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. Ospina-Romero M, Brenowitz WD, Glymour MM, Westrick A, Graff RE, Hayes-Larson E, Mayeda ER, Ackley SF, Kobayashi LC. Education, incident cancer, and rate of memory decline in a national sample of US adults in mid-to-later-life. J Geriatr Oncol. 2023 May 19; 14(5):101530.  View on PubMed
  2. Chen DM, Dong R, Kachuri L, Hoffmann T, Jiang Y, Berndt SI, Shelley JP, Schaffer KR, Machiela MJ, Freedman ND, Huang WY, Li SA, Lilja H, Van Den Eeden SK, Chanock S, Haiman CA, Conti DV, Klein RJ, Mosley JD, Witte JS, Graff RE. Transcriptome-Wide Association Analysis Identifies Novel Candidate Susceptibility Genes for Prostate-Specific Antigen Levels in Men Without Prostate Cancer. medRxiv. 2023 May 05.  View on PubMed
  3. Kenfield SA, Van Blarigan EL, Graff RE, Borno HT, Macaire G, Chan JM. Nutrition Guidance for Patients on Androgen Deprivation Therapy. Eur Urol Focus. 2023 Mar 17.  View on PubMed
  4. Ma C, Ericsson C, Carlsson SV, Lilja H, Kibel A, Graff RE, Plym A, Giovannucci E, Mucci LA, Preston MA, Penney KL. Addition of a Genetic Risk Score for Identification of Men with a Low Prostate-specific Antigen Level in Midlife at Risk of Developing Lethal Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol Open Sci. 2023 Apr; 50:27-30.  View on PubMed
  5. Van Blarigan EL, Chan JM, Sanchez A, Zhang L, Winters-Stone K, Liu V, Macaire G, Panchal N, Graff RE, Tenggara I, Luke A, Simko JP, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR, Kenfield SA. Protocol for a 4-arm randomized controlled trial testing remotely delivered exercise-only, diet-only, and exercise + diet interventions among men with prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy (Prostate 8-II). Contemp Clin Trials. 2023 02; 125:107079.  View on PubMed
  6. Stopsack KH, Su XA, Vaselkiv JB, Graff RE, Ebot EM, Pettersson A, Lis RT, Fiorentino M, Loda M, Penney KL, Lotan TL, Mucci LA. Transcriptomes of Prostate Cancer with TMPRSS2:ERG and Other ETS Fusions. Mol Cancer Res. 2023 01 03; 21(1):14-23.  View on PubMed
  7. Cavazos TB, Kachuri L, Graff RE, Nierenberg JL, Thai KK, Alexeeff S, Van Den Eeden S, Corley DA, Kushi LH, Regeneron Genetics Center, Hoffmann TJ, Ziv E, Habel LA, Jorgenson E, Sakoda LC, Witte JS. Assessment of genetic susceptibility to multiple primary cancers through whole-exome sequencing in two large multi-ancestry studies. BMC Med. 2022 10 06; 20(1):332.  View on PubMed
  8. 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 09 02; 31(9):1760-1768.  View on PubMed
  9. Graff RE, Langlais CS, Van Blarigan EL, Pernar CH, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL, Mucci LA, Chan JM, Kenfield SA. Post-diagnostic health behaviour scores in relation to fatal prostate cancer. Br J Cancer. 2022 11; 127(9):1670-1679.  View on PubMed
  10. Wang L, Langlais CS, Kenfield SA, Chan JM, Graff RE, Allen IE, Atreya CE, Van Blarigan EL. mHealth Interventions to Promote a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity among Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Aug 06; 14(15).  View on PubMed
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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 09; 82(3):247-251.  View on PubMed
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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

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