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Margaret Rita Karagas, PhD

Department Chair
Chair and Professor of Epidemiology
Professor of Community and Family Medicine
Director, Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center and Center for Molecular Epidemiology

Community and Family Medicine

University of Washington, PhD 1990

Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Quantitative Biomedical Sciences


Contact Information:

Department of Epidemiology
1 Medical Center Drive
7927 Rubin Building
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: 863 Rubin Bldg Lebanon, NH
Phone: 603-653-9010
Fax: 603-653-9093
Email: Margaret.Karagas@dartmouth.edu

Assistant: Crystal Flaherty
Asst. Phone: 603-653-9022
Asst. Email: Crystal.M.Flaherty@Dartmouth.edu

Professional Interests:

Professor Karagas' research encompasses several epidemiological studies focusing on the etiology and prevention of human cancers, as well as adverse pregnancy and children's health outcomes. These include investigations to determine incidence rates of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer for a geographically defined US population, and to assess the extent of any increase over the past 20 years. Another aspect of this research is a case-control study of these malignancies to identify risks associated with emerging exposures such as indoor tanning, ingestion of arsenic-containing drinking water and foods, immunosuppressive therapies and other factors. This research has been extended to bladder cancer. One of her current initiatives involves establishing a cohort of pregnant women in New Hampshire to assess the potential impact of arsenic and other exposures on risk of maternal and child health. Her ongoing work further includes studies of melanoma in women and collaborative investigations of exposure biomarkers, individual susceptibility, and biological response to environmental agents. Professor Karagas is one of the Principal Investigators of a NCI-funded cross-disciplinary postdoctoral training grant, serves as a mentor for early career investigators and participates in a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Selected Publications:


Elevated Bladder Cancer in Northern New England: The Role of Drinking Water and Arsenic.
Baris D, Waddell R, Beane Freeman LE, Schwenn M, Colt JS, Ayotte JD, Ward MH, Nuckols J, Schned A, Jackson B, Clerkin C, Rothman N, Moore LE, Taylor A, Robinson G, Hosain GM, Armenti KR, McCoy R, Samanic C, Hoover RN, Fraumeni JF Jr, Johnson A, Karagas MR, Silverman DT
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016 Sep;108(9) pii: djw099. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djw099. Epub 2016 May 2.
PMID: 27140955

Association of Rice and Rice-Product Consumption With Arsenic Exposure Early in Life.
Karagas MR, Punshon T, Sayarath V, Jackson BP, Folt CL, Cottingham KL
JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Apr 25; doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0120. Epub 2016 Apr 25.
PMID: 27111102

Computer-based coding of free-text job descriptions to efficiently identify occupations in epidemiological studies.
Russ DE, Ho KY, Colt JS, Armenti KR, Baris D, Chow WH, Davis F, Johnson A, Purdue MP, Karagas MR, Schwartz K, Schwenn M, Silverman DT, Johnson CA, Friesen MC
Occup Environ Med. 2016 Jun;73(6):417-24. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2015-103152. Epub 2016 Apr 21.
PMID: 27102331

Maternal and cord blood vitamin D status and childhood infection and allergic disease: a systematic review.
Fried DA, Rhyu J, Odato K, Blunt H, Karagas MR, Gilbert-Diamond D
Nutr Rev. 2016 Apr 15; pii: nuv108. Epub 2016 Apr 15.
PMID: 27083486

Mosaic loss of chromosome Y is associated with common variation near TCL1A.
Zhou W, Machiela MJ, Freedman ND, Rothman N, Malats N, Dagnall C, Caporaso N, Teras LT, Gaudet MM, Gapstur SM, Stevens VL, Jacobs KB, Sampson J, Albanes D, Weinstein S, Virtamo J, Berndt S, Hoover RN, Black A, Silverman D, Figueroa J, Garcia-Closas M, Real FX, Earl J, Marenne G, Rodriguez-Santiago B, Karagas M, Johnson A, Schwenn M, Wu X, Gu J, Ye Y, Hutchinson A, Tucker M, Perez-Jurado LA, Dean M, Yeager M, Chanock SJ
Nat Genet. 2016 May;48(5):563-8. doi: 10.1038/ng.3545. Epub 2016 Apr 11.
PMID: 27064253

Detecting gene-gene interactions using a permutation-based random forest method.
Li J, Malley JD, Andrew AS, Karagas MR, Moore JH
BioData Min. 2016;9:14. doi: 10.1186/s13040-016-0093-5. Epub 2016 Apr 6.
PMID: 27053949

Distinct Histologic Subtypes and Risk Factors for Early Onset Basal Cell Carcinoma: A Population-Based Case Control Study from New Hampshire.
Barton DT, Zens MS, Nelson HH, Christensen BC, Storm CA, Perry AE, Karagas MR
J Invest Dermatol. 2016 Feb;136(2):533-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2015.11.002. Epub 2015 Nov 18.
PMID: 26967485

Relation between <i>in Utero</i> Arsenic Exposure and Birth Outcomes in a Cohort of Mothers and Their Newborns from New Hampshire.
Gilbert-Diamond D, Emond JA, Baker ER, Korrick SA, Karagas MR
Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Mar 8; Epub 2016 Mar 8.
PMID: 26955061

Sex hormones and the risk of keratinocyte cancers among women in the United States: A population-based case-control study.
Kuklinski LF, Zens MS, Perry AE, Gossai A, Nelson HH, Karagas MR
Int J Cancer. 2016 Jul 15;139(2):300-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30072. Epub 2016 Apr 15.
PMID: 26941014

Prospective Study of Human Polyomaviruses and Risk of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma in the United States.
Gossai A, Waterboer T, Nelson HH, Doherty JA, Michel A, Willhauck-Fleckenstein M, Farzan SF, Christensen BC, Hoen AG, Perry AE, Pawlita M, Karagas MR
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 May;25(5):736-44. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-1111. Epub 2016 Feb 11.
PMID: 26908434