The focus of Dr. Bernstein’s research is in the area of genetic and molecular epidemiology, particularly in the etiology of breast cancer and gliomas. She is also working on projects developing and validating biomarkers of breast cancer. The overarching theme is to understand cancer risk and progression in order to identify those at highest risk because of gene carrier status, environmental exposures, or a combination of both. 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 mutations in candidate genes, including ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, Palb2, Chek2, 53BPI, MDC1, Rad50, and MRN genes, DNA repair pathways, tumor molecular biomarkers and risk of developing contralateral breast cancer. Also within the WECARE Study, Dr. Bernstein is examining whether mammographic density and other features found on the mammogram are important risk factor for contralateral breast cancer and is also currently leading an investigation focused on non-cancer outcomes following treatment for breast cancer. Lastly, with other WECARE Study investigators, she is in the field collecting the tumor tissue from the WECARE Study participants in order to examine the molecular pathoepidemiology of contralateral breast cancer. The WECARE Study is the basis for multiple current funded investigations, including using the GWAS data for a study using AI methods to identify novel genetic predisposition to radiation-associated breast cancer and one examining the genetic effects of chemotherapy and risk of contralateral breast cancer. 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 (BPE) as seen on MRI as a biomarker of breast cancer risk. Dr. Bernstein continues to work with Drs. Melissa Bondy (Stanford University) and Jason Huse (MD Anderson) to examine tumor characteristics from the NIH-funded, multi-center GLIOGENE (Genetic Epidemiology of Glioma) Study of familial and sporadic glioma cases. She serves as a member of the U.S. EPA Radiation Advisory Committee, as a Scientific Advisory Board Member for the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (in Hiroshima) and as a Council Member of the National Committee Radiation Protection and Measurement and co-Chair of the Program Area Committee1 Epidemiology working group. She is Past President of the American College of Epidemiology and a member of the American Epidemiological Society. At MSK, Dr. Bernstein is proud to serves as co-Leader for the institution-wide Population Science Research Program.
Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.
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Jonine Lisa Bernstein discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
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