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Immaculata De Vivo, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Associate Epidemiologist, Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Research Interests

It is becoming evident that understanding mechanisms of cancer causation will require a multi-disciplinary approach. The marriage of two powerful disciplines, molecular biology and epidemiology, attempts to take on that challenge. Molecular biology techniques allow the identification and subsequent characterization of biological markers which can then be used in the study of carcinogenic mechanisms and in the early detection and prevention of neoplasia. Epidemiology, with its population-based studies, will allow us to identify associations between genotypes and disease outcomes. Molecular epidemiologists will assess which specific diseases are associated with particular genotypes and how these genotypes interact with environmental and lifestyle factors in disease causation. We are using two large prospective cohorts of US nurses to study these issues. To study polymorphisms in hormone-metabolizing genes in endometrial and breast cancer and tumor suppressor genes like PETN in women with multiple primary cancers, we have a molecular epidemiology laboratory and collaborating with epidemiologists including David Hunter and human geneticist David Housman at MIT.

Selected Publications

Perera FP, Hemminki K, Gryzbowska E, Motykiewicz G, Michalska J, Santella RM, Young TL, Dickey C, Brandt-Rauf P, De Vivo I, Blaner W, Tsai WY, Chorazy M. Molecular and genetic damage from environmental pollution in Poland. Nature 1992;360:25-27. [abstract]

Neugat AI, Jacobson JS, De Vivo I. Epidemiology of colorectal adenomatous poylps. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1993;2:159-176. [abstract]

De Vivo I, Breuer B, Smith S, Milling S, Pincus MR, Tatum A, Niman H, Minick R, Brandt-Rauf PW. The detection of serum c-myc oncoprotein in cancer patients by immunoblot. Med Sci Res 1993;21:345-347.

De Vivo I, Marion MJ, Smith SJ, Carney WP, Brandt-Rauf PW. Mutant c-Ki-ras p21 protein in chemical carcinogenesis in humans exposed to vinyl-chloride. Cancer Causes Control 1994;5:273-278. [abstract]

Brandt-Rauf PW, De Vivo I, Marion MJ, Hemminki K. The molecular epidemiology of growth signal transduction proteins. J Occup Med 1995;37:77-83. [abstract]

Marion MJ, De Vivo I, Smith S, Luo JC, Brandt-Rauf PW. The molecular epidemiology of occupational carcinogenesis in vinyl-chloride exposed workers. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1996;68:39-398. [abstract]

Chang CP, De Vivo I, Cleary ML. The Hox cooperativity motif of the chimeric oncoprotein E2a-Pbx1 is necessary and sufficient for oncogenesis. Mol Cell Bio 1997;1:81-88. [abstract]

Cui X, De Vivo I, Slany R, Miyamoto A, Firestein R, Cleary ML. Association of SET domain and nyotubularin-related proteins modulates growth control. Nature Genetics 1998;18:331-337. [abstract]

De Vivo I, Cui X, Domen J, Cleary ML. Growth stimulation of primary B cell precursors by the anti-phosphatase Sbf1. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1998;95:9471-9476. [abstract]

Haiman CA, Hankinson SE, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ, De Vivo I. A polymorphism in CYP17 and endometrial cancer risk. Cancer Res 2001;61(10):3955-60. [abstract]

Guillemette C, De Vivo I, Hankinson SE, Haiman CA, Spiegelman D, Housman DE, Hunter DJ. Association of genetic polymorphisms in UGT1A1 with breast cancer and plasma hormone levels. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2001;10(6):711-4. [abstract]

McGrath M, Kawachi I, Ascherio A, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ, De Vivo I. Association between catechol-O-methyltransferase and phobic anxiety. Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Sep;161(9):1703-5. [abstract]

Kraft P, Cox DG, Paynter RA, Hunter D, De Vivo I. Accounting for haplotype uncertainty in matched association studies: a comparison of simple and flexible techniques. Genet Epidemiol. 2005 Apr;28(3):261-72. [abstract]

Paynter RA, Hankinson SE, Colditz GA, Kraft P, Hunter DJ, De Vivo I. CYP19 (aromatase) haplotypes and endometrial cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2005 Aug 20;116(2):267-74. [abstract]

McGrath M, Lee IM, Hankinson SE, Kraft P, Hunter DJ, Buring J, De Vivo I. Androgen receptor polymorphisms and endometrial cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2006 Mar 1;118(5):1261-8. [abstract]

McGrath M, Michaud DS, De Vivo I. Hormonal and reproductive factors and the risk of bladder cancer in women. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Feb 1;163(3):236-44. Epub 2005 Nov 30. [abstract]

Huggins GS, Wong JY, Hankinson SE, De Vivo I. Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 1;66(3):1384-90. GATA5 activation of the progesterone receptor gene promoter in breast cancer cells is influenced by the +331G/A polymorphism. [abstract]

Han J, Hankinson SE, De Vivo I. Polymorphisms in O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase and endometrial cancer risk. Cancinogenesis. 2006 June 15; [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 16777993 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]