Geraldine Page Mineau, PhD
Associate Director, Utah Population Database
Research Professor, Department of Oncological Sciences
Geraldine Mineau, PhD, is associate director of the Utah Population Database (UPDB) and member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program. Her experience with the UPDB dates back to its conception in the mid-1970s. This database contains more than six million records and includes computerized genealogies beginning in about 1800 with the founders of Utah. This information has been extended to comprise nine generations, which have been cross-linked to the Utah Cancer Registry and death records. This makes it possible to follow cancer patterns in very large families. This combination of family information and medical information is the key for finding familial clustering of diseases such as cancer. When family clusters of cancer are found over several generations, this suggests that the family may carry a genetic mutation in one of their genes that predisposes them to the disease. Such families are often involved in research studies to better understand cancer inheritance.
Mineau has led a number of research projects. For seven years she was principal investigator of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Genetics Coalition, one of the eight sites of National Cancer Institute's Cancer Genetics Network. This program provided the support for a number of Huntsman Cancer Institute investigators to initiate projects and collaborate with investigators throughout the United States. She currently has an NIH grant, "Sharing statewide health data for genetic research", which provides continued development of the UPDB in order to expand its use as a research resource that will serve various investigations. In this project, she collaborates with the Utah Department of Health to incorporate millions of inpatient health records into UPDB. Through the Huntsman-Intermountain Cancer Care Program, she and the PPR group recently completed a project to link the UPDB to the Intermountain enterprise data warehouse, thus creating a new infrastructure for cancer research investigators.
She is the author of numerous articles in the area of demography and biodemography and most recently co-edited a volume on Kinship and Demographic behavior in the Past (2008) and currently co-edited a special issue of Social Science in Medicine (2009) that features articles dealing with early life conditions and factors that influence survival and longevity.