Kristen Purrington

Kristen Purrington

Kristen Purrington

Position Title

Associate Professor
Population Science

Office Location

Mid-Med Lofts
87 E Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201

Mailing Address

Karmanos Cancer Institute
4100 John R.
Mail Code: MM03EP
Detroit, MI 48201

Office Phone

(313) 578-4325

Office Fax

(313) 576-9745

Education Training

(2010)  Ph.D. Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Rackham Graduate School
(2010)  M.A. Statistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Rackham Graduate School
(2007)  M.P.H. Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, School of Public Health
(2005)  B.S. Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, College of Literature, Arts and Sciences

Postgraduate Training
(2010-2013)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic - Rochester, MN

Professional Experience

Faculty Appointments
(2022 - Present) Associate Professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
(2013 - 2022) Assistant Professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

Major Professional Societies

American Society of Human Genetics
American Association for Cancer Research

Courses taught

CB 7210: Fundamentals of Cancer Biology

Research Interests

My research focuses on the genetic epidemiology of triple negative breast cancer with respect to risk, clinical outcomes, and health disparities between African American and European American women. I also have a strong interest in understanding molecular signatures of triple negative breast tumors related to gene expression profiling and underlying genetic variation. Further, my work seeks to understand how these large omics data sets may be integrated to better understand triple negative breast cancer etiology, survival, and response to therapy. I am also interested in the combination of genetic factors and traditional epidemiologic risk factors, such as hormonal exposures and mammographic density, and how these may explain risk, biological changes in tumors, and ultimately survival. I am also involved in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) and the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Consortium (TNBCC), two international consortia with primary roles in delineating genetic risk factors for breast cancer risk.



  1. Stevens KN, Vachon CM, Couch FJ. Genetic susceptibility to triple negative breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2013 Apr 1;73(7):2025-30. PMID: 23536562
  1. Nickels S, Truong T, Hein R, Stevens KN, Buck K, Behrens S, et al. Evidence of Gene-Environment Interactions between Common Breast Cancer Susceptibility Loci and Established Environmental Risk Factors. PLoS Genet. 2013 Mar;9(3) PMCID: PMC3609648
  1. Stevens KN, Wang X, Fredericksen Z, Pankratz VS, Greene MH, Andrulis IL, et al. Evaluation of chromosome 6p22 as a breast cancer risk modifier locus in a follow-up study of BRCA2 mutation carriers. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Nov;136(1):295-302. PMCID: PMC3482828
  1. Stevens KN, Lindstrom S, Scott CG, Thompson D, Sellers T, Wang X, et al. Identification of a novel percent mammographic density locus at 12q24. Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Jul 15;21(14):3299-305. PMCID: PMC3384385
  1. Stevens KN, Fredericksen Z, Vachon CM, Wang X, Margolin S, Lindblom A, et al. 19p13.1 is a triple negative-specific breast cancer susceptibility locus. Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 1;21(17):3926-39. PMCID: PMC3319792
  1. Stevens KN, Kelemen LE, Wang X, Fridley BL, Vierkant RA, Fredericksen Z, et al. Common variation in Nemo-like kinase is associated with risk of ovarian cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Mar;21(3):523-528. PMCID: PMC3297683
  1. Stevens KN, Garcia-Closas M, Fredericksen Z, Kosel M, Pankratz VS, Hopper JL, et al. Evaluation of variation in the phosphoinositide-3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) oncogene and breast cancer risk. Br J Cancer 105(12):1934-9 (2011). PMCID: PMC3251877
  1. Stevens KN, Vachon CM, Lee AM, Slager S, Lesnick T, Olswold C, et al. Common breast cancer susceptibility loci are associated with triple negative breast cancer. Cancer Research 71(19):6240-6249 (2011). PMCID: PMC3327299
  1. Stevens KN, Wang X,  Fredericksen Z, Pankratz VS, Vachon CM, Olson JE, Couch FJ. Evaluation of associations between common variation in mitotic regulatory pathways and risk of overall and high grade breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 129(2):617-22 (2011). PMCID: PMC3508696
  1. Pujana MA, Han JJ, Starita LM, Stevens KN, Tewari M, Ahn JS , Rennert G, Moreno V, Assmann V, ElShamy WM, Rual JF, Rozek LS, Gelman RS, Gunsalus KC, Greenberg RA, Sobhian B, Bertin N, Venkatesan K, Ayivi-Guedehoussou N, Lázaro C, Nathanson KL, Weber BL, Cusick ME, Hill DE, Livingston DM, Gruber SB, Parvin JD, Vidal M. Network modeling links breast cancer susceptibility and centrosome dysfunction. Nature Genet.  39, 1338-1349 (2007). PMID: 17922014

PubMed Database Link:


Faculty Status

Population Science

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