Edward A. Ruiz-Narváez, Sc.D.

Edward Ruiz-NarváezEpidemiologist
Slone Epidemiology Center

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Boston University School of Public Health



Lic., 1995, University of Costa Rica School of  Biology
M.Sc., 1999, University of Costa Rica School of Biology
Sc.D., 2006, Harvard School of Public Health

Research Interests:

A major interest of Dr. Ruiz-Narváez’s research is the elucidation of the genetic basis of human complex diseases, as well as the integration of the assessment of gene-environment interactions to uncover potential mechanisms of development of disease. Dr. Ruiz-Narváez’s past research has involved the study of genetic variation on genes involved in lipid metabolism to assess whether naturally occurring variation interacts with dietary intake and other life-style factors to affect risk of cardiovascular heart disease (CHD). His current research, as part of the team of the Black Women’s Health Study, involves the finding of genetic variation associated with risk of different diseases/phenotypes such as breast cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. His current genetic research seeks to elucidate how variants in genes expressed in the neuroendocrine system interact with non-genetic factors in relation to risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Ruiz-Narvaez also has a special interest in new approaches to understand how use of gene regulatory regions may affect phenotypic traits. He recently proposed the hypothesis about the existence of inter-individual variation in the use of alternative regulatory regions (e.g., gene promoters and enhancers), and how this new source of variation may hide genetic effects on complex phenotypic traits.


  • Ruiz-Narváez EA. Hypothesis about alternative use of redundant regulatory elements was validated by recent results [letter to the editor]. Med Hypotheses 2014;83(4):513-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2014.08.015. PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA, Palmer JR, Gerlovin H, Wise LA, Vimalananda VG, Rosenzweig JL, Rosenberg L. Birth weight and risk of type 2 diabetes in the Black Women’s Health Study: does adult body mass index play a mediating role? Diabetes Care 2014;37(9):2572-8. doi: 10.2337/dc14-0731. PMCID: PMC4140161.
  • Wise LA, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Haddad SA, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR. Polymorphisms in vitamin D-related genes and risk of uterine leiomyomata. Fertil Steril 2014;102(2):503-10.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.04.037. PMCID: PMC4119554.
  • Vimalananda VG, Palmer JR, Gerlovin H, Wise LA, Rosenzweig JL, Rosenberg L, Ruiz-Narváez EA. Depressive symptoms, antidepressant use, and the incidence of diabetes in the Black Women’s Health Study. Diabetes Care 2014;37(8):2211-7. doi: 10.2337/dc13-2642. PMCID: PMC4113175.
  • Wise LA, Radin RG, Kumanyika S, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Prospective study of dietary fat and risk of uterine leiomyomata. Am J Clin Nutr 2014;99(5):1105-16. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.073635. PMCID: PMC3985214.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA. Redundant enhancers and causal variants in the TCF7L2 gene. Eur J Hum Genet 2014. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2014.17 (epub ahead of print). PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process.
  • Cozier YC, Ruiz-Narváez EA, McKinnon CJ, Berman JS, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR. Replication of genetic loci for sarcoidosis in U.S. black women: data from the Black Women’s Health Study. Hum Genet 2013;132(7):803-10. doi: 10.1007/s00439-013-1292-5. PMCID: PMC3746966.
  • Liu C, […], Ruiz-Narváez EA, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, et al. Genome-wide association of body fat distribution in African ancestry populations suggests new loci. PLoS Genet 2013;9(8):e1003681. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003681. PMCID: PMC3744443.
  • Wise LA, Palmer JR, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Reich DE, Rosenberg L. Is the observed association between dairy intake and fibroids in African Americans explained by genetic ancestry? Am J Epidemiol 2013;178(7):1114-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt091. PMCID: PMC3857926.
  • Monda KL, […], Palmer JR, Ruiz-Narváez EA, et al. A meta-analysis identifies new loci associated with body mass index in individuals of African ancestry. Nat Genet 2013;45(6):690-6. doi: 10.1038/ng.2608. PMCID: PMC3694490.
  • Demerath EW, […], Palmer JR, Ruiz-Narváez EA, et al. Genome-wide association study of age at menarche in African-American women. Hum Mol Genet 2013;22(16):3329-46. Doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddt181. PMCID: PMC3723312.
  • Palmer JR, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Rotimi CN, Cupples LA, Cozier YC, Adams-Campbell LL, Rosenberg L. Genetic susceptibility loci for subtypes of breast cancer in an African American population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013;22(1):127-34. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0769. PMCID: PMC3538887.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA, Rosenberg L, Yao S, Rotimi CN, Cupples LA, Bandera EV, Ambrosone CB, Adams-Campbell LL, Palmer JR. Fine-mapping of the 6q25 locus identifies a novel SNP associated with breast cancer risk in African American women. Carcinogenesis 2013;34(2):287-91. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgs334. PMCID: PMC3564437.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA. Use of alternative promoters may hide genetic effects on phenotypic traits. J Hum Genet 2013;58(1):47-50. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2012.115. PMCID: PMC3538106.
  • Chen F, […], Palmer JR, Ruiz-Narváez EA, et al. A genome-wide association study of breast cancer in women of African ancestry. Hum Genet 2013;132:39-48. doi: 10.1007/s00439-012-1214-y. PMCID: PMC3749077.
  • Wise LA, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Palmer JR, Cozier YC, Tandon A, Patterson N, Radin RG, Rosenberg L, Reich D. African ancestry and genetic risk for uterine leiomyomata. Am J Epidemiol 2012;176(12):1159–68. doi: 10.1093/aje/kws276. PMCID: PMC3571235.
  • Cozier YC, Ruiz-Narváez EA, McKinnon C, Berman J, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR. Fine-mapping in African-American women confirms the importance of the 10p12 locus to sarcoidosis. Genes Immun 2012;13(7):573-8. doi: 10.1038/gene.2012.42. PMCID: PMC3475762.
  • Castro-Webb N, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Campos H. Cross-sectional study of conjugated linoleic acid in adipose tissue and risk of diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(1):175-81. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.011858.
  • Boggs DA, Rosenberg L, Cozier YC, Wise LA, Coogan PF, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Palmer JR. General and abdominal obesity and risk of death among black women. N Engl J Med 2011;365:901-8. PMCID: PMC3206314.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA, Fraser PA, Palmer JR, Cupples LA, Reich D, Wang AY, Rioux JD, Rosenberg L. MHC region and risk of systemic lupus erythematosus in African-American women. Hum Genet 2011;130(6):807-15. doi: 10.1007/s00439-011-1045-2. PMCID: PMC3215804.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA, Rosenberg L, Wise LA, Reich D, Palmer JR. Validation of a small set of ancestral informative markers for control of population admixture in African Americans. Am J Epidemiol 2011;173(5):587-92. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq401. PMCID: PMC3105437.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA. What is a functional locus? Understanding the genetic basis of complex phenotypic traits. Med Hypotheses 2011;76:638-42. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.01.019. PMCID: PMC3076543.
  • Boggs DA, Rosenberg L, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Palmer JR. Coffee, tea, and alcohol intake in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes in African American women. Am J Clin Nutr 2010;92(4):960-6. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29598. PMCID: PMC2937592.
  • Bare LA, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Tong CH, Arellano AR, Rowland CM, Catanese JJ, Sacks FM, Devlin JJ, Campos H. Investigation of KIF6 Trp719Arg in a case-control study of myocardial infarction: a Costa Rican population. PLoS One 2010;5(9):e13081. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013081.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA, Bare L, Arellano A, Catanese J, Campos A.  West African and Amerindian ancestry and risk of myocardial infarction and metabolic syndrome in the Central Valley population of Costa Rica. Hum Genet 2010;127(6):629-38.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA, Rosenberg L, Cozier YC, Cupples LA, Adams-Campbell LL, Palmer JR. Polymorphisms in the TOX3/LOC643714 locus and risk of breast cancer in African-American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2010;19(5):1320-7. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-1250. PMCID: PMC2866101.
  • Ruiz-Narváez EA, Rosenberg L, Rotimi C, Cupples LA, Boggs DA, Adeyemo A, Cozier YC, Adams-Campbell LL, Palmer JR. Genetic variants on chromosome 5p12 are associated with risk of breast cancer in African American women: the Black Women’s Health Study. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2010;123(2):525-30. doi: 10.1007/s10549-010-0775-5. PMCID: PMC3208423.
  • Pérez P, Anaya JM, Aguilera S, Urzúa U, Munroe D, Molina C, Hermoso MA, Cherry JM, Alliende C, Olea N, Ruiz-Narváez E, González MJ. Gene expression and chromosomal location for susceptibility to Sjögren’s syndrome. J Autoimmun 2009.  doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2009.05.001.
  • Truong H, Dibello JR, Ruiz-Narváez E, Kraft P, Campos H, Baylin A. Does genetic variation in the Delta6-desaturase promoter modify the association between alpha-linolenic acid and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome? Am J Clin Nutr 2009 89(3): 920-5.
  • Ruiz-Narváez E, Sacks F, Campos H. Abdominal obesity and hyperglycemia mask the effect of common APOC3 haplotype on the risk of myocardial infarction. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87:1932-8.
  • Ruiz-Narváez E, Campos H. Evolutionary rate heterogeneity of Alu repeats usptream of the APOA5 gene: do they regulate APOA5 expression? J Hum Genet 2008;53:247-53.
  • Yang Y, Ruiz-Narváez E, Kraft P, Campos H. Effect of apolipoprotein E genotype and saturated fat intake on plasma lipids and myocardial infarction in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. Hum Biol 2007;79:637-47.
  • Ruiz-Narváez E, Kraft P, Campos H. The Ala12 variant of the PPARG gene is associated with higher polyunsaturated fatty acids in adipose tissue and attenuates the protective effect of polyunsaturated fat intake on the risk of MI. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86:1238-42.
  • Gomez LM, Ruiz-Narváez E, Rojas–Villarraga A, Pineda-Tamayo R, Anaya JM. TNF polymorphism as a primary risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis. Confirming evidence in northwestern Colombians. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2007;25:443-8.
  • Baylin A, Ruiz-Narváez E, Kraft P, Campos H. Alpha-linolenic acid, 6 desaturase gene polymorphism, and risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:554-60.
  • Gomez LM, Camargo JF, Castiblanco J, Ruiz-Narváez E, Cadena J, Anaya JM. Analysis of IL1B, TAP1, TAP2 and IKBL polymorphisms on susceptibility to tuberculosis. Tissue Antigens 2006;67:290-6.
  • Kabagambe E, Baylin A, Ruiz-Narváez E, Rimm EB, Campos H. Alcohol intake, drinking patterns, and risk of nonfatal acute myocardial infarction in Costa Rica. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;82:1336-45.
  • Ruiz-Narváez E, Yang Y, Nakanishi Y, Kirchdorfer J, Campos H. APOC3/A5 haplotypes, lipid levels and risk of myocardial infarction in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. J Lipid Res 2005;46:2605-13.
  • Kabagambe E, Baylin A, Ruiz-Narváez E, Siles X, Campos H. Decreased consumption of dried mature beans is positively associated with urbanization and nonfatal acute myocardial infarction. J Nutr 2005;135:1770-5.
  • Ruiz-Narváez E. Is the Ala12 variant of the PPARG gene an “unthrifty allele”? J Med Genet 2005;42:547-50.
  • Ruiz-Narváez E, Santos F, Carvalho-Silva D, Azofeifa J, Barrantes R, Pena S. Genetic variation of the Y chromosome in Chibcha-speaking Amerindians of Costa Rica and Panama. Hum Biol 2005;77:71-91.
  • Azofeifa J, Hahn M, Ruiz-Narváez E, Hummerich L, Morales A, Jimenez G, Barrantes R. The STR polymorphism (AAAAT) within the intron 1 of the tumor protein 53 (TP53) locus in 17 populations of different ethnic groups of Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Rev Biol Trop 2004;52:645-57.
  • Yang Y, Ruiz-Narváez E, Niu T, Xu X, Campos H. Genetic variants of the lipoprotein lipase gene and myocardial infarction in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. J Lipid Res 2004;45:2106-9.
  • Ruiz-Narváez E, Campos H. Transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) for case-control studies. Eur J Hum Genet 2004;12:105-14.
  • Ruiz-Narváez E, Castro N. A simple method to estimate percentage parasitism when host and parasitoid phenologies are unknown. A statistical approach. Biocontrol 2003;48:87-100.
  • Arias T, Castro E, Ruiz-Narváez E, Barrantes R, Jorge-Nebert L. Racial mix of the Panamanian population. Rev Med Panama 2002;27:5-17.
  • Azofeifa J, Ruiz-Narváez E, Barrantes R. Blood group, red cell, and serum protein variation in the Cabecar and Huetar, two Chibchan Amerindian tribes of Costa Rica. Am J Hum Biol 2001;13:57-64.
  • Solis M, Alvarado M, Ruiz-Narváez E, Carrillo J, Navarrete M, Sanchez G, Jimenez E. Cytogenetics and cytochemistry of leukemia patients in 2 neotropical hospitals. Rev Biol Trop 2000;48:707-17.
  • Azofeifa J, Ruiz-Narváez E, Barrantes R. Genetic variation and racial admixture in the Miskito of the southern Mosquito Shore, Nicaragua. Rev Biol Trop 1998;46:157-65.