research objective is to characterize the role of inherited genetic effects on LCH susceptibility and identify germline genomic regions associated with LCH somatic mutations such as BRAF-V600E. Not only will this research uncover important aspects of susceptibility to LCH, it may inform fundamental mechanisms of cancer predisposition that contribute to ethnic disparities in incidence and outcomes of children and adults with tumors driven by BRAF-V600E.