University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Joseph L. Wiemels, PhD

Joseph L. Wiemels, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Neurologic Oncology | Pediatric Malignancies

Research Summary

I am a trained molecular epidemiologist with a strong focus on immunologic and genetic approaches at understanding disease etiology, particularly in childhood immune development and leukemia. I currently hold a primary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, with a secondary appointment in Neurological Surgery, and am the co-President of the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium. This combination of expertise makes me well suited to serve as a HDFCCC Member in the Programs of Pediatric Malignancies and Neurological Oncology. I have worked on cancer etiology for more than 18 years for both hematologic cancers and brain cancers. Discovering the etiology and preventive modalities for cancer, particularly brain and hematologic ones in both children and adults, is my life’s work.

Education

Kenyon College, BA, 1988, Biology
University of California Berkeley, PhD, 1997, Environmental Health Science/Toxicology


Professional Experience

  • 1988-90
    Science Teacher, St. Johns College, Levuka, Fiji
  • 1992-97
    Graduate Student Researcher, University of California Berkeley
  • 1997-99
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Leukaemia Research Fund Centre, Institute of Cancer Research, London
  • 1999-2000
    Assistant Research Molecular Epidemiologist, University of California San Francisco
  • 2001-2002
    Assistant Adjunct Professor, University of California San Francisco
  • 2002-2006
    Assistant Professor in Residence, University of California San Francisco
  • 2006-present
    Associate Professor, University of California San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1986
    Maxwell Elliot Power Prize, Kenyon College
  • 1988
    Phi Beta Kappa, Kenyon College
  • 1993
    Public Health Alumni Scholarship, University of California Berkeley
  • 1993
    National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship in Toxicology awarded
  • 1993-97
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California Berkeley
  • 2002
    Scholar, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America

Selected Publications

  1. Takahashi H, Cornish AJ, Sud A, Law PJ, Disney-Hogg L, Calvocoressi L, Lu L, Hansen HM, Smirnov I, Walsh KM, Schramm J, Hoffmann P, Nöthen MM, Jöckel KH, Schildkraut JM, Simon M, Bondy M, Wrensch M, Wiemels JL, Claus EB, Turnbull C, Houlston RS. Mendelian randomization provides support for obesity as a risk factor for meningioma. Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 22; 9(1):309.
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  2. Eckel-Passow JE, Decker PA, Kosel ML, Kollmeyer TM, Molinaro AM, Rice T, Caron A, Drucker KL, Praska C, Pekmezci M, Hansen HM, McCoy LS, Bracci PM, Erickson BJ, Lucchinetti C, Wiemels J, Wiencke JK, Bondy ML, Melin B, Burns TC, Giannini C, Lachance DH, Wrensch M, Jenkins RB. Using germline variants to estimate glioma and subtype risks. Neuro Oncol. 2019 Jan 08.
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  3. Muskens IS, Wu AH, Porcel J, Cheng I, Le Marchand L, Wiemels JL, Setiawan VW. Body mass index, comorbidities, and hormonal factors in relation to meningioma in an ethnically diverse population: the Multiethnic Cohort. Neuro Oncol. 2019 Jan 06.
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  4. Johnson KJ, Broholm H, Scheurer ME, Lau CC, Hainfellner JA, Wiemels J, Schwartzbaum J. Advancing brain tumor epidemiology - multi-level integration and international collaboration: The 2018 Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium meeting report. Clin Neuropathol. 2018 Nov/Dec; 37(6):254-261.
    View on PubMed
  5. Claus EB, Cornish AJ, Broderick P, Schildkraut JM, Dobbins SE, Holroyd A, Calvocoressi L, Lu L, Hansen HM, Smirnov I, Walsh KM, Schramm J, Hoffmann P, Nöthen MM, Jöckel KH, Swerdlow A, Larsen SB, Johansen C, Simon M, Bondy M, Wrensch M, Houlston RS, Wiemels JL. Genome-wide association analysis identifies a meningioma risk locus at 11p15.5. Neuro Oncol. 2018 Oct 09; 20(11):1485-1493.
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  6. de Smith AJ, Walsh KM, Francis SS, Zhang C, Hansen HM, Smirnov I, Morimoto L, Whitehead TP, Kang A, Shao X, Barcellos LF, McKean-Cowdin R, Zhang L, Fu C, Wang R, Yu H, Hoh J, Dewan AT, Metayer C, Ma X, Wiemels JL. BMI1 enhancer polymorphism underlies chromosome 10p12.31 association with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Int J Cancer. 2018 Dec 01; 143(11):2647-2658.
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  7. Zhang C, Morimoto LM, de Smith AJ, Hansen HM, Gonzalez-Maya J, Endicott AA, Smirnov IV, Metayer C, Wei Q, Eward WC, Wiemels JL, Walsh KM. Genetic determinants of childhood and adult height associated with osteosarcoma risk. Cancer. 2018 Sep 15; 124(18):3742-3752.
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  8. Søegaard SH, Rostgaard K, Skogstrand K, Wiemels JL, Schmiegelow K, Hjalgrim H. Neonatal Inflammatory Markers Are Associated with Childhood B-cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Cancer Res. 2018 Sep 15; 78(18):5458-5463.
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  9. Wallace AD, Wendt GA, Barcellos LF, de Smith AJ, Walsh KM, Metayer C, Costello JF, Wiemels JL, Francis SS. To ERV Is Human: A Phenotype-Wide Scan Linking Polymorphic Human Endogenous Retrovirus-K Insertions to Complex Phenotypes. Front Genet. 2018; 9:298.
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  10. Wallace AD, Francis SS, Ma X, McKean-Cowdin R, Selvin S, Whitehead TP, Barcellos LF, Kang AY, Morimoto L, Moore TB, Wiemels JL, Metayer C. Allergies and Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Case-Control Study and Meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Oct; 27(10):1142-1150.
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  11. Zhang C, Wiemels JL, Hansen HM, Gonzalez-Maya J, Endicott AA, de Smith AJ, Smirnov IV, Witte JS, Morimoto LM, Metayer C, Walsh KM. Two HLA Class II Gene Variants Are Independently Associated with Pediatric Osteosarcoma Risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Oct; 27(10):1151-1158.
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  12. Francis SS, Wiemels JL, Yang W, Shaw GM. Herpesvirus Infection in Infants with Gastroschisis. Epidemiology. 2018 07; 29(4):571-573.
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  13. Scheurer ME, Lupo PJ, Schüz J, Spector LG, Wiemels JL, Aplenc R, Gramatges MM, Schiffman JD, Pombo-de-Oliveira MS, Yang JJ, Heck JE, Metayer C, Orjuela-Grimm MA, Bona K, Aristizabal P, Austin MT, Rabin KR, Russell HV, Poplack DG. An overview of disparities in childhood cancer: Report on the Inaugural Symposium on Childhood Cancer Health Disparities, Houston, Texas, 2016. Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2018 Mar; 35(2):95-110.
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  14. Ojha J, Dyagil I, Finch SC, Reiss RF, de Smith AJ, Gonseth S, Zhou M, Hansen HM, Sherborne AL, Nakamura J, Bracci PM, Gudzenko N, Hatch M, Babkina N, Little MP, Chumak VV, Walsh KM, Bazyka D, Wiemels JL, Zablotska LB. Genomic characterization of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in radiation-exposed Chornobyl cleanup workers. Environ Health. 2018 05 02; 17(1):43.
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  15. Morimoto LM, Zava D, McGlynn KA, Stanczyk FZ, Kang AY, Ma X, Wiemels JL, Metayer C. Neonatal Hormone Concentrations and Risk of Testicular Germ Cell Tumors (TGCT). Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Apr; 27(4):488-495.
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  16. Felix JF, Joubert BR, Baccarelli AA, Sharp GC, Almqvist C, Annesi-Maesano I, Arshad H, Baïz N, Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ, Bakulski KM, Binder EB, Bouchard L, Breton CV, Brunekreef B, Brunst KJ, Burchard EG, Bustamante M, Chatzi L, Cheng Munthe-Kaas M, Corpeleijn E, Czamara D, Dabelea D, Davey Smith G, De Boever P, Duijts L, Dwyer T, Eng C, Eskenazi B, Everson TM, Falahi F, Fallin MD, Farchi S, Fernandez MF, Gao L, Gaunt TR, Ghantous A, Gillman MW, Gonseth S, Grote V, Gruzieva O, Håberg SE, Herceg Z, Hivert MF, Holland N, Holloway JW, Hoyo C, Hu D, Huang RC, Huen K, Järvelin MR, Jima DD, Just AC, Karagas MR, Karlsson R, Karmaus W, Kechris KJ, Kere J, Kogevinas M, Koletzko B, Koppelman GH, Küpers LK, Ladd-Acosta C, Lahti J, Lambrechts N, Langie SAS, Lie RT, Liu AH, Magnus MC, Magnus P, Maguire RL, Marsit CJ, McArdle W, Melén E, Melton P, Murphy SK, Nawrot TS, Nisticò L, Nohr EA, Nordlund B, Nystad W, Oh SS, Oken E, Page CM, Perron P, Pershagen G, Pizzi C, Plusquin M, Raikkonen K, Reese SE, Reischl E, Richiardi L, Ring S, Roy RP, Rzehak P, Schoeters G, Schwartz DA, Sebert S, Snieder H, Sørensen TIA, Starling AP, Sunyer J, Taylor JA, Tiemeier H, Ullemar V, Vafeiadi M, Van Ijzendoorn MH, Vonk JM, Vriens A, Vrijheid M, Wang P, Wiemels JL, Wilcox AJ, Wright RJ, Xu CJ, Xu Z, Yang IV, Yousefi P, Zhang H, Zhang W, Zhao S, Agha G, Relton CL, Jaddoe VWV, London SJ. Cohort Profile: Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium. Int J Epidemiol. 2018 02 01; 47(1):22-23u.
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  17. Wiemels JL, Walsh KM, de Smith AJ, Metayer C, Gonseth S, Hansen HM, Francis SS, Ojha J, Smirnov I, Barcellos L, Xiao X, Morimoto L, McKean-Cowdin R, Wang R, Yu H, Hoh J, DeWan AT, Ma X. GWAS in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia reveals novel genetic associations at chromosomes 17q12 and 8q24.21. Nat Commun. 2018 01 18; 9(1):286.
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  18. Johnson KJ, Schwartzbaum J, Kruchko C, Scheurer ME, Lau CC, Woehrer A, Hainfellner JA, Wiemels J. Brain tumor epidemiology in the era of precision medicine: The 2017 Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium meeting report. Clin Neuropathol. 2017 Nov/Dec; 36(6):255-263.
    View on PubMed
  19. Sharp GC, Salas LA, Monnereau C, Allard C, Yousefi P, Everson TM, Bohlin J, Xu Z, Huang RC, Reese SE, Xu CJ, Baïz N, Hoyo C, Agha G, Roy R, Holloway JW, Ghantous A, Merid SK, Bakulski KM, Küpers LK, Zhang H, Richmond RC, Page CM, Duijts L, Lie RT, Melton PE, Vonk JM, Nohr EA, Williams-DeVane C, Huen K, Rifas-Shiman SL, Ruiz-Arenas C, Gonseth S, Rezwan FI, Herceg Z, Ekström S, Croen L, Falahi F, Perron P, Karagas MR, Quraishi BM, Suderman M, Magnus MC, Jaddoe VWV, Taylor JA, Anderson D, Zhao S, Smit HA, Josey MJ, Bradman A, Baccarelli AA, Bustamante M, Håberg SE, Pershagen G, Hertz-Picciotto I, Newschaffer C, Corpeleijn E, Bouchard L, Lawlor DA, Maguire RL, Barcellos LF, Davey Smith G, Eskenazi B, Karmaus W, Marsit CJ, Hivert MF, Snieder H, Fallin MD, Melén E, Munthe-Kaas MC, Arshad H, Wiemels JL, Annesi-Maesano I, Vrijheid M, Oken E, Holland N, Murphy SK, Sørensen TIA, Koppelman GH, Newnham JP, Wilcox AJ, Nystad W, London SJ, Felix JF, Relton CL. Maternal BMI at the start of pregnancy and offspring epigenome-wide DNA methylation: findings from the pregnancy and childhood epigenetics (PACE) consortium. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 10 15; 26(20):4067-4085.
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  20. Wallace AD, Francis SS, Shao X, de Smith AJ, Walsh KM, Mckean-Cowdin R, Ma X, Dahl G, Barcellos LF, Wiemels JL, Metayer C. A germ-line deletion of APOBEC3B does not contribute to subtype-specific childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia etiology. Haematologica. 2018 Jan; 103(1):e29-e31.
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