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Brock C Christensen, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology
Professor of Community and Family Medicine
Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Community and Family Medicine
Molecular and Systems Biology

Harvard University, Ph.D. 2008
University of Wisconsin - Madison, B.S. 2002

Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine
Quantitative Biomedical Sciences


Contact Information:

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
660 Williamson Translation Research Building
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: 660 Williamson
Phone: 603-650-1827
Fax: 603-650-1129

Professional Interests:

Dr. Christensen's research is focused on combining advances in molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics with the powerful techniques of modern epidemiology and statistics to characterize epigenetic states in human health and disease. His interests include understanding relationships between epigenetic states and exposures in the context of disease susceptibility, occurrence, and progression. By investigating complex interactions between the environment and somatic epigenetic alterations in target tissues, as well as epigenetic susceptibility traits in surrogate tissues, he hopes to develop their potential translational utility for diagnostic, prognostic, and/or treatment purposes.

Courses Taught:

PEMM103 Introductory Applied Biostatistics with R (Course director)


Dr. Christensen received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin Madison in Medical Microbiology & Immunology and French in 2002, and his Ph.D. from the Program in Biological Sciences in Public Health at Harvard University in 2008. He trained as a postdoctoral research associate in molecular epidemiology of cancer at Brown University in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Christensen joined the faculty at Dartmouth in 2011 as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Community and Family Medicine in the Section of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Selected Publications:


DNA 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in pediatric central nervous system tumors may impact tumor classification and is a positive prognostic marker.
Azizgolshani N, Petersen CL, Chen Y, Levy JJ, Salas LA, Perreard L, Nguyen LN, Christensen BC
Clin Epigenetics. 2021 Sep 19;13(1):176. doi: 10.1186/s13148-021-01156-9. Epub 2021 Sep 19.
PMID: 34538273

MethylSPWNet and MethylCapsNet: Biologically Motivated Organization of DNAm Neural Networks, Inspired by Capsule Networks.
Levy JJ, Chen Y, Azizgolshani N, Petersen CL, Titus AJ, Moen EL, Vaickus LJ, Salas LA, Christensen BC
NPJ Syst Biol Appl. 2021 Aug 20;7(1):33. doi: 10.1038/s41540-021-00193-7. Epub 2021 Aug 20.
PMID: 34417465

Altered immune phenotype and DNA methylation in panic disorder.
Petersen CL, Chen JQ, Salas LA, Christensen BC
Clin Epigenetics. 2020 Nov 18;12(1):177. doi: 10.1186/s13148-020-00972-9. Epub 2020 Nov 18.
PMID: 33208194

MethylNet: an automated and modular deep learning approach for DNA methylation analysis.
Levy JJ, Titus AJ, Petersen CL, Chen Y, Salas LA, Christensen BC
BMC Bioinformatics. 2020 Mar 17;21(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s12859-020-3443-8. Epub 2020 Mar 17.
PMID: 32183722

Prediagnostic breast milk DNA methylation alterations in women who develop breast cancer.
Salas LA, Lundgren SN, Browne EP, Punska EC, Anderton DL, Karagas MR, Arcaro KF, Christensen BC
Hum Mol Genet. 2020 Mar 13;29(4):662-673. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddz301.
PMID: 31943067

Microbial Communities in Human Milk Relate to Measures of Maternal Weight.
Lundgren SN, Madan JC, Karagas MR, Morrison HG, Hoen AG, Christensen BC
Front Microbiol. 2019;10:2886. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02886. Epub 2019 Dec 20.
PMID: 31921063

Genome-wide characterization of cytosine-specific 5-hydroxymethylation in normal breast tissue.
Wilkins OM, Johnson KC, Houseman EA, King JE, Marsit CJ, Christensen BC
Epigenetics. 2020 Apr;15(4):398-418. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2019.1695332. Epub 2019 Dec 16.
PMID: 31842685

PyMethylProcess-convenient high-throughput preprocessing workflow for DNA methylation data.
Levy JJ, Titus AJ, Salas LA, Christensen BC
Bioinformatics. 2019 Dec 15;35(24):5379-5381. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btz594.
PMID: 31368477

Molecular and epigenetic profiles of BRCA1-like hormone-receptor-positive breast tumors identified with development and application of a copy-number-based classifier.
Chen Y, Wang Y, Salas LA, Miller TW, Mark K, Marotti JD, Kettenbach AN, Cheng C, Christensen BC
Breast Cancer Res. 2019 Jan 25;21(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s13058-018-1090-z. Epub 2019 Jan 25.
PMID: 30683142

MicroRNA-Related Genetic Variants Associated with Survival of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Wilkins OM, Titus AJ, Salas LA, Gui J, Eliot M, Butler RA, Sturgis EM, Li G, Kelsey KT, Christensen BC
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 Jan;28(1):127-136. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-18-0002. Epub 2018 Jun 7.
PMID: 29880533

View more publications on PubMed