Professor

Immaculata De Vivo

Professor in the Department of Epidemiology

Epidemiology

nhidv@channing.harvard.edu

Other Positions

Professor of Medicine

Medicine

Brigham and Women's Hospital


Overview

My research focus is to understand mechanisms of carcinogenesis and to establish association with disease for future prevention. My research base is the Nurses’ Health Study, where 33,000 germline DNA samples are available for determining inherited genetic susceptibility to cancer and other chronic diseases. I have introduced modern high-throughput genotyping methods in order to build the capacity to handle larger numbers of samples per day, implemented standard molecular biological techniques, such as cloning, RT-PCR, Western blotting, and assays to assess transcriptional effects and more recently whole genome amplification technique that will provide sufficiently robust amplification of limiting samples of genomic DNA that can be used for a variety of applications and statistically inferring population haplotypes. Some of my current projects include studying polymorphisms in hormone-metabolizing genes in endometrial and breast cancer. Findings from these studies have led to domestic collaborations with human geneticists Dr. David Housman at MIT, Dr. Cynthia Morton at BWH, clinicians, Dr. Daniel Cramer at BWH, George Mutter at HMS; and two international collaborations, Dr. Hans Olov-Adami at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and Dr. Georgia Chenevix-Trench at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia.

Following my findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in 2002, that a variation in the promoter region of the human progesterone receptor (hPR) gene increases the risk of endometrial cancer, subsequent studies in my laboratory have found this same association with other types of hormone-related cancers, such as breast cancer. These risks are often modified by environmental factors such as obesity.

I am the primary instructor for Epi249a, “Molecular Biology for Epidemiologists,” a graduate-level course (approx. 30 students) that teaches the fundamental concepts of molecular biology. I assist in the direction of the Molecular Epidemiology laboratory at the Harvard School of Public Health (I supervise a laboratory manager and 3 research assistants) and direct my molecular biology laboratory housed in the ERBC at 221 Longwood Ave (research assistant, doctoral student and a masters student). I mentor 12 students (masters, doctoral and postdoctoral) and fellows on their research projects at Channing Laboratory and at the Harvard School of Public Health.


Bibliography

Pregnancy outcomes and risk of endometrial cancer: A pooled analysis of individual participant data in the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium.

Jordan SJ, Na R, Weiderpass E, Adami HO, Anderson KE, van den Brandt PA, Brinton LA, Chen C, Cook LS, Doherty JA, Du M, Friedenreich CM, Gierach GL, Goodman MT, Krogh V, Levi F, Lu L, Miller AB, McCann SE, Moysich KB, Negri E, Olson SH, Petruzella S, Palmer JR, Parazzini F, Pike MC, Prizment AE, Rebbeck TR, Reynolds P, Ricceri F, Risch HA, Rohan TE, Sacerdote C, Schouten LJ, Serraino D, Setiawan VW, Shu XO, Sponholtz TR, Spurdle AB, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ, Trabert B, Wentzensen N, Wilkens LR, Wise LA, Yu H, La Vecchia C, De Vivo I, Xu W, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Webb PM.

Int J Cancer. 2021 May 01. 148(9):2068-2078. PMID: 33105052

Cross-Cancer Genome-Wide Association Study of Endometrial Cancer and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Identifies Genetic Risk Regions Associated with Risk of Both Cancers.

Glubb DM, Thompson DJ, Aben KKH, Alsulimani A, Amant F, Annibali D, Attia J, Barricarte A, Beckmann MW, Berchuck A, Bermisheva M, Bernardini MQ, Bischof K, Bjorge L, Bodelon C, Brand AH, Brenton JD, Brinton LA, Bruinsma F, Buchanan DD, Burghaus S, Butzow R, Cai H, Carney ME, Chanock SJ, Chen C, Chen XQ, Chen Z, Cook LS, Cunningham JM, De Vivo I, deFazio A, Doherty JA, Dörk T, du Bois A, Dunning AM, Dürst M, Edwards T, Edwards RP, Ekici AB, Ewing A, Fasching PA, Ferguson S, Flanagan JM, Fostira F, Fountzilas G, Friedenreich CM, Gao B, Gaudet MM, Gawelko J, Gentry-Maharaj A, Giles GG, Glasspool R, Goodman MT, Gronwald J, Harris HR, Harter P, Hein A, Heitz F, Hildebrandt MAT, Hillemanns P, Høgdall E, Høgdall CK, Holliday EG, Huntsman DG, Huzarski T, Jakubowska A, Jensen A, Jones ME, Karlan BY, Karnezis A, Kelley JL, Khusnutdinova E, Killeen JL, Kjaer SK, Klapdor R, Köbel M, Konopka B, Konstantopoulou I, Kopperud RK, Koti M, Kraft P, Kupryjanczyk J, Lambrechts D, Larson MC, Le Marchand L, Lele S, Lester J, Li AJ, Liang D, Liebrich C, Lipworth L, Lissowska J, Lu L, Lu KH, Macciotta A, Mattiello A, May T, McAlpine JN, McGuire V, McNeish IA, Menon U, Modugno F, Moysich KB, Nevanlinna H, Odunsi K, Olsson H, Orsulic S, Osorio A, Palli D, Park-Simon TW, Pearce CL, Pejovic T, Permuth JB, Podgorska A, Ramus SJ, Rebbeck TR, Riggan MJ, Risch HA, Rothstein JH, Runnebaum IB, Scott RJ, Sellers TA, Senz J, Setiawan VW, Siddiqui N, Sieh W, Spiewankiewicz B, Sutphen R, Swerdlow AJ, Szafron LM, Teo SH, Thompson PJ, Thomsen LCV, Titus L, Tone A, Tumino R, Turman C, Vanderstichele A, Edwards DV, Vergote I, Vierkant RA, Wang Z, Wang-Gohrke S, Webb PM, White E, Whittemore AS, Winham SJ, Wu X, Wu AH, Yannoukakos D, Spurdle AB, O'Mara TA.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 Jan. 30(1):217-228. PMID: 33144283


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