Heidi A Hanson portrait
  • Research Scientist, Utah Population Database, Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Sociology Department
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Population Health Sciences
  • Co-Leader CTSA Early Life Exposures Working Group, Clinical and Tranlational Science Awards, Lifespan Domain Task Force
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Family And Preventive Medicine
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Surgery
  • Assistant Professor, Surgery


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology (Emphasis: Population and Health), University of Utah
  • Master of Science, Sociology, University of Utah
  • Certificate, Demography, University of Utah
  • Bachelor of Science, Behavioral Science and Health, University of Utah


Dr. Hanson is an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, the Assistant Director of Research at the Utah Population Database, an Affiliate Member of the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute (SCI Institute), and a research scientist at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She is a demographer and has expertise in analysis of population health data. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science and Health and MS and PhD in Sociology at the University of Utah.

Her research is focused on disentangling the interactions of genetic and environmental influences on disease risk throughout the life course. She has an National Institutes of Health K07 award focused on investigating the genetic and environmental determinants of bladder cancer.  She would like to link her findings to clinical measures that can be used to improve precision strategies for screening and treatment. Additional areas of research include understanding how environmental influences in utero and early childhood affect later life health, air pollution exposure and health outcomes in cancer survivors, early life neighborhood environments and disease risk, and familial, community, and socioeconomic factors affecting health outcomes. Her previous research has (1) investigated temporal patterns in cancer risk and aging; (2) explored familial clustering of disease; (3) examined environmental determinants of health and the role of residential selection; (4) shown the importance of statistical model selection and rigorous methodology; and (5) developed new techniques to investigate the role of the environment in heritability of health outcomes. These projects have taken advantage of large health databases such as the UPDB, CMS Medicare, Demographic Health Survey, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results (SEER) Program.