Gregory J. Tranah, PhD

Scientist, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
Phone: 415-476-6135
E-Mail: [email protected]
Address: Box 0560
550 16th Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94159

Additional Websites:

California Pacific Medical Center, Research Institute

Dr. Tranah is Director of Precision Medicine at Sutter Health and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Tranah’s current research program is focused on identifying inherited and acquired genetic factors that impact aging and disease with the goal of revolutionizing risk assessment and identifying widely applicable and inexpensive genomic tests that identify persons who would benefit from specific pharmacologic and behavioral treatments to prevent disability and disease. He is the principal investigator of six NIH grants and two hospital foundation grants (Sutter-CPMC Foundation). In his current work he leads research teams engaged in genetic studies of aging and age-related traits and is discovering genes and variants associated with dementia, longevity, macular degeneration, depression, cancer, sleep and circadian rhythms. Much of his work is focused on examining the role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation in human aging and disease and he is pioneering the discovery of age-related changes in mtDNA that impact neurodegeneration, disability, vision and hearing. In a novel collaboration, Dr. Tranah will be examining how mtDNA sequence variation modifies individual responses to exercise with the goal of personalizing behavioral interventions to prevent disability. He and his colleagues have also pioneered the study of circadian rhythms in human aging and have identified modifiable activity patterns associated with dementia and mortality. At CPMC and UCSF, he is the Director of Genetics for several large population-based epidemiologic cohorts and is actively leading large-scale genomic analyses in collaboration with several international consortia focused on aging and disease. In this role he manages a large repository of biospecimens for two large cohort studies (Study of Osteoporotic Fractures and the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study). Dr. Tranah also leads the genomics core of a personalized medicine program at CPMC that is focused on identifying genomic predictors of treatment response for several highly malignant cancers. Dr. Tranah is currently leading a research program dedicated to accelerating the translation of research discoveries related to health and aging to clinical settings across Sutter Health. This program is focused on the development of novel treatments, diagnostic tests, wearable devices, or other interventions that can be implemented into clinical practice to improve patient health and functioning

Research Interests

  • Human genetics
  • Precision Medicine
  • Mechanisms of aging
  • Sleep and circadian rhythms
  • Mitochondrial DNA: energetics, disease and aging
  • Cancer epidemiology and genetics

Selected Publications

Visit PubMed to see additional publications


  1. Tranah, G. T., K. Yaffe, C. M. Nievergelt, et al. 2018. APOEe4 and slow wave sleep in older adults. PLOS One. PMID: 29370207.
  2. Willcox, B. J., B. J. Morris, G. J. Tranah, et al. 2017. Longevity–Associated FOXO3 Genotype and its Impact on Coronary Artery Disease Mortality in Japanese, Whites and Blacks: A Prospective Study of Three American Populations. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences. PMID: 27694344.
  3. Willcox, B. J., G. J. Tranah, R. Chen, et al. 2016. The FoxO3 gene and cause–specific mortality. Aging Cell. PMID: 27071935.
  4. Nettiksimmons, J., G. J. Tranah, D. S. Evans, et al. 2016. Gene–based aggregate SNP associations between candidate AD genes and cognitive decline. AGE. PMID: 27005436.
  5. Tranah, G. J., K. Yaffe, S. Katzman, et al. 2015. Mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy associations with neurosensory and mobility function in the elderly. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences A. PMID: 26328603.
  6. Dong, J., J. Yang, G. J. Tranah, et al. 2015. Genome–Wide Meta–Analysis on the Sense of Smell among U.S. Older Adults. Medicine. PMID: 26632684.
  7. Winkelman, J. W., T. L. Blackwell, G. J. Tranah, et al. 2015. Genetic Associations of Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep in the Elderly, for the MrOS Sleep Study. Sleep Medicine. PMID: 26498326.
  8. Tranah, G. J., A. Santaniello, S. Caillier, et al. 2015. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation in multiple sclerosis. Neurology. July 1. PMID: 26136518.
  9. Maglione, J. E., C. M. Nievergelt, N. Parimi, et al., G. J. Tranah. 2015. Associations of PER3 and RORA Circadian Gene Polymorphisms and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Epub Mar. 13. PMID: 25892098.
  10. D. Pappas, J. Hollenbach, A. L. Coleman, et al., G. J. Tranah. 2015. HLA class II genotypes are not associated with age related macular degeneration in a case–control, population–based study. Human Immunology. Epub Feb. 6. PMID: 25665771.
  11. Morris, B.J., Willcox, B.J., Tranah, G.J., et al. 2015. FOXO3 Genotype Increases Lifespan by a Major Effect on Cardiovascular Mortality. Hypertension, 65(5): E29–E30.
  12. Tranah, G. J., 2015. Health Consequences of Deteriorating Activity Rhythms with Aging. Gerontologist, 55: 32–33.
  13. Katzman S., E. S. Strotmeyer, M. A. Nalls, et al., G. J. Tranah. 2014. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation associated with peripheral nerve function in the elderly. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences A. Epub Nov. 13. PMID: 25394619.
  14. C. M. Walsh, T. Blackwell, G. J. Tranah, et al. 2014. Weaker Circadian Activity Rhythms are Associated with Poorer Executive Function in Older Women. Sleep. Epub Oct 22. PMID: 25337947.
  15. Tranah, G. J., J. S. Yokoyama, S. M. Katzman, et al. 2014. Mitochondrial DNA sequence associations with dementia and amyloid–ß in elderly African–Americans. Neurobiology of Aging.  PMID: 24140124.
  16. Tranah, G. J., S. R. Cummings, K. Yaffe. 2014. Identification of Inherited and Acquired Mitochondrial DNA Mutations Leading to Age–Related Cognitive Decline and Dementia. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 10(4): p517.
  17. Evans, D. E., N. Parimi, C. M. Nievergelt, et al., G. J. Tranah. 2013. Common genetic variants at the ARNTL and NPAS2 loci and at chromosome 12p13 are associated with objectively measured sleep traits in the elderly. Sleep. 36(3):431–46. PMID: 23449886.
  18. Tranah, G. J., M. A. Nalls, S. M. Katzman, et al. 2012. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation associated with dementia and cognitive function in the elderly. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 32(2).  PMID: 22785396.
  19. Tranah, G. J., E. T. Lam, S. M. Katzman, et al. 2012. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation is associated with free–living activity energy expenditure in the elderly. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Bioenergetics. 1817(9):1691–1700. PMID: 22659402.
  20. Lam, E. T., P.M. Bracci, E.A. Holly, et al., G. J. Tranah. 2012. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation and risk of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Research. 72(3):686–95. PMID: 22174369.
  21. Tranah, G. J., T. M. Manini, K. K. Lohman, et al. 2011. Mitochondrial DNA variation in human metabolic rate and energy expenditure. Mitochondrion. 11(6):855–61. PMID: 21586348.
  22. Tranah, G. J., T. Blackwell, K. L. Stone, et al. 2011. Circadian activity rhythms and risk of incident dementia and MCI in older women. Annals of Neurology. 70(5):725–732. PMID: 22162057.
  23. Tranah, G. J. 2011. Mitochondrial–Nuclear Epistasis: Implications for Human Aging and Longevity. Aging Research Reviews. 10(2):238–52. PMID: 20601194.
  24. Kripke, D. F., C. M. Nievergelt, G. J. Tranah, et al. 2011. Polymorphisms in melatonin synthesis pathways: possible influences on depression. Journal of Circadian Rhythms. 9(8). PMID: 21827647.
  25. Tranah, G.J., E.A. Holly, F. Wang, P.M. Bracci. 2011. Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking, passive smoke exposure, and risk of pancreatic cancer: a population–based study in the San Francisco Bay Area. BMC Cancer. 11:138. PMID: 21496267.
  26. Tranah G.J., T. Harris, A. Newman, et al. 2011. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation is associated with cognitive function in the elderly. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 7(4), e31.
  27. Tranah, G. J., N. Parimi, T. Blackwell, et al. 2010. Postmenopausal hormones and sleep quality in the elderly: a population based study. BMC Women’s Health.10:15. PMID: 20441593.
  28. Tranah, G. J., T. Blackwell, S. Ancoli–Israel, et al. 2010. Circadian activity rhythms and mortality: the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 58(2):282–91. PMID: 20374404.