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Brock C Christensen, PhD

Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine
Associate 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
Email: Brock.Christensen@Dartmouth.edu

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.

Grant Information:

P20GM104416 – (Karagas) Molecular Epidemiology COBRE
Role: Project leader: Early risk factor related epigenetic alterations in breast carcinogenesis
R01DE022772 – MicroRNA related genetic variation and head and neck cancer
Role: PI

Courses Taught:

PEMM103 Introductory Applied Biostatistics with R (Course director)
QBS110 Integrative Biomedical Sciences I


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:


  • Johnson, KC, Houseman, EA, King, JE, von Hermann, KM, Fadul, CE, Christensen, BC. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine localizes to enhancer elements and is associated with patient survival in glioblastoma. Nature Communications, 2016; 7, 13177 (view details on MedLine)

  • Koestler, DC, USset, J, Christensen, BC, Marsit, CJ, Karagas, MR, Kelsey, KT, Wiencke, JK. DNA methylation-derived neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (mdNLR): an epigenetic tool to explore cancer inflammation and outcomes. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, ePub 2016 (view details on MedLine)

  • Koestler, DC, Jones, MJ, Usset, J, Christensen, BC, Butler, RA, Kobor, MS, Wiencke, JK, Kelsey, KT. Improving cell mixture deconvolution by identifying optimal DNA methylation libraries (IDOL) BMC Bioinformatics, 17(1):120, 2016 (view details on MedLine)

  • Titus, AJ, Houseman, AE, Johnson, KC, Christensen, BC. MethyLiftover: cross-platform genomic DNA methylation data integration. Bioinformatics, 32(16):2517-2519, 2016 (view details on MedLine)

  • Houseman, EA, Johnson, KC, Christensen, BC. OxyBS: Estimation of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine from tandem treated oxidative bisulfite and bisulfite DNA. Bioinformatics, 32(16):2505-2507, 2016. (view details on MedLine)

  • Johnson KC, Koestler DC, Cheng C, Christensen BC. Age-related DNA methylation in normal breast tissue and its relationship with invasive breast tumor methylation. Epigenetics 2014; 9:268-75 (view details on MedLine)

  • O’Sullivan, DE, Johnson, JC, Koestler, DC, Christensen, BC. Epigenetic and genetic burden measures are associated with tumor characteristics in invasive breast carcinoma. Epigenetics, 11(5):344-353, 2016. (view details on MedLine)

  • Johnson, KC, Koestler, DC, Fleischer, T, Chen, P, Jenson, EG, Marotti, JD, Onega, T, Kristensen, VN, Christensen, BC. DNA methylation in ductal carcinoma in situ related with development of invasive breast cancer. Clinical Epigenetics, 7(1): 75, 2015 (view details on MedLine)

  • Koestler DC, Christensen B, Karagas MR, Marsit CJ, Langevin SM, Kelsey KT, Wiencke JK, Houseman EA. Blood-based profiles of DNA methylation predict the underlying distribution of cell types: a validation analysis. Epigenetics 2013; 8:816-26 (view details on MedLine)

  • Langevin SM, Michaud DS, Marsit CJ, Nelson HH, Birnbaum AE, Eliot M, Christensen BC, McClean MD, Kelsey KT. Gastric reflux is an independent risk factor for laryngopharyngeal carcinoma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013; 22:1061-8 (view details on MedLine)