We are an active and independent research group with a major research interest in understanding the influence of genetic and environmental factors on the etiology and prevention of skin lesions, particularly skin cancer.

Our earliest research consisted of genetic epidemiological studies on inherited susceptibility to skin cancers, focusing on DNA repair and related genes. We then moved from candidate genes to multiple candidate molecular pathways, including cell cycle, pigmentation, immunity, telomere, and microRNA biosynthesis. Beyond the candidate gene and pathway approach, we have conducted a series of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify novel loci on pigmentation, nevogenesis, skin cancers, and several other related phenotypes and outcomes. Currently, we are conducting post-GWAS research projects examining the biological function of top significant variants identified from GWAS and integrating the gene expression profile for pathway enrichment evaluation. Meanwhile, we have expanded our genetic research on the etiology of skin cancer to other skin lesions such as psoriasis. Besides genetic susceptibility, we have conducted epidemiological research to identify lifestyle and environmental risk factors for skin cancers and psoriasis.

Jiali Han has been awarded several NIH research grants. He also serves as a key investigator on multiple NIH-funded projects, providing critical expertise in genetic epidemiology and dermato-epidemiology. In addition, he is leading the Harvard cohorts participating in several international consortia on lung cancer research.