Dr. Reid is the Founder and Director of the Seattle Barrett's Esophagus Study (the Seattle Study). As an undergraduate and graduate student in Genetics, he and Lee Hartwell discovered yeast cell cycle mutations which led to basic research that proposed the first genetic model of eukaryotic cell division. This model became the basis for Lee Hartwell's well deserved Nobel Prize in 2001.
After graduate school, Dr. Reid entered medical school to study neoplastic evolution with the goal of improving care for patients who are at risk for or have cancer. He has been investigating Barrett's esophagus since 1983.
The goal of Dr. Reid's work on Barrett's esophagus is to understand the mechanisms by which environmental exposures (i.e. aspirin or other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents) affect the evolution of clones that lead to the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's esophagus.
Recent research in the Seattle Study, and other studies around the world, indicate that attempts to reduce mortality of esophageal adenocarcinoma are limited by overdiagnosis of benign Barrett's that remains stable for the lifetime of an individual and underdiagnosis of life-threatening early esophageal adenocarcinoma.
The Seattle Study is testing the hypothesis that these different disease dynamics are the result of clonal evolutionary dynamics that cause length bias. This understanding can then be used to develop interventions to prevent progression to cancer or to detect the cancers and premalignant abnormalities when they are early and curable, while avoiding invasive and costly interventions that cause significant adverse events in individuals who have little reason to expect benefit because their risk of cancer is low.