Public Health

Linda Titus

Adjunct Professor of Public Health

Office Location

226 Wishcamper

Phone

(603) 381-8457

Academic Degrees

  • Yale University School of Medicine, Ph.D Epidemiology
  • Connecticut College, MA Psychology
  • Southern Connecticut State University, BA Psychology

Profile

Dr. Titus is an Adjunct Professor at the Muskie School of Public Service at USM and Professor Emerita at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.  Her career has focused on cancer etiology.  For the past three decades, she investigated melanoma from the clinical, pathological, genetic, and epidemiological perspective. In addition to a first grant from the Melanoma Research Foundation, she received 3 investigator-initiated awards from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct case-control studies to identify risk factors for melanoma and its precursor lesions.  The most important findings arising from these studies showed that atypical moles are associated with risk of melanoma and second primary melanoma, and that risk of a second primary is greater than previously thought.  Her work in melanoma continued with Dr. Joann Elmore, who led a NIH-funded study aimed at improving criteria for melanoma diagnosis.  For more than a decade, Dr. Titus led the New Hampshire component of several NIH funded, multi-center, collaborative case-control studies in breast and ovarian cancer.  Data from these studies were contributed to international consortia (Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium and Breast Cancer Association Consortium), to support their genetic investigations.  Dr. Titus's most intriguing publication based on these studies showed that the protective influence of breast-feeding on ovarian cancer risk may be limited to women who breast-feed their last born child.  Dr. Titus also maintained continuous NIH support for 28 years to conduct follow-up studies aimed at identifying health outcomes associated with pregnancy or prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES).  For the last fifteen years, she led the NIH-sponsored multi-center follow-up study of DES-related outcomes in third generation offspring (grandchildren of women exposed in pregnancy).  Her most important publications arising from the DES studies showed that  the influence of DES may persist to the third generation; i.e., the granddaughters of women exposed in pregnancy, possibly decreasing fertility, and menstrual regularity, and increasing ovarian cancer risk.  Her work involving the third generation of DES-exposed individuals was invited for presentation at international conferences, including a Gordon Research Conference.  Dr. Titus also collaborated for more than a decade on NIH-funded studies led by Dr. Madeline Dalton, who investigated factors related to smoking and obesity in children and adolescents.  In all, Dr. Titus has contributed more than 270 original scientific reports to the scientific literature, as well as book chapters, reviews, and IARC reviews.  Her service work over the past three decades included mentoring junior faculty, teaching and contributing to the Epidemiology and Biostatistics course at Geisel, and serving on Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health scientific review committees.  

 

Areas of Expertise

Cancer epidemiology and etiology

Etiologic and disease heterogeneity

Precursors and carcinogenesis

Environmental and genetic risk factors for atypical moles and melanoma

DES and adverse reproductive outcomes

DES and cancer risk

Intergenerational transmisson of epigenetic changes

Menstrual and reproductive factors in relation to cancer risk

Cancer prevention and control

Self-examination for moles and melanoma

Breast density and mammographic screening

Risk factors for tobacco use and obesity in adolescentsv

Recent Publications

See here for a list of Dr. Titus's recent publications