Faculty Summaries
Michael John Hall, MD, MS
Michael John Hall, MD, MS
Assistant Professor
  • Director, Gastrointestinal Risk Assessment
  • Research Interests

    In common with other members of the Risk Assessment Program (RAP) and the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, my research team focuses on the impact of risk assessment coupled with genetic testing on cancer prevention. To this end, our research efforts include studying how patients understand their risk of cancer, especially when that risk is increased due to an inherited genetic mutation in a high-penetrance cancer risk gene (like a mismatch repair mutation in Lynch syndrome) or a low-penetrance cancer risk genetic marker (e.g. a single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP), how patient use available and emerging genetic technologies to better understand their risk of cancer, how genetic information diffuses within the population, and social disparities related to availability and uptake of genetic services in the general and high-risk population. With expertise in gastrointestinal (GI) oncology, clinical genetics, and epidemiology, I predominantly examine individuals at risk of gastrointestinal cancers, but have several ongoing collaborative studies that examine other high-risk populations.

    Research examining the uptake and diffusion of commercial genetic testing for BRCA1/2 and the mismatch repair genes associated with Lynch syndrome has been the central focus of my efforts since 2007. This work has been generously funded by a career development award from the American Cancer Society. Two ongoing studies under this grant are examining aspects of genetic information diffusion within families, and a third will examine the impact of a tailored intervention to augment diffusion. Recent collaborative work with Dr. David Weinberg (FCCC, Gastroenterology) and others has examined how (that is, by what pathways) efforts to improve patient decisions act, and race and education as predictors of uptake of a gene-environment risk assessment test. Ongoing collaborative work with Dr. Wen-Chi Chang (FCCC Cancer Prevention and Control faculty) examines the efficacy of a chemopreventive agent (blackberry extract) in suppressing adenoma formation in a mouse model.

    My research endeavors are also highly integrated into those of other researchers in RAP. Funding from the Greenwall foundation is currently supporting a study (co-investigator Dr. Angela Bradbury, Breast-Ovarian Risk Assessment) examining how cancer patients and their first-degree relatives think about new and emerging genomic tests, their preferences for informed consent, and how they perceive the importance of discussing genetic results with family members. Two collaborative studies with Dr. Veda Giri (Prostate Risk Assessment) are examining aspects of the high-risk prostate cancer population, including racial/ethnic disparities in uptake of screening colonoscopy and how to improve understanding of genomic tests for prostate cancer risk in a diverse population of men.