Burcu Darst

Affiliate Assistant Professor, Epidemiology



PhD Epidemiology, University of Wisconsin (Madison), 2018
BS Cognitive Science, University of California (San Diego), 2009



Office M4-B873
1100 Fairview Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109


Dr. Burcu Darst’s is a genetic epidemiologist with research focused on identifying and understanding genetic and multi-omic risk factors of complex diseases in diverse populations, particularly how they relate to health disparities. Her research lies predominantly in studying prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, with the underlying goal of identifying risk factors that could prevent the onset and health disparities of these diseases. Dr. Darst’s research is based on a variety of approaches, including using rare genetic variants captured with genomic sequencing, genome-wide association studies, polygenic risk scores, and metabolomics to understand disease risk. Currently, she is leading an effort to improve understanding of the genomic and metabolic mechanisms contributing to prostate cancer risk in men from diverse populations as well as improving the utility of polygenic risk scores and rare genetic variants for the prediction of prostate cancer across multi-ancestry patient populations.This research is conducted in collaboration with large-scale international collaborations investigating genetic risk of prostate cancer.

Research Interests

Prostate cancer prevention, Health disparities, Genetic risk factors, Molecular biomarkers, Multi-omic integration

Recent Publications (PubMed)

Association of Prostate-Specific Antigen Levels with Prostate Cancer Risk in a Multiethnic Population: Stability over Time and Comparison with Polygenic Risk Score.
(2022 Sep 20)
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
Chou A, Darst BF, Wilkens LR, Le Marchand L, Lilja H, Conti DV, Haiman CA

Testing the generalizability of ancestry-specific polygenic risk scores to predict prostate cancer in sub-Saharan Africa.
(2022 Sep 13)
Genome Biol 23(1): 194
Kim MS, Naidoo D, Hazra U, Quiver MH, Chen WC, Simonti CN, Kachambwa P, Harlemon M, Agalliu I, Baichoo S, Fernandez P, Hsing AW, Jalloh M, Gueye SM, Niang L, Diop H, Ndoye M, Snyper NY, Adusei B, Mensah JE, Abrahams AOD, Biritwum R, Adjei AA, Adebiyi AO, Shittu O, Ogunbiyi O, Adebayo S, Aisuodionoe-Shadrach OI, Nwegbu MM, Ajibola HO, Oluwole OP, Jamda MA, Singh E, Pentz A, Joffe M, Darst BF, Conti DV, Haiman CA, Spies PV, van der Merwe A, Rohan TE, Jacobson J, Neugut AI, McBride J, Andrews C, Petersen LN, Rebbeck TR, Lachance J

Clonal hematopoiesis and risk of prostate cancer in large samples of European ancestry men.
(2022 Aug 26)
Hum Mol Genet
Wang A, Xu Y, Yu Y, Nead KT, Kim T, Xu K, Dadaev T, Saunders E, Sheng X, Wan P, Pooler L, Xia LY, Chanock S, Berndt SI, Gapstur SM, Stevens V, Albanes D, Weinstein SJ, Gnanapragasam V, Giles GG, Nguyen-Dumont T, Milne RL, Pomerantz MM, Schmidt JA, Stopsack KH, Mucci LA, Catalona WJ, Hetrick KN, Doheny KF, MacInnis RJ, Southey MC, Eeles RA, Wiklund F, Kote-Jarai Z, de Smith AJ, Conti DV, Huff C, Haiman CA, Darst BF

Including diverse and admixed populations in genetic epidemiology research.
(2022 Oct)
Genet Epidemiol 46(7): 347-371
Caliebe A, Tekola-Ayele F, Darst BF, Wang X, Song YE, Gui J, Sebro RA, Balding DJ, Saad M, Dubé MP, IGES ELSI Committee.

Validation of a multi-ancestry polygenic risk score and age-specific risks of prostate cancer: A meta-analysis within diverse populations.
(2022 Jul 8)
Elife 11():
Chen F, Darst BF, Madduri RK, Rodriguez AA, Sheng X, Rentsch CT, Andrews C, Tang W, Kibel AS, Plym A, Cho K, Jalloh M, Gueye SM, Niang L, Ogunbiyi OJ, Popoola O, Adebiyi AO, Aisuodionoe-Shadrach OI, Ajibola HO, Jamda MA, Oluwole OP, Nwegbu M, Adusei B, Mante S, Darkwa-Abrahams A, Mensah JE, Adjei AA, Diop H, Lachance J, Rebbeck TR, Ambs S, Gaziano JM, Justice AC, Conti DV, Haiman CA

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