Department of Medicine Grand Rounds

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

TOPIC: "hEDS GENE: Seeking genes for hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome"
SPEAKER: Christina M. Laukaitis, MD PhD

Watch it LIVE!

About the Speaker
Dr. Laukaitis’ research has focused on genetic and environmental risk factors that predispose individuals to cancer in order to treat neoplasia before cancer develops with an emphasis on people at high risk for breast and other cancers due to mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, APC and mismatch repair genes. In her lab, they seek explanations for high-risk families without identified mutations. She has experience working with WBF and UDCA sample genotyping and interpreting genetic data that influences cancer risk. In addition to this research, she won an $800,000 grant in late 2016 from the Wallace Research Foundation to study the genetic basis of the joint hypermobility type of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a group of inherited disorders that mostly affect the skin, joints and blood vessels. With research partners from the Division of Rheumatology, she has since received two additional smaller grants related to that research.

Promoted to associate professor last fall, Dr. Laukaitis joined the faculty at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in 2008. She is affiliated with the UA Division of Geriatrics, General Internal and Palliative Medicine in the Department of Medicine, the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Cancer Biology and Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs. In addition, she’s director of Genetic Consultation and Counseling Services at the UA Health Sciences Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine, director of the Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program in the Department of Pathology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, medical education director for the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention at the UA Cancer Center, and a member of the UA Center on Aging, as well as the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the UA College of Pharmacy.

Among her honors and recognitions, Dr. Laukaitis was a member of the COM-T Learning to Lead Faculty Leadership Program (2014-15), named Researcher of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Physicians (2013), among the Arizona Daily Star's “40 under 40” up-and-coming professionals (2011), winner of the Yellen Distinguished Young Investigator Award at the UA Cancer Center (2011), and chosen to participate in the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine’s T. Franklin Williams Scholars Program in Washington, DC (2011). In addition, she was a visiting researcher at Oxford University and winner of the American Medical Women’s Association’s Janet M. Glasgow Award (Summer 2003).

She has served on multiple committees related to genetic, genomic, molecular and precision medicine research at the UA College of Medicine, UA Health Sciences and the broader UA campus. She, currently, is a member of the college’s Multidisciplinary Endocrine Tumor Board and MD/PhD Program Admissions Committee, organizer of the college’s Genetics & Genomics Grand Rounds, and an ad hoc member of the UA Cancer Center’s Scientific Review Committee. And she has contributed to several scholarly book chapters and monographs and authored or co-authored more than 30 refereed journal articles and 28 abstracts.

Before coming to the UA, Dr. Laukaitis was a fellow in the Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Washington in Seattle. She completed her residency in internal medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis, where she was affiliated with the Butler Summer Institute at Butler University. She earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago College of Medicine – Champaign-Urbana Campus. Her doctorate is in cell and structural biology from the University of Illinois. Her bachelor’s degree is in chemistry from Butler University.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

All Faculty, CME Planning Committee Members, and CME Office Reviewers have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with commercial interests that would constitute a conflict of interest concerning this CME activity.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Diagnose a variety of internal medicine illnesses
  2. Understand more clearly advances in therapy
  3. Become truly professional physicians





University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, Room 5403
1501 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85724
Banner – University Medical Center South, Conference Room 3030
2800 E. Ajo Way
Tucson, AZ 85713