The University of Massachusetts Amherst
 
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Susan Hankinson

Professor

My research addresses the role of endogenous hormones in the etiology of breast cancer in women, including determining the lifestyle and genetic factors that influence hormone levels. This focus reflects a broad interest in the application of biomarkers in epidemiologic research. Much of my research has been conducted with the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) cohorts, where I am a senior investigator. I have conducted projects to evaluate the role of endogenous hormones and nutritional factors in breast cancer etiology in postmenopausal women

Current Research
This work has helped establish circulating sex steroids and prolactin as independent predictors of risk in postmenopausal women; projects are now ongoing to evaluate if these markers can be used to improve breast cancer risk prediction models, which in turn could help guide screening and chemoprevention recommendations. I also am leading several projects assessing plasma and urinary markers that predict risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women – both to identify new biologic pathways and again to improve individual breast cancer risk prediction. Other current interests include evaluating stress markers, risk factors by breast cancer subtype, and incorporating tissue molecular characteristics into my research.

Learn more at www.umass.edu/sphhs/person/faculty/susan-e-hankinson

Academic Background

  • BS University of Southern Maine
  • MS University of Minnesota
  • MPH University of Minnesota
  • ScD Harvard University
Urinary estrogens and estrogen metabolites and subsequent risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women. Eliassen AH, Spiegelman D, Xu X, Keefer LK, Veenstra TD, Barbieri RL, Willett WC, Hankinson SE*, Ziegler RG*. Cancer Res. 2012 Feb 1;72(3):696-706. Epub 2011 Dec 5. PMID: 22144471 *Co-last authors
Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of breast cancer in the Nurses' Health Study II. Eliassen AH, Spiegelman D, Hollis BW, Horst RL, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Breast Cancer Res. 2011 May 11;13(3):R50. PMID: 21569367
A prospective study of plasma prolactin concentrations and risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer. Tworoger SS, Eliassen AH, Sluss P, Hankinson SE. J Clin Oncol. 2007 Apr 20;25(12):1482-8. Epub 2007 Mar 19. PMID: 17372279
Adult weight change and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Eliassen AH, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. JAMA. 2006 Jul 12;296(2):193-201. PMID: 16835425 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE
 
Contact Info

Epidemiology
426 Arnold House
715 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, Ma 01003-9292

(413) 577-4369
shankinson@schoolph.umass.edu

www.umass.edu/sphhs/person/faculty/susan-e-hankinson