Rick Kittles

Research Interests

Dr. Kittles’ has a strong commitment to mentoring students in his laboratory, including high school and undergraduate students; graduate, medical and post-baccalaureate students; and post-doctoral fellows and residents.

Prior to joining the UA, Dr. Kittles was with the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was director of the Institute of Human Genetics; associate director of the Office of Health Equity at the University of Illinois Cancer Center; and associate professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health. He also was associate director for diversity and community relations with the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center and held appointments with the Department of Human Genetics and the Graduate Committee on Cancer Biology Program, Biological Sciences Division, and with the Department of Medicine, Section of Genetic Medicine, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

He has been principal investigator on studies of prostate, breast and colon cancer; vitamin D; and acute chest syndrome, funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Kittles is a co-founder of the company, African Ancestry, Inc., a world leader in tracing maternal and paternal lineages of African descent. His work has been featured in CNN’s “Black in America” series about African American genealogy; the PBS documentary, “Oprah’s Roots: An African American Lives Special;” the PBS documentaries, “AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIVES” and AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIVES 2;” the BBC Television documentaries, “Motherland: A Genetic Journey” and “Motherland – Moving On;” and in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview about genetic ancestry by Leslie Stahl.