Dr. Orlow directs the Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory. Her research interests include the study of individual (host) and tumor (somatic) genetics, phenotypic characteristics, and exposures that modulate cancer prognosis in patients with melanoma, breast, lung, and other. She is an active member of the international Genes, Environment, and Melanoma (GEM) Study group since the year 2000, as well as the international InterMEL consortium since 2017. Studies within GEM include research on the vitamin D receptor gene variants in presence or absence of sun exposure, and chemokine/chemokine receptor variants, and their role as modifiers survival. Dr. Orlow collaborates with members of the Dermatology Service to evaluate the effect of genetics, phenotypic characteristics, and exposures to further the knowledge of the biology and epidemiology of nevi —a known risk factor for melanoma. She is also evaluating the utility of a novel minimally-invasive technique to help diagnose early stage melanoma from other less fatal skin cancers and banal skin lesions.
Dr. Orlow collaborates with colleagues from other Departments at MSK in one other area of great interest to her, with the goal of understanding the underlying biology responsible for, and potential risk predictors for changes in cognition, and of sleep patterns, in cancer survivors.
Her lab supports additional multidisciplinary investigations, and houses biosample collections for large epidemiologic studies including, among others GEM, InterMEL, WECARE, the National Colonoscopy Study, EDGE, and CASH.