Jonine Lisa Bernstein, PhD MS, AB

Attending Epidemiologist; Co-Leader, Population Sciences Research Program

Jonine Bernstein

Office Phone



Yale, University of So California, Brown

Current Research Interests

Dr. Bernstein is the PI of the WECARE Study (Women’s Environmental, Cancer, and Radiation Epidemiology) which examines genetic susceptibility and risk of contralateral breast cancer, especially relating to treatment. Current investigations involving this resource include studies of the role mutations in candidate genes, including ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, Palb2, Chek2, 53BPI, MDC1, Rad50, and MRN genes, DNA repair pathways, and across the genome. Also within the WECARE Study, Dr. Bernstein is examining whether mammographic density is an important risk factor for contralateral breast cancer and she is currently leading an investigation focused on non-cancer outcomes following treatment for breast cancer. Across all endeavors, the WECARE Study involves collaboration from over 75 investigators from over 25 different institutions in the US, Canada, Denmark, the UK, Norway, and Sweden. The WECARE Study population includes 1500 women with contralateral breast cancer who serve as cases and 2200 women with unilateral breast cancer matched to the cases.  All participants answered detailed questionnaires, provided biospecimens and medical records, and for those women treated with radiation, detailed location-specific dose estimates were calculated.  Dr. Bernstein and colleagues plan to expand the WECARE Study to collect tissue for molecular characterization studies and advance current work in whole exome and whole genome sequencing. Lastly, Dr. Bernstein with Drs. Malcolm Pike, Elizabeth Morris, Janice Sung and others, are leading the tri-institutional IMAGINE (for IMAGINg and Epidemiology)  Study examining background parenchymal enhancement as seen on MRI as a biomarker of breast cancer risk.  In addition, Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Sara Olson are collaborating with investigators from 15 institutions on the international NIH-funded, multi-center GLIOGENE (Genetic Epidemiology of Glioma) Study characterizing genes in familial and sporadic glioma cases. Dr. Bernstein continues to serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (in Hiroshima). She is Past President of the American College of Epidemiology (presidential term 2015-2016) and she continues to serve as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology (NCI), the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. EPA Radiation Advisory Committee, and the Board and Council of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement. Dr. Bernstein serves on the Program Committee of the Radiation Research Society. At MSK, she serves as Leader of the Population Science Research Program.


Selected peer-reviewed publications:

  1. Robson M, Reiner AS, Brooks JD, Concannon P, John EM, Mellemkjaer L, Bernstein L, Malone KE, Knight JA, Lynch CF, Woods M, Liang X, Haile RW, Duggan D, Shore RE, Smith SA, Thomas DC, Stram DO; WECARE Study Collaborative Group, Bernstein JL. Association of Common Genetic Variants with Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk in the WECARE Study. J Natl Cancer Inst.2017 Apr; 109(10). PMID: 28521362.

  2. Reiner AS, John E, Brooks JD, Lynch CF, Bernstein L, Mellemkjær L, Malone KE, Knight JA, Capanu M, Teraoka SN, Concannon P, Liang X, Figueiredo JC, Smith SA, Stovall M, Pike MC, Haile RW, Thomas DC, Begg CB; The WECARE Study Collaborative Group , Bernstein JL. Risk of asynchronous contralateral breast cancer in non-carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations with a family history of breast cancer: A report from the WECARE Study. J Clin Oncol 2013; 31(4):433-9. PMCID: PMC3731919.

  3. Malone KE, Begg CB, Haile RW, Borg A, Concannon P, Tellhed L, Xue S, Teraoka S, Bernstein L, Capanu M, Reiner AS, Riedel ER, Thomas DC, Mellemkjaer L, Lynch CF, Boice JD Jr, Anton-Culver H, Bernstein JL. Population-based study of the risk of second primary contralateral breast cancer associated with carrying a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. J Clin Oncol 2010; 28(14):2404-2410. PMCID: PMC2881721.

  4. Bernstein JL, Haile RW, Stovall M, Boice JD Jr, Shore RE, Langholz B, Thomas DC, Bernstein L, Lynch CF, Olsen JH, Malone KE, Mellemkjaer L, Borresen-Dale AL, Rosenstein BS, Teraoka SN, Diep AT, Smith SA, Capanu M, Reiner AS, Liang X, Gatti RA, Concannon P; The WECARE Study Collaborative Group. Radiation exposure, the ATM Gene, and contralateral breast cancer in the women’s environmental cancer and radiation epidemiology study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2010; 102(7):475-483. PMCID: PMC2902825.

  5. Bernstein JL, Concannon P, Langholz B, Thompson WD, Bernstein L, Stovall M, Thomas DC; WECARE Study Collaborative Group. Multi-center screening of mutations in the ATM gene among women with breast cancer—the WECARE Study. Radiat Res 2005; 163:698-699. PMID: 16044499.

For a complete list of publications: