Rebecca E. Graff, ScD

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, San Francisco, CA

Cancer Center Program Membership

Prostate Cancer

Research Summary

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Broadly speaking, my research interests reside in population-based cancer epidemiology. More specifically, my research at present focuses on: 1) discerning the shared genetic basis of seemingly distinct cancer types; 2) discerning the shared genetic basis of cancer and other chronic diseases; 3) leveraging genetic information to improve prostate-specific antigen screening; 4) determining the metabolomic basis of lethal prostate cancer; 5) examining the role of lifestyle factors in prostate cancer survivorship; and 6) examining the role of lifestyle factors in kidney cancer risk and survivorship. My work has afforded me the opportunity to gain expertise in a variety of study designs and in both established and novel analytical methods.

In addition to research, I am deeply committed to educating the next generation of scientists. As such, I co-direct Designing and Conducting Research at the School of Medicine, co-teach EPI 207 in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and mentor students working toward their Master's Degree in Clinical Research.


University of California, Berkeley, (Berkeley, CA) BA, 05/2006, Statistics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, (Boston, MA) ScD, 05/2014, Cancer Epidemiology
University of California, San Francisco, (San Francisco, CA) Postdoctoral, 09/2018, Genetic Cancer Epidemiology

Honors & Awards

  • 2006
    Phi Beta Kappa with High Distinction in General Scholarship, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2011
    Distinction in Methods on the Written Qualifying Exam, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
  • 2012
    Best of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
  • 2012
    Invited Attendee of the Society for Epidemiologic Research Student Dissertation Workshop
  • 2013
    American Association for Cancer Research Scholar-in-Training Award
  • 2015
    Invited Attendee of the American Association for Cancer Research Integrative Molecular Epidemiology Workshop
  • 2016
    Winner of the NCI's Up for a Challenge competition
  • 2017
    Selected for the NCI's Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program Research Highlights

Selected Publications

  1. Langlais CS, Graff RE, Van Blarigan EL, Kenfield SA, Neuhaus J, Tabung FK, Cowan JE, Broering JM, Carroll P, Chan JM. Postdiagnostic Inflammatory, Hyperinsulinemic, and Insulin-Resistant Diets and Lifestyles and the Risk of Prostate Cancer Progression and Mortality. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 Sep 02; 31(9):1760-1768.  View on PubMed
  2. Linda Kachuri, Rebecca E. Graff, Sonja I. Berndt, Mitchell Machiela, Neal D. Freedman, Stephen J. Chanock, John P. Shelley, Kerry Schaffer, Jonathan D. Mosley, Phyllis J. Goodman, Cathee Till, Ian Thompson, Robert J. Klein, Stephen K. Van Den Eeden, Thomas J. Hoffmann, John S. Witte. Abstract 1441: Genetic determinants of PSA levels improve prostate cancer screening. Cancer Research. 2022 Jun 15; 82(12_Supplement):1441-1441.  View on PubMed
  3. Jovia L. Nierenberg, Linda Kachuri, Taylor B. Cavazos, Rebecca E. Graff, Thomas J. Hoffmann, Jie Zhang, Stacey Alexeeff, Laurel Habel, Douglas Corley, Stephen Van Den Eeden, Elad Ziv, Lori C. Sakoda, John S. Witte. Abstract 1446: Genetic risk factors for the development of multiple primary cancers. Cancer Research. 2022 Jun 15; 82(12_Supplement):1446-1446.  View on PubMed
  4. Graff RE, Wilson KM, Sanchez A, Chang SL, McDermott DF, Choueiri TK, Cho E, Signoretti S, Giovannucci EL, Preston MA. Obesity in Relation to Renal Cell Carcinoma Incidence and Survival in Three Prospective Studies. Eur Urol. 2022 Sep; 82(3):247-251.  View on PubMed
  5. FANXIU XIONG, JINGXUAN WANG, JOVIA L. NIERENBERG, GABRIELA SCHMAJUK, REBECCA E. GRAFF. 1072-P: Diabetes Mellitus and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Large-Scale, Prospective, Population-Based Cohort Study. Diabetes. 2022 Jun 1; 71(Supplement_1).  View on PubMed
  6. Hayes-Larson E, Shaw C, Ackley SF, Zimmerman SC, Glymour MM, Graff RE, Witte JS, Kobayashi LC, Mayeda ER. The Role of Dementia Diagnostic Delay in the Inverse Cancer-Dementia Association. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2022 06 01; 77(6):1254-1260.  View on PubMed
  7. Zimmerman SC, Brenowitz WD, Calmasini C, Ackley SF, Graff RE, Asiimwe SB, Staffaroni AM, Hoffmann TJ, Glymour MM. Association of Genetic Variants Linked to Late-Onset Alzheimer Disease With Cognitive Test Performance by Midlife. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 04 01; 5(4):e225491.  View on PubMed
  8. Langlais CS, Chen YH, Van Blarigan EL, Kenfield SA, Kessler ER, Daniel K, Ramsdill JW, Beer TM, Graff RE, Paich K, Chan JM, Winters-Stone KM. Quality of Life of Prostate Cancer Survivors Participating in a Remotely Delivered Web-Based Behavioral Intervention Pilot Randomized Trial. Integr Cancer Ther. 2022 Jan-Dec; 21:15347354211063500.  View on PubMed
  9. Kenfield SA, Van Blarigan EL, Panchal N, Bang A, Zhang L, Graff RE, Chen YH, Ryan CJ, Luke A, Newton RU, Tenggara I, Schultz B, Wang E, Lavaki E, Zuniga K, Pinto N, Borno H, Aggarwal R, Friedlander T, Koshkin VS, Harzstark A, Small E, Chan JM. Feasibility, safety, and acceptability of a remotely monitored exercise pilot CHAMP: A Clinical trial of High-intensity Aerobic and resistance exercise for Metastatic castrate-resistant Prostate cancer. Cancer Med. 2021 11; 10(22):8058-8070.  View on PubMed
  10. Crystal S. Langlais, Yea-Hung Chen, Kimi Daniel, Justin W. Ramsdill, Tomasz M. Beer, Erin L. Van Blarigan, Stacey A. Kenfield, Elizabeth R. Kessler, Rebecca E. Graff, Kellie Paich, June M. Chan, Kerri M. Winters-Stone. Quality Of Life Of Prostate Cancer Survivors In A Web-based Behavioral Intervention Pilot Trial. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2021 Aug 1; 53(8S):480-480.  View on PubMed
  11. Ospina-Romero M, Brenowitz WD, Glymour MM, Mayeda ER, Graff RE, Witte JS, Ackley SF, Lu KP, Kobayashi LC. The Association Between Cancer and Spousal Rate of Memory Decline: A Negative Control Study to Evaluate (Unmeasured) Social Confounding of the Cancer-memory Relationship. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2021 Jul-Sep 01; 35(3):271-274.  View on PubMed
  12. Langlais CS, Chan JM, Kenfield SA, Cowan JE, Graff RE, Broering JM, Carroll P, Van Blarigan EL. Post-diagnostic coffee and tea consumption and risk of prostate cancer progression by smoking history. Cancer Causes Control. 2021 Jun; 32(6):635-644.  View on PubMed
  13. Rebecca E. Graff, Caroline G. Tai, Linda Kachuri, John S. Witte. Methods for Association Studies. . 2021 Mar 14; 89-121.  View on PubMed
  14. Langlais CS, Graff RE, Van Blarigan EL, Palmer NR, Washington SL, Chan JM, Kenfield SA. Post-Diagnostic Dietary and Lifestyle Factors and Prostate Cancer Recurrence, Progression, and Mortality. Curr Oncol Rep. 2021 03 10; 23(3):37.  View on PubMed
  15. Graff RE, Cavazos TB, Thai KK, Kachuri L, Rashkin SR, Hoffman JD, Alexeeff SE, Blatchins M, Meyers TJ, Leong L, Tai CG, Emami NC, Corley DA, Kushi LH, Ziv E, Van Den Eeden SK, Jorgenson E, Hoffmann TJ, Habel LA, Witte JS, Sakoda LC. Cross-cancer evaluation of polygenic risk scores for 16 cancer types in two large cohorts. Nat Commun. 2021 02 12; 12(1):970.  View on PubMed
  16. Sayaman RW, Saad M, Thorsson V, Hu D, Hendrickx W, Roelands J, Porta-Pardo E, Mokrab Y, Farshidfar F, Kirchhoff T, Sweis RF, Bathe OF, Heimann C, Campbell MJ, Stretch C, Huntsman S, Graff RE, Syed N, Radvanyi L, Shelley S, Wolf D, Marincola FM, Ceccarelli M, Galon J, Ziv E, Bedognetti D. Germline genetic contribution to the immune landscape of cancer. Immunity. 2021 02 09; 54(2):367-386.e8.  View on PubMed
  17. Emami NC, Cavazos TB, Rashkin SR, Cario CL, Graff RE, Tai CG, Mefford JA, Kachuri L, Wan E, Wong S, Aaronson D, Presti J, Habel LA, Shan J, Ranatunga DK, Chao CR, Ghai NR, Jorgenson E, Sakoda LC, Kvale MN, Kwok PY, Schaefer C, Risch N, Hoffmann TJ, Van Den Eeden SK, Witte JS. A Large-Scale Association Study Detects Novel Rare Variants, Risk Genes, Functional Elements, and Polygenic Architecture of Prostate Cancer Susceptibility. Cancer Res. 2021 04 01; 81(7):1695-1703.  View on PubMed
  18. Rebecca E Graff, Sarah F Ackley, Monica Ospina Romero, Scott C Zimmerman, Fanny M Elahi, Kun Ping Lu, John S Witte, M Maria Glymour. Evaluation of polygenic risk scores for 17 cancer types in relation to cognitive decline in the UK Biobank. Alzheimer's & Dementia. 2020 Dec 7; 16(S10).  View on PubMed
  19. Scott C Zimmerman, Sarah F Ackley, Willa D Brenowitz, Rebecca E Graff, M Maria Glymour. Phenome-wide associations with an Alzheimer’s disease genetic risk score in UK Biobank: Identifying early indicators of disease. Alzheimer's & Dementia. 2020 Dec 7; 16(S10).  View on PubMed
  20. Sarah F. Ackley, Pamela M. Rist, Willa D. Brenowitz, Rebecca E. Graff, M. Maria Glymour. The association between migraine genetic risk and dementia: A Mendelian randomization study. Alzheimer's & Dementia. 2020 Dec 7; 16(S3).  View on PubMed

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