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Margaret Rita Karagas, PhD

Chair and Professor of Epidemiology
Professor of Community and Family Medicine
James W. Squires Professor

Additional Titles/Positions/Affiliations:
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

Assistant: Evan Vickers
Asst. Phone: 603-650-1918
Asst. Email:

Professional Interests:

Professor Karagas' research encompasses several epidemiological studies focusing on the etiology and prevention of human cancers over the lifecourse, 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:


Ranitidine and risk of bladder and kidney cancer: a population based cohort study.
Norgaard M, Andersen IT, Heide-Jorgensen U, Erichsen R, Rees JR, Karagas MR, Sorensen HT
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 Oct 14; pii: cebp.0737.2021. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0737. Epub 2021 Oct 14.
PMID: 34649959

The Role of Childhood Asthma in Obesity Development: A Nationwide U.S. Multi-cohort Study.
Stratakis N, Garcia E, Chandran A, Hsu T, Alshawabkeh A, Aris IM, Aschner JL, Breton C, Burbank A, Camargo CA Jr, Carroll KN, Chen Z, Claud EC, Dabelea D, Dunlop AL, Elliott AJ, Ferrara A, Ganiban JM, Gern JE, Gold DR, Gower WA, Hertz-Picciotto I, Karagas MR, Karr CJ, Lester B, Leve LD, Litonjua AA, Ludena Y, McEvoy CT, Miller RL, Mueller NT, O'Connor TG, Oken E, O'Shea TM, Perera F, Stanford JB, Rivera-Spoljaric K, Rundle A, Trasande L, Wright RJ, Zhang Y, Zhu Y, Berhane K, Gilliland F, Chatzi L, program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes.
Epidemiology. 2021 Sep 20; doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000001421. Epub 2021 Sep 20.
PMID: 34561347

Disparities in Risks of Inadequate and Excessive Intake of Micronutrients during Pregnancy.
Sauder KA, Harte RN, Ringham BM, Guenther PM, Bailey RL, Alshawabkeh A, Cordero JF, Dunlop AL, Ferranti EP, Elliott AJ, Mitchell DC, Hedderson MM, Avalos LA, Zhu Y, Breton CV, Chatzi L, Ran J, Hertz-Picciotto I, Karagas MR, Sayarath V, Hoover J, MacKenzie D, Lyall K, Schmidt RJ, O'Connor TG, Barrett ES, Switkowski KM, Comstock SS, Kerver JM, Trasande L, Tylavsky FA, Wright RJ, Kannan S, Mueller NT, Catellier DJ, Glueck DH, Dabelea D, Program Collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) .
J Nutr. 2021 Sep 7; pii: nxab273. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab273. Epub 2021 Sep 7.
PMID: 34494118

Regional and sociodemographic differences in average BMI among US children in the ECHO program.
Bekelman TA, Dabelea D, Ganiban JM, Law A, McGovern Reilly A, Althoff KN, Mueller N, Camargo CA Jr, Duarte CS, Dunlop AL, Elliott AJ, Ferrara A, Gold DR, Hertz-Picciotto I, Hartert T, Hipwell AE, Huddleston K, Johnson CC, Karagas MR, Karr CJ, Hershey GKK, Leve L, Mahabir S, McEvoy CT, Neiderhiser J, Oken E, Rundle A, Sathyanarayana S, Turley C, Tylavsky FA, Watson SE, Wright R, Zhang M, Zoratti E, Program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO).
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2021 Aug 31; doi: 10.1002/oby.23235. Epub 2021 Aug 31.
PMID: 34467678

Association between placental toxic metal exposure and NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scales (NNNS) profiles in the Rhode Island Child Health Study (RICHS).
Tung PW, Burt A, Karagas M, Jackson BP, Punshon T, Lester B, Marsit CJ
Environ Res. 2021 Aug 27;204(Pt A):111939. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111939. Epub 2021 Aug 27.
PMID: 34461121

Associations between the gut microbiome and metabolome in early life.
Nguyen QP, Karagas MR, Madan JC, Dade E, Palys TJ, Morrison HG, Pathmasiri WW, McRitche S, Sumner SJ, Frost HR, Hoen AG
BMC Microbiol. 2021 Aug 28;21(1):238. doi: 10.1186/s12866-021-02282-3. Epub 2021 Aug 28.
PMID: 34454437

Placental DNA methylation signatures of maternal smoking during pregnancy and potential impacts on fetal growth.
Everson TM, Vives-Usano M, Seyve E, Cardenas A, Lacasaña M, Craig JM, Lesseur C, Baker ER, Fernandez-Jimenez N, Heude B, Perron P, Gonzalez-Alzaga B, Halliday J, Deyssenroth MA, Karagas MR, Íñiguez C, Bouchard L, Carmona-Saez P, Loke YJ, Hao K, Belmonte T, Charles MA, Martorell-Marugan J, Muggli E, Chen J, Fernandez MF, Tost J, Gomez-Martin A, London SJ, Sunyer J, Marsit CJ, Lepeule J, Hivert MF, Bustamante M
Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 24;12(1):5095. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24558-y. Epub 2021 Aug 24.
PMID: 34429407

The infant gut resistome is associated with E. coli and early-life exposures.
Lebeaux RM, Coker MO, Dade EF, Palys TJ, Morrison HG, Ross BD, Baker ER, Karagas MR, Madan JC, Hoen AG
BMC Microbiol. 2021 Jul 2;21(1):201. doi: 10.1186/s12866-021-02129-x. Epub 2021 Jul 2.
PMID: 34215179

Exposure to a mixture of metals and growth indicators in 6-11-year-old children from the 2013-16 NHANES.
Signes-Pastor AJ, Desai G, Garcia-Villarino M, Karagas MR, Kordas K
Expo Health. 2021 Jun;13(2):173-184. doi: 10.1007/s12403-020-00371-8. Epub 2020 Jul 13.
PMID: 34151044

Maternal gestational mercury exposure in relation to cord blood T cell alterations and placental gene expression signatures.
Movassagh H, Halchenko Y, Sampath V, Nygaard UC, Jackson B, Robbins D, Li Z, Nadeau KC, Karagas MR
Environ Res. 2021 Oct;201:111385. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111385. Epub 2021 Jun 12.
PMID: 34129869

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