Heather M. Ochs-Balcom, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Contact Information

268D Farber Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-8001
Phone: (716) 829-5338
Fax: (716) 829-2979
Email: hmochs2@buffalo.edu


Faculty Links

Professional Summary

Heather M. Ochs-Balcom, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health. She joined the department in 2007 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Case Western Reserve University in the Division of Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology under Robert Elston, PhD. She was appointed as an assistant professor in 2009 and as an associate professor in 2016.

The focus and application of her research program is centered on the role of genetics in complex diseases, primarily in cancer health disparities. More specifically, this research program involves the application of genetic epidemiology tools and approaches to identify new disease-associated genes and elucidate how modifiable disease risk factors (obesity, sleep, drugs) interact with known gene-disease associations. Interdisciplinary pre- and post-doctoral training in epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics and computational approaches in family-based and population-based research aided in establishing a strong foundation from which my research was developed and has evolved. She is also currently working on a study of genetic factors for breast cancer in African American families and participating as an investigator in the Women’s Health Initiative.


  • PhD, Epidemiology and Community Health, University at Buffalo, 2004
  • MS, Biology, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Clarion, PA, 2000
  • BS, Biology, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Clarion, PA, 1997

Professional Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 2004-2007

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society of Human Genetics
  • American Society of Preventive Oncology
  • International Genetic Epidemiology Society
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research

revised: 2016-09-18