Melinda C. Aldrich, PhD

Associate Professor
Medicine, Division of Genetic Medicine
Associate Professor
Thoracic Surgery
Associate Professor
Medicine, Division of Epidemiology
Office Address
Oxford House
1313 21st Ave. South
Room / Suite
(615) 875-2627

Dr. Aldrich’s research is focused on understanding why there are differences in lung cancer risk and survival among different racial/ethnic populations. Her lab is focused on identifying genetic, social, and environmental risk factors for lung cancer and its related phenotypes, such as nicotine addiction and pulmonary function. African Americans have the highest lung cancer incidence and mortality compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. We use large-scale cohorts such as the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS) to understand genetic and environmental factors contributing to lung cancer in racially mixed populations. This research includes collecting genetic, clinical, biomarker and environmental data and then combining these data to understand lung cancer. Additional ongoing projects are using the Vanderbilt electronic health records linked to the DNA biobank (BioVU) to explore genetic contributors to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A pilot project is exploring ways to integrate precision medicine into cancer navigation programs for underserved populations.