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Eva S. Schernhammer, MD, DrPH

Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

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

 


eva.schernhammer@channing.harvard.edu


Research Interests

My primary research interest is in exploring the exposures that influence the circadian system in humans. I have done work on the effects of light at night on cancer risk through the melatonin pathway and demonstrated that the effects of light at night may affect not only breast cancer, but also other cancers such as colorectal cancer, generating evidence that supports a new hypothesis on the development of cancer. I have also conducted urinary melatonin measurements in the Nurses' Health Study to assess the hormone's variations according to shift work status and its association with breast cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study.

Another research focus is to examine the role of other endogenous hormones such as IGF-I and IGFBP-3, and differences with respect to functionally different polymorphisms of these genes, and risk of breast cancer. This focus reflects a broad interest in identifying and applying the use of biomarkers.

Thirdly, I am interested in the etiology and prevention of gastrointestinal tumors. Utilizing data from two large prospective cohorts I am exploring risk factors for both colorectal and pancreatic cancer and define further the chemopreventive effects of COX-2 inhibitors on cancer risk. In addition, I am also studying pathways of indicators of energy balance including IGFs with respect to colon cancer risk.

Most recently I have become interested in studying new areas including Parkinson's disease and its relation with cancer etiology, to further understand biological mechanisms in the development of cancer in humans.


Selected Publications

Schernhammer ES, Razavi P, Li TY, Qureshi AA, Han J. Rotating night shifts and risk of Skin Cancer in the Nurses' Health Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 21335547 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Thompson CA. Light at night and health: the perils of rotating shift work. Occup Environ Med. 2010 Oct 4. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 20921271 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Giovannucci E., Kawasaki T, Rosner B, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. Dietary folate, alcohol and B vitamins in relation to LINE-1 hypomethylation in colon cancer. Gut. 2010 Jun;59(6):794-9. Epub 2009 Oct 14. PMID: 19828464 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PMC2895465. [Abstract]

Schernhammer E, Haidinger G, Waldhör T, Vargas R, Vutuc C. A study of trends in beliefs and attitudes toward cancer. J Cancer Educ. 2010 Jun;25(2):211-6. PMID: 20432076 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] . [Abstract]

Bajaj A, Driver JA, Schernhammer ES. Parkinson's disease and cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Causes Control. 2010 May;21(5):697-707. Epub 2010 Jan 7. Review. PMID: 20054708 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Berrino F, Krogh V, Secreto G, Micheli A, Venturelli E, Grioni S, Sempos CT, Cavalleri A, Schünemann HJ, Strano S, Muti P. Urinary 6-Sulphatoxymelatonin levels and risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women: The ORDET cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Mar;19(3):729-37. Epub 2010 Mar 3. PMID: 20200429 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2837369. [Abstract]

Forman JP, Curhan GC, Schernhammer ES. Urinary melatonin and risk of incident hypertension among young women. J Hypertens. 2010 Mar;28(3):446-51. PMID: 20090558 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PMC2923437. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Feskanich D, Niu C, Dopfel R, Holmes MD, Hankinson SE. Dietary correlates of urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin concentrations in the Nurses' Health Study cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct;90(4):975-85. Epub 2009 Aug 12. PMID: 19675108 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PMCID: PMC2744623. Abstract

Schernhammer ES, Haidinger G, Waldhör T, Vutuc C. Attitudes about the use of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer treatment. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Oct;15(10):1115-20. PMID: 19848548 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. Abstract

Viswanathan AN, Schernhammer ES. Circulating melatonin and the risk of breast and endometrial cancer in women. Cancer Lett. 2009 Aug 18;281(1):1-7. Epub 2008 Dec 12. Review. PMID: 19070424 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2735793. Abstract

Feskanich D, Hankinson SE, Schernhammer ES. Nightshift work and fracture risk: the Nurses' Health Study. Osteoporos Int. 2009 Apr;20(4):537-42. Epub 2008 Sep 3. PMID: 18766292 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PubMed Central PMCID PMC2651998. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Hankinson SE. Urinary melatonin levels and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Jan;18(1):74-9. PMID: 19124483 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PubMed Central PMC3036562. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Giovannucci E, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. A prospective study of dietary folate and vitamin B and colon cancer according to microsatellite instability and KRAS mutational status. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Oct;17(10):2895-8. PMID: 18843035 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2741404. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Ogino S, Fuchs CS. Folate and vitamin B6 intake and risk of colon cancer in relation to p53 expression. Gastroenterology. 2008 Sep;135(3):770-80. Epub 2008 Jun 12. PMID: 18619459 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2634965. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Berrino F, Krogh V, Secreto G, Micheli A, Venturelli E, Sieri S, Sempos CT, Cavalleri A, Schünemann HJ, Strano S, Muti P. Urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels and risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008 Jun 18;100(12):898-905. Epub 2008 Jun 10. PMID: 18544743 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2630389. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Vutuc C, Waldhör T, Haidinger G. Time trends of the prevalence of asthma and allergic disease in Austrian children. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008 Mar;19(2):125-31. Epub 2007 Dec 14. PMID: 18086231 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Megdal SP, Schernhammer ES. Correlates for poor sleepers in a Los Angeles high school. Sleep Med. 2007 Dec;9(1):60-3. Epub 2007 Sep 14. PMID: 17869576 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Viswanathan AN, Hankinson SE, Schernhammer ES. Night shift work and the risk of endometrial cancer. Cancer Res. 2007 Nov 1;67(21):10618-22. PMID: 17975006 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Tworoger SS, Eliassen AH, Missmer SA, Holly JM, Pollak MN, Hankinson SE. Body shape throughout life and correlations with IGFs and GH. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2007 Sep;14(3):721-32. Erratum in: Endocr Relat Cancer. 2008 Mar;15(1):365. PMID: 17914102 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer E, Wolpin B, Rifai N, Cochrane B, Manson JA, Ma J, Giovannucci E, Thomson C, Stampfer MJ, Fuchs C. Plasma folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and homocysteine and pancreatic cancer risk in four large cohorts. Cancer Res. 2007 Jun 1;67(11):5553-60. PMID: 17545639 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Dopfel RP, Schulmeister K, Schernhammer ES. Nutritional and lifestyle correlates of the cancer-protective hormone melatonin. Cancer Detect Prev. 2007;31(2):140-8. Epub 2007 Apr 6. Review. PMID: 17418976 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Holly JM, Hunter DJ, Pollak MN, Hankinson SE. Insulin-like growth factor I, its binding proteins (IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3), and growth hormone and breast cancer risk in The Nurses' Health Study II. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2006 Jun;13(2):583-92. PMID: 16728584 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] [Abstract]

Schernhammer E, Chen H, Ritz B. Circulating melatonin levels: possible link between Parkinson's disease and cancer risk? Cancer Causes Control. 2006 May;17(4):577-82. Review. PMID: 16596313 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Tranah GJ, Giovannucci E, Chan AT, Ma J, Colditz GA, Willett WC, Fuchs CS. Cyclin D A870G polymorphism and risk of colorectal adenomas as well as colorectal cancer in the Harvard cohorts. Br J Cancer. 2006 Mar 27;94(6):928-34. PMID: 16495921 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2361367. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Kroenke C, Dowsett M, Folkerd E, Hankinson SE. Urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels and their correlations with lifestyle factors and steroid hormone levels. J Pineal Res. 2006 Mar;40(2):116-24. PMID: 16441548 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Kroenke CH, Laden F, Hankinson SE. Night work and risk of breast cancer. Epidemiology. 2006 Jan;17(1):108-11. PMID: 16357603 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Hu FB, Giovannucci E, Michaud DS, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Fuchs CS. Sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in two prospective cohorts. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Sep;14(9):2098-105. PMID: 16172216 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Megdal S, Kroenke C, Laden F, Pukkala E, Schernhammer ES. Night work and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Cancer. 2005 Sep;41(13):2023-32. Review. PMID: 16084719 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Hankinson SE. Urinary melatonin levels and breast cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Jul 20;97(14):1084-7. PMID: 16030307 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract].

Schernhammer E. Taking their own lives - - the high rate of physician suicide. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jun 16;352(24):2473-6. No abstract available. PMID: 15958803 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. Comment in: N Engl J Med. 2005 Sep 15;353(11):1184-5.

Schernhammer ES, Holly JM, Pollak MN, Hankinson SE. Circulating levels of insulin-like growth factors, their binding proteins, and breast cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Mar;14(3):699-704. PMID: 15767352 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Stevens RG, Schernhammer E. Epidemiology of urinary melatonin in women and its relation to other hormones and night work. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Feb;14(2):551; author reply 551. No abstract available. PMID: 15734989 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Comment]

Schernhammer ES, Hankinson SE, Rosner B, Kroenke C, Speizer FE, Willett WC, Colditz GA, Kawachi I. Job stress and risk of breast cancer: The Nurses' Health Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2004 Dec 1;160(11):1079-86. PMID: 15561987 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Colditz GA: Suicide rates among physicians: a quantitative and gender assessment (meta-analysis). Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Dec;161(12):2295-302. PMID: 15569903 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Rosner B, Willett WC, Laden F, Colditz GA, Hankinson SE. Epidemiology of urinary melatonin in women and its relation to other hormones and night work. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Jun;13(6):936-43. PMID: 15184249 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer E, Schulmeister K. Light at night and cancer risk. Photochem Photobiol. 2004 Apr;79(4):316-8. Review. PMID: 15137506 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer E, Schulmeister K. Melatonin and cancer risk: does light at night compromise physiologic cancer protection by lowering serum melatonin levels? Br J Cancer. 2004 Mar 8;90(5):941-3. Review. PMID: 14997186 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Kang JH, Chan AT, Colditz GA, Fuchs CS: A prospective study of aspirin use and risk of pancreatic cancer in women. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 Jan 7;96(1):22-8. PMID: 14709735 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Harvard launches a workshop series targeting the control of obesity in the US. Cancer Causes Control. 2003 Dec;14(10):1009-12. PMID: 14750541 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Hankinson SE, Hunter DJ, Blouin MJ, Pollak MN, Polymorphic variation at the 202 locus in IGFBP-3: serum levels of insulin-like growth factors, interaction with retinol, and breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2003 Oct 20;107(1):60-4. PMID: 12925957 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Laden F, Speizer FE, Willett WC, Hunter DJ, Kawachi I, Fuchs CS, Colditz GA: Night-shift work and risk of colorectal cancer in the Nurses' Health Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003 Jun 4;95(11):825-8. PMID: 12783938 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Leitzmann MF, Michaud DS, Speizer FE, Giovannucci E, Colditz GA, Fuchs CS. Cholecystectomy and the risk for developing colorectal cancer and distal colorectal adenomas. Br J Cancer. 2003 Jan 13;88(1):79-83. PMID: 12556963 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. PMCID: PMC2376770. [Abstract]

Hankinson SE, Schernhammer ES. Insulin-like growth factor and breast cancer risk: evidence from observational studies. Breast Dis. 2003;17:27-40. PMID: 15687675 [PubMed]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Dittrich C. [Epidemiological studies for evaluating the role of cyclooxygenase in chemoprevention of malignant tumors]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2003;153(5-6):104-15. Review. German. PMID: 12705063 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES. In-utero exposures and breast cancer risk: joint effect of estrogens and insulin-like growth factor? Cancer Causes Control. 2002 Aug;13(6):505-8. Review. PMID: 12195639 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Michaud DS, Leitzmann MF, Giovannucci E, Colditz GA, Fuchs CS. Gallstones, cholecystectomy, and the risk for developing pancreatic cancer. Br J Cancer. 2002 Apr 8;86(7):1081-4. PMID: 11953853 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]

Schernhammer ES, Laden F, Speizer FE, Willett WC, Hunter DJ, Kawachi I, Colditz GA. Rotating night shifts and risk of breast cancer in women participating in the Nurses' Health Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2001 Oct 17;93(20):1563-8. PMID: 11604480 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. [Abstract]