Helena Furberg, MSPH & PhD

Assistant Attending Epidemiologist

Helena Furberg, MSPH & PhD

Assistant Attending Epidemiologist

Office Phone

646-888-8246

E-mail

furberga@mskcc.org

Current Research Interests

Dr. Furberg is a molecular epidemiologist conducting research to identify factors associated genitourinary cancer etiology and prognosis, and genetic factors associated with smoking behavior. She has led the two largest genetic investigations of smoking behavior among European and African ancestry individuals, both of which identified a region on chromosome 15 significantly associated with how much a person smokes per day. She is Co-PI of the MSKCC Urothelial Cancer Registry and an active member of the International Consortium for Bladder Cancer, which seeks to identify new genetic loci associated with bladder cancer etiology and prognosis. Together with clinical colleagues at MSKCC and at Weill-Cornell, she investigates the impact of smoking on bladder cancer prognosis and the accuracy of self-reported smoking among bladder cancer patients. Dr. Furberg has recently developed collaborations with investigators from the MSKCC Kidney Service to evaluate how risk factors for renal cell carcinoma perform as prognostic factors, and whether they are associated with specific mutational profiles of prognostic significance utilizing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas.

Education

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Publications

Rink M,Furberg H, Zabor EC, Xylinas E, Babjuk M, Pycha A, Lotan Y, Karakiewicz PI, Novara G, Robinson BD, Montorsi F, Chun FK, Scherr DS, Shariat S. Impact of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Oncologic Outcomes in Primary Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer. Eur Urol. 2013 Apr;63(4):724-32.

Ehdaie B, Furberg H, Zabor E, Ostroff J, Shariat S, Bochner B, Coleman J, Dalbagni G. The Impact of Smoking Status at Diagnosis on Disease Recurrence and Death in Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma. BJUI 2012 [In Press]

David SP, Hamidovic A, Chen GK, Bergen AW,  Wessel J, Kasberger JL, Brown WM, Petruzella S, Thacker EL, Kim Y, Nalls MA, Tranah GJ, Sung YJ, Ambrosone CB, Arnett D, Bandera EV, Becker DM, Becker L, Berndt SI, Bernstein L, Blot WJ, Broeckel U, Buxbaum SG, Caporaso N, Casey G, Chanock SJ, Deming SL, Diver WR, Eaton CB, Evans DS, Evans MK, Fornage M, Franceschini N, Harris TB, Henderson BE, Hernandez DG, Hitsman B, Hu JJ, Hunt SC, Ingles SA, John EM, Kittles R, Kolb S, Kolonel LN, Le Marchand L, Liu Y, Lohman KK, McKnight B, Millikan RC, Murphy A, Neslund-Dudas C,  Nyante S, Press M, Psaty BM, Rao DC, Redline S, Rodriguez-Gil JL, Rybicki BA, Signorello LB, Singleton AB, Smoller J, Snively B, Spring B, Stanford JL, Strom SS, Swan GE, Taylor KD, Thun MJ, Wilson AF,  Witte JS, Yamamura Y, Yanek LR, Yu K, Zheng W, Ziegler RG, Zonderman AB, Jorgenson E, Haiman CA and Furberg H. Genome-wide meta-analyses of smoking behaviors in African Americans. Transl Psychiatry. 2012 May 22;2:e119.

Furberg H, Kim Y, Dackor J, Boerwinkle E, Franceschini N, Ardissino D, Bernardinelli L, Mannucci PL, Mauri F, Merlini PA, Absher D, Assimes TL, Fortmann SP, Iribarren C, Knowles JW, Quertermous T, Ferrucci L, Tanaka T, Bis JC, Furberg CD, Haritunians T, McKnight B, Psaty BM, Taylor KD, Thacker EL, Almgren P, Groop L, Ladenvall C, Boehnke M, Jackson AU, Mohlke KL, Stringham HM, Tuomilehto J, Benjamin EJ, Hwang SJ, Levy D, Preis SR, Vasan RS, Duan J, Gejman PV, Levinson DF, Sanders AR, Shi J, Lips EH, McKay JD, Agudo A, Barzan L, Bencko V, Benhamou S, Castellsague X, Canova C, Conway DI, Fabianova E, Foretova L, Janout V, Healy CM, Holcátová I, Kjaerheim K, Lagiou P, Lissowska J, Lowry R, Macfarlane TV, Mates D, Richiardi L, Rudnai P, Szeszenia-Dabrowska N, Zaridze D, Znaor A, Lathrop M, Brennan P, Bandinelli S, Frayling TM, Guralnik JM, Milaneschi Y, Perry JR, Altshuler D, Elosua R, Kathiresan S, Lucas G, Melander O, O’Donnell CJ, Salomaa V, Schwartz SM, Voight BF, Penninx BW, Smit JH, Vogelzangs N, Boomsma DI, de Geus EJ, Vink JM, Willemsen G, Chanock SJ, Gu F, Hankinson SE, Hunter DJ, Hofman A, Tiemeier H, Uitterlinden AG, van Duijn CM, Walter S, Chasman DI, Everett BM, Paré G, Ridker PM, Li MD, Maes HH, Audrain-McGovern J, Posthuma D, Thornton LM, Lerman C, Kaprio J, Rose JE, Ioannidis JP, Kraft P, Lin DY, Sullivan PF. Genome-wide meta-analyses identify multiple loci associated with smoking behavior. Nature Genetics 2010 May; 43(5):441-7.

Furberg H, Ostroff J, Lerman C, Sullivan PF. Public health utility of genome-wide association study results for smoking behavior. Genome Medicine 2010 April27; 2(4):26.

Read more

  1. Rink M, Furberg H, Zabor EC, Xylinas E, Babjuk M, Pycha A, Lotan Y, Karakiewicz PI, Novara G, Robinson BD, Montorsi F, Chun FK, Scherr DS, Shariat S. Impact of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Oncologic Outcomes in Primary Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer. Eur Urol. 2013 Apr;63(4):724-32.

  2. Dale AM, …Furberg H… All SNPs are not created equal: Genome-wide association studies reveal a consistent pattern of enrichment among functionally annotated SNPs. PLOS Genetics 2013 [In Press]

  3. Ehdaie B, Furberg H, Zabor E, Ostroff J, Shariat S, Bochner B, Coleman J, Dalbagni G. The Impact of Smoking Status at Diagnosis on Disease Recurrence and Death in Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma. BJUI 2012 [In Press].

  4. Rink M, Xylinas E, Margulis V, Cha EK, Ehdaie B, Raman JD, Chun FK, Matsumoto K, Lotan Y, Furberg H, Babjuk M, Pycha A, Wood CG, Karakiewicz PI, Fisch M, Scherr DS, Shariat SF; for the Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma Collaboration. Impact of Smoking on Oncologic Outcomes of Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma After Radical Nephroureterectomy. European Urology, 2012 [In Press]

  5. Zabor EC, Li Y, Thornton LM, Shuman MR, Bulik CM, Lichtenstein P, Pedersen NL, Sullivan PF, and Furberg H. Initial reactions to tobacco use and risk of future regular use. Nicotine Tob Res 2013 Feb;15(2):509-17

  6. Rink M, Zabor EC, Furberg H, Xylinas E, Ehdaie B, Novara G, Babjuk M, Pycha A, Lotan Y, Trinh QD, Chun FK, Lee RK, Karakiewicz PI, Fisch M, Robinson BD, Scherr DS, Shariat SF. Impact of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Outcomes in Bladder Cancer Patients Treated with Radical Cystectomy. Eur Urol. 2012 Nov 27. pii: S0302-2838(12)01414-5.

  7. David SP, Hamidovic A, Chen GK, Bergen AW,  Wessel J, Kasberger JL, Brown WM, Petruzella S, Thacker EL, Kim Y, Nalls MA, Tranah GJ, Sung YJ, Ambrosone CB, Arnett D, Bandera EV, Becker DM, Becker L, Berndt SI, Bernstein L, Blot WJ, Broeckel U, Buxbaum SG, Caporaso N, Casey G, Chanock SJ, Deming SL, Diver WR, Eaton CB, Evans DS, Evans MK, Fornage M, Franceschini N, Harris TB, Henderson BE, Hernandez DG, Hitsman B, Hu JJ, Hunt SC, Ingles SA, John EM, Kittles R, Kolb S, Kolonel LN, Le Marchand L, Liu Y, Lohman KK, McKnight B, Millikan RC, Murphy A, Neslund-Dudas C,  Nyante S, Press M, Psaty BM, Rao DC, Redline S, Rodriguez-Gil JL, Rybicki BA, Signorello LB, Singleton AB, Smoller J, Snively B, Spring B, Stanford JL, Strom SS, Swan GE, Taylor KD, Thun MJ, Wilson AF,  Witte JS, Yamamura Y, Yanek LR, Yu K, Zheng W, Ziegler RG, Zonderman AB, Jorgenson E, Haiman CA and Furberg H. Genome-wide meta-analyses of smoking behaviors in African Americans. Transl Psychiatry. 2012 May 22;2:e119.

  8. Chen L-S, Saccone NL, Culverhouse RC, Bracci PM, Chen C-H, Dueker N,  Han Y, Huang H, Jin G, Kohno T, Ma JZ, Przybeck TR, Sanders AR, Smith JA, Sung YJ, Wenzlaff AS, Wu C, Yoon D, Bergen AW, Chen Y-T, Cheng Y-C, Cho YS, David SP, Duan J, Eaton C, Furberg H, Goate AM, Gu D, Hansen HM, Hartz S, Hu Z, Kim YJ , Kittner SJ, Levinson DF, Mosley TH, Payne TJ, Rao DC, Rice JP, TK, Schwantes-An T-H, Shete SS, Shi J, Spitz MR, Sun YV, Tsai F-J, Wang JC, Wrensch MR, Xian H, Gejman PV, He J, Hunt SC, Kardia SL, Li MD, Lin D, Mitchell BD, Park T, Schwartz AG, Shen H, Wiencke JK, Wu J-Y, Yokota J, Amos CI, Bierut LJ. Smoking and Genetic Risk Variation across Populations of European, Asian, and African-American Ancestry - A Meta-analysis of Chromosome 15q25. Genet Epidemiol. 2012 May;36(4):340-51.

  9. Hartz SM, Short SE, Saccone NL, Culverhouse R, Chen L, Schwantes-An TH, Coon H, Han Y, Stephens SH, Sun J, Chen X, Ducci F, Dueker N, Franceschini N, Frank J, Geller F, Gubjartsson D, Hansel NN, Jiang C, Keskitalo-Vuokko K, Liu Z, Lyytikäinen LP, Michel M, Rawal R, Rosenberger A, Scheet P, Shaffer JR, Teumer A, Thompson JR, Vink JM, Vogelzangs N, Wenzlaff AS, Wheeler W, Xiao X, Yang BZ, Aggen SH, Balmforth AJ, Baumeister SE, Beaty T, Bennett S, Bergen AW, Boyd HA, Broms U, Campbell H, Chatterjee N, Chen J, Cheng YC, Cichon S, Couper D, Cucca F, Dick DM, Foroud T, Furberg H, Giegling I, Gu F, Hall AS, Hällfors J, Han S, Hartmann AM, Hayward C, Heikkilä K, Hewitt JK, Hottenga JJ, Jensen MK, Jousilahti P, Kaakinen M, Kittner SJ, Konte B, Korhonen T, Landi MT, Laatikainen T, Leppert  M, Levy SM, Mathias RA, McNeil DW, Medland SE, Montgomery GW, Muley T, Murray T, Nauck M, North K, Pergadia M, Polasek O, Ramos EM, Ripatti S, Risch A, Ruczinski  I, Rudan I, Salomaa V, Schlessinger D, Styrkársdóttir U, Terracciano A, Uda M, Willemsen G, Wu X, Abecasis G, Barnes K, Bickeböller H, Boerwinkle E, Boomsma DI, Caporaso N, Duan J, Edenberg HJ, Francks C, Gejman PV, Gelernter J, Grabe HJ, Hops H, Jarvelin MR, Viikari J, Kähönen M, Kendler KS, Lehtimäki T, Levinson DF,  Marazita ML, Marchini J, Melbye M, Mitchell BD, Murray JC, Nöthen MM, Penninx BW, Raitakari O, Rietschel M, Rujescu D, Samani NJ, Sanders AR, Schwartz AG, Shete S, Shi J, Spitz M, Stefansson K, Swan GE, Thorgeirsson T, Völzke H, Wei Q, Wichmann  HE, Amos CI, Breslau N, Cannon DS, Ehringer M, Grucza R, Hatsukami D, Heath A, Johnson EO, Kaprio J, Madden P, Martin NG, Stevens VL, Stitzel JA, Weiss RB, Kraft P, Bierut LJ. Increased Genetic Vulnerability to Smoking at CHRNA5 in Early-Onset Smokers. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012 Aug 1;69(8):854-60.

  10. Dansie EJ, Heppner P, Furberg H, Goldberg J, Buchwald D, Afari N. The Comorbidity of Self-Reported Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Symptoms. Psychosomatics 2012. [In Press]

  11. Dansie EJ, Furberg H, Afari N, Buchwald D, Edwards K, Goldberg J, Schur E, Sullivan PF. Conditions comorbid with chronic fatigue in a population-based sample. Psychosomatics 2012 Jan;53(1):44-50.

  12. Furberg H, Ostroff J, Lerman C, Sullivan PF. Public health utility of genome-wide association study results for smoking behavior. Genome Medicine 2010 April27; 2(4):26 [Epub ahead of print].

  13. Furberg H, Kim Y, Dackor J, Boerwinkle E, Franceschini N, Ardissino D, Bernardinelli L, Mannucci PL, Mauri F, Merlini PA, Absher D, Assimes TL, Fortmann SP, Iribarren C, Knowles JW, Quertermous T, Ferrucci L, Tanaka T, Bis JC, Furberg CD, Haritunians T, McKnight B, Psaty BM, Taylor KD, Thacker EL, Almgren P, Groop L, Ladenvall C, Boehnke M, Jackson AU, Mohlke KL, Stringham HM, Tuomilehto J, Benjamin EJ, Hwang SJ, Levy D, Preis SR, Vasan RS, Duan J, Gejman PV, Levinson DF, Sanders AR, Shi J, Lips EH, McKay JD, Agudo A, Barzan L, Bencko V, Benhamou S, Castellsague X, Canova C, Conway DI, Fabianova E, Foretova L, Janout V, Healy CM, Holcátová I, Kjaerheim K, Lagiou P, Lissowska J, Lowry R, Macfarlane TV, Mates D, Richiardi L, Rudnai P, Szeszenia-Dabrowska N, Zaridze D, Znaor A, Lathrop M, Brennan P, Bandinelli S, Frayling TM, Guralnik JM, Milaneschi Y, Perry JR, Altshuler D, Elosua R, Kathiresan S, Lucas G, Melander O, O’Donnell CJ, Salomaa V, Schwartz SM, Voight BF, Penninx BW, Smit JH, Vogelzangs N, Boomsma DI, de Geus EJ, Vink JM, Willemsen G, Chanock SJ, Gu F, Hankinson SE, Hunter DJ, Hofman A, Tiemeier H, Uitterlinden AG, van Duijn CM, Walter S, Chasman DI, Everett BM, Paré G, Ridker PM, Li MD, Maes HH, Audrain-McGovern J, Posthuma D, Thornton LM, Lerman C, Kaprio J, Rose JE, Ioannidis JP, Kraft P, Lin DY, Sullivan PF. Genome-wide meta-analyses identify multiple loci associated with smoking behavior. Nature Genetics 2010 May; 43(5):441-7. Epub 2010 Apr 25.

  14. Ambrosone C, Bovbjerg D, Britton J, Furberg H, JandorfL, Godbold J. Conducting molecular epidemiological research in the age of HIPAA: A multi-institutional case-control study of breast cancer in African-American and European-American women. Journal of Oncology 2009; 2009:871250. Epub 2009 Oct 25.

  15. Khoury MJ, Bertram L, Boffetta P, Butterworth AS, Chanock SJ, Dolan SM, Fortier I, Garcia-Closas M, Gwinn M, Higgins JP, Janssens AC, Ostell J, Owen RP, Pagon RA, Rebbeck TR, Rothman N, Bernstein JL, Burton PR, Campbell H, Chockalingam A, Furberg H, Little J, O’Brien TR, Seminara D, Vineis P; Winn DM, Yu W, Joannidis JP. Genome-wide association studies, field synopses, and the development of the knowledge base on genetic variation and human diseases. American Journal of Epidemiology 2009 Aug 1; 170(3):269-79.

  16. Furberg H, Lichtenstein P, Pedersen NL, Thornton LT, Bulik CM, Lerman C, Sullivan PF. The STAGE Cohort: A prospective study of tobacco use among Swedish twins. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2008 Dec; 10(12):1727-35.”

  17. Konneker T, Barnes T, Furberg H, Losh M, Bulik CM, Sullivan PF. A searchable database of genetic evidence for psychiatric disorders. American Journal of Medical Genetics Neuropsychiatric Genetics 2008 147B(6):671-5.

  18. Fagerstrom K, Furberg H. Smoking prevalence and nicotine dependence scores across countries. Addiction 2008 May; 103(5):841-5.

  19. Foulds J, Furberg H. Is low-nicotine Marlboro snus really snus? Harm Reduction Journal 2008 Feb 27; 5:9.

  20. Furberg H, Bulik CM, Lerman C, Lichtenstein P, Pedersen NL, Sullivan PF. Snus use and other correlates of smoking cessation in the Swedish Twin Registry. Psychological Medicine 2008 September; 38 (9):1129-1134.”

  21. Sullivan PF, Kuo P-H, Webb BT, Neale MC, Vittum J, Furberg H, Walsh D, Patterson DG, Riley B, Prescott CA, Kendler KS. Genome-wide linkage survey of nicotine dependence phenotypes. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2008 Mar 1; 93(3):210-6.

  22. Schur EA, Afari N, Furberg H, Olarte M, Goldberg J, Sullivan PF, Buchwald D. Feeling bad in more ways than one: comorbidity patterns of medically unexplained and psychiatric conditions. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2007 Jun; 22(6):818-21.

  23. Furberg H, Lichtenstein P, Pedersen N, Bulik C, Sullivan PF. Cigarettes and oral snuff use in Sweden: Prevalence and transitions. Addiction 2006 Oct; 101(10):1509-15.

  24. Bulik, CM, Sullivan, PF, Tozzi, F, Furberg H, Lichtenstein, P, Pedersen, NL. Prevalence, heritability and prospective risk factors for anorexia nervosa. Archives of General Psychology 2006 Mar; 63(3):305-12.

  25. Furberg H, Lerman C, Lichtenstein P, Pedersen N, Bulik C, Sullivan PF. Is Swedish snus associated with smoking initiation or smoking cessation? Tobacco Control 2005 Dec; 14(6):422-4.

  26. Furberg H, Olarte M, Afari N, Goldberg J, Buchwald D, Sullivan PF. The epidemiology of chronic fatigue in a US twin registry. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2005 Nov; 59(5):283-290.

  27. Furberg H, Sullivan PF, Maes H, Prescott C, Lerman C, Bulik C, Kendler K. The types of regular cigarette smokers: A Latent Class Analysis. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2005 Jun; 7(3):351-60.

  28. Ambrosone CB, Ahn J, Singh KK, Rezaishiraz H, Furberg H, Sweeney C, Coles B, Trovato A. Polymorphisms in genes related to oxidative stress (MPO, MnSOD, CAT) and survival after treatment for breast cancer. Cancer Research 2005 Feb 1; 65(3):1105-11.

  29. McCullough K, Carter-Edwards L, Hoyo C, Akbar J, Cleveland RJ, Oates V, Jackson E, Furberg H, Gammon MD. Perceptions of participation in an observational epidemiology study of cancer among African Americans. Ethnicity and Disease 2005 Winter; 15(1):68-75.

  30. McCullough K, Carter-Edwards L, Hoyo C, Akbar J, Cleveland RJ, Oates V, Jackson E, Furberg H, Gammon MD. For the patient. Recruitment strategies for cancer research studies. Ethnicity and Disease 2005 Winter; 15(1):151.”

  31. Ambrosone CB, JandorfL, Furberg H, Britton JA, Bovbjerg DH, Erwin DO. Re: Population- and Community-based recruitment of African-Americans and Latinos: The San Francisco Bay Area Lung Cancer Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 2004 Mar 15; 159(6):620.

  32. Furberg H, Millikan RC, Geradts J, Gammon MD, Dressler LG, Ambrosone CB, Newman B. Hormone-related factors in relation to breast cancer characterized by p53 protein expression. Cancer Causes and Control 2003; 14(7):609-618.

  33. Ambrosone CB, Moysich KB, Furberg H, Freudenheim JL, Bowman ED, Ahmed S, Graham S, Vena JE, Shields PG. CYP17 genetic polymorphism, breast cancer and breast cancer risk factors. Breast Cancer Research. 2003; 5(2):R45-51.

  34. Furberg H, Millikan RC, Geradts J, Gammon MD, Dressler LG, Ambrosone CB, Newman B. Environmental factors in relation to breast cancer characterized by p53 protein expression. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 2002; 11(9):829-835.

  35. Furberg AH, Ambrosone CB. Molecular epidemiology, biomarkers and cancer prevention. Trends in Molecular Medicine 2001; 7(11):517-521.

  36. Furberg H, Millikan R, Newman B, Dressler L, Geradts J. Pathologic features of breast cancer by race and age. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2001; 68:33-43.

  37. Furberg H, Newman B, Moorman P, Millikan R. Lactation and breast cancer risk. International Journal of Epidemiology 1999; 28:396-402.

Book Chapter


  1. Ambrosone CB, Moysich KM, Furberg H. Breast Cancer. In: Cancer Risks and Biomarkers. Shields PG, ed. Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York 2002.