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Lucas A Salas, MD, MPH, PhD

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Additional Titles/Positions/Affiliations
Investigator Cancer Population Sciences Research Program, Dartmouth Hitchcock- Norris Cotton Cancer Center


Universitat Pompeu Fabra, PhD 2015
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, MPH 2011
Universidad de Antioquia, Epidemiology 2007
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, MD 2001

Quantitative Biomedical Sciences

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Contact Information

Professional Interests

The broad goal of Dr. Salas research is to investigate how cell heterogeneity impacts human health and disease, with an emphasis on how genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors model the human epigenome and therefore the cell plasticity. Dr. Salas’ laboratory studies how some key epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, DNA hydroxymethylation, and miRNA alterations) affect gene expression and cancer outcomes, including how the immune cells are altered in this disease. Other research interests include biomarker development, chronic inflammation, and human disease, and how exposures during fetal life alter newborn and childhood outcomes.

Grant Information

W81XWH-20-1-0778, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs/Department of Defense
Salas Diaz, Lucas A (PI) 09/01/20-08/31/24
Epigenetic modifications of cytosines in clear cell kidney carcinogenesis and survival
P20 GM104416-09/8299, National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Salas Diaz, Lucas A (PI) 10/01/20-01/01/23
A single-cell approach to disentangle tumor microenvironments in short and long survivors to clear cell renal carcinoma

Courses Taught


Mentoring Information

Current trainees:
Ze Zhang, QBS
Steven Pike, IND
Prasoona Karra, Ph.D. (postdoctoral fellow)
David Vargas-Estrella (Neurosciences '23)

Selected Publications


Analysis of DNA methylation at birth and in childhood reveals changes associated with season of birth and latitude.
Kadalayil L, Alam MZ, White CH, Ghantous A, Walton E, Gruzieva O, Merid SK, Kumar A, Roy RP, Solomon O, Huen K, Eskenazi B, Rzehak P, Grote V, Langhendries JP, Verduci E, Ferre N, Gruszfeld D, Gao L, Guan W, Zeng X, Schisterman EF, Dou JF, Bakulski KM, Feinberg JI, Soomro MH, Pesce G, Baiz N, Isaevska E, Plusquin M, Vafeiadi M, Roumeliotaki T, Langie SAS, Standaert A, Allard C, Perron P, Bouchard L, van Meel ER, Felix JF, Jaddoe VWV, Yousefi PD, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Relton CL, Tobi EW, Starling AP, Yang IV, Llambrich M, Santorelli G, Lepeule J, Salas LA, Bustamante M, Ewart SL, Zhang H, Karmaus W, Roder S, Zenclussen AC, Jin J, Nystad W, Page CM, Magnus M, Jima DD, Hoyo C, Maguire RL, Kvist T, Czamara D, Raikkonen K, Gong T, Ullemar V, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, Almqvist C, Karlsson R, Lahti J, Murphy SK, Haberg SE, London S, Herberth G, Arshad H, Sunyer J, Grazuleviciene R, Dabelea D, Steegers-Theunissen RPM, Nohr EA, Sorensen TIA, Duijts L, Hivert MF, Nelen V, Popovic M, Kogevinas M, Nawrot TS, Herceg Z, Annesi-Maesano I, Fallin MD, Yeung E, Breton CV, Koletzko B, Holland N, Wiemels JL, Melen E, Sharp GC, Silver MJ, Rezwan FI, Holloway JW
Clin Epigenetics. 2023 Sep 11;15(1):148. doi: 10.1186/s13148-023-01542-5. Epub 2023 Sep 11.
PMID: 37697338

Genome-scale methylation analysis identifies immune profiles and age acceleration associations with bladder cancer outcomes.
Chen JQ, Salas LA, Wiencke JK, Koestler DC, Molinaro AM, Andrew AS, Seigne JD, Karagas MR, Kelsey KT, Christensen BC
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2023 Aug 1; pii: EPI-23-0331. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-23-0331. Epub 2023 Aug 1.
PMID: 37527159

Assessment of emerging pretraining strategies in interpretable multimodal deep learning for cancer prognostication.
Azher ZL, Suvarna A, Chen JQ, Zhang Z, Christensen BC, Salas LA, Vaickus LJ, Levy JJ
BioData Min. 2023 Jul 22;16(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s13040-023-00338-w. Epub 2023 Jul 22.
PMID: 37481666

Normal gastric tissue Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with epigenetic age acceleration, increased mitotic tick rate, tissue cell composition, and Natural Killer cell methylation alterations.
Vlasac IM, Christensen BC, Salas LA
bioRxiv. 2023 Jun 29; pii: 2023.06.28.546926. doi: 10.1101/2023.06.28.546926. Epub 2023 Jun 29.
PMID: 37425894

Hierarchical deconvolution for extensive cell type resolution in the human brain using DNA methylation.
Zhang Z, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT, Koestler DC, Molinaro AM, Pike SC, Karra P, Christensen BC, Salas LA
Front Neurosci. 2023;17:1198243. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2023.1198243. Epub 2023 Jun 19.
PMID: 37404460

Calculating detection limits and uncertainty of reference-based deconvolution of whole-blood DNA methylation data.
Bell-Glenn S, Salas LA, Molinaro AM, Butler RA, Christensen BC, Kelsey KT, Wiencke JK, Koestler DC
Epigenomics. 2023 Apr;15(7):435-451. doi: 10.2217/epi-2023-0006. Epub 2023 Jun 20.
PMID: 37337720

Down Syndrome Altered Cell Composition in Blood, Brain, and Buccal Swab Samples Profiled by DNA-Methylation-Based Cell-Type Deconvolution.
Zhang Z, Stolrow HG, Christensen BC, Salas LA
Cells. 2023 Apr 15;12(8) doi: 10.3390/cells12081168. Epub 2023 Apr 15.
PMID: 37190077

Assessment of immune cell profiles among post-menopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative using DNA methylation-based methods.
Nissen E, Reiner A, Liu S, Wallace RB, Molinaro AM, Salas LA, Christensen BC, Wiencke JK, Koestler DC, Kelsey KT
Clin Epigenetics. 2023 Apr 28;15(1):69. doi: 10.1186/s13148-023-01488-8. Epub 2023 Apr 28.
PMID: 37118842

Inferring spatial transcriptomics markers from whole slide images to characterize metastasis-related spatial heterogeneity of colorectal tumors: A pilot study.
Fatemi M, Feng E, Sharma C, Azher Z, Goel T, Ramwala O, Palisoul SM, Barney RE, Perreard L, Kolling FW, Salas LA, Christensen BC, Tsongalis GJ, Vaickus LJ, Levy JJ
J Pathol Inform. 2023;14:100308. doi: 10.1016/j.jpi.2023.100308. Epub 2023 Mar 29.
PMID: 37114077

HiTAIC: hierarchical tumor artificial intelligence classifier traces tissue of origin and tumor type in primary and metastasized tumors using DNA methylation.
Zhang Z, Lu Y, Vosoughi S, Levy JJ, Christensen BC, Salas LA
NAR Cancer. 2023 Jun;5(2):zcad017. doi: 10.1093/narcan/zcad017. Epub 2023 Apr 19.
PMID: 37089814

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