University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Margaret R. Wrensch, PhD

Margaret R. Wrensch, PhD

Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF
Stanley D. Lewis and Virginia S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Cancer Genetics

Research Summary

I became a UCSF faculty member in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 1985 and joined the Department of Neurological Surgery in 2004. I began one of the first large-scale population based epidemiologic studies of adult glioma in 1991 and have since served as PI of this NCI funded R01 entitled “Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology of Adult Glioma”. I have been a Project co-Leader of the Brain Tumor SPORE project “San Francisco Bay Area Adult Glioma Survival Study” since 2002. In 2009, we completed one of the first genome-wide association studies of adult glioma in which we identified several glioma risk loci. In 2012, we discovered a glioma risk allele that confers a six-fold risk of oligodendroglial tumors and IDH mutated astrocytomas. In 2015, we published another study in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic that defined five glioma molecular groups based on 1p/19q co-deletion, IDH mutation, and mutations in the TERT promoter that appear to have distinct mechanisms of pathogenesis and that account for over 95% of grade II-IV gliomas. We are in the process of conducting large-scale genome wide association studies of glioma survival, meningioma, and childhood leukemia. In addition, I have been a co-investigator for other multi-site studies of glioma risk and of familial glioma risk, genetic epidemiology of lung cancer, and breast cancer epidemiology. I am a leader in the brain tumor epidemiology research community having served as US Co-President of the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium. My service to the NIH includes participation in numerous review panels over my 30-year career, as well as recently serving as a member on the EPIC-CASE study section.

Education

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, B.Sc., 1971, Genetics
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, M.Sc., 1973, Population Genetics
University of California, Berkeley, CA, M.P.H., 1977, Epidemiology
University of California, Berkeley, CA, Ph.D., 1983, Epidemiology


Professional Experience

  • 1985-1988
    Epidemiologist, California Department of Health Services, Berkeley
  • 1986-present
    Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor (Adjunct 1986-6/2002; In Residence 7/2002-present), Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco
  • 1993-1994
    Chief, Division of Epidemiology at Parnassus, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2001-present
    Adjunct Investigator, Kaiser Permanente, Division of Research, Oakland
  • 2001
    Interim Head, Cancer Epidemiology Division, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2004-present
    Co-Director Neuroepidemiology Division
  • 2005
    Stanley D. Lewis and Virginia S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research

Selected Publications

  1. Saunders CN, Cornish AJ, Kinnersley B, Law PJ, Claus EB, Il'yasova D, Schildkraut J, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Olson SH, Bernstein JL, Lai RK, Chanock S, Rajaraman P, Johansen C, Jenkins RB, Melin BS, Wrensch MR, Sanson M, Bondy ML, Houlston RS. Lack of association between modifiable exposures and glioma risk: A Mendelian randomisation analysis. Neuro Oncol. 2019 Oct 30.
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  2. Molinaro AM, Taylor JW, Wiencke JK, Wrensch MR. Genetic and molecular epidemiology of adult diffuse glioma. Nat Rev Neurol. 2019 Jul; 15(7):405-417.
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  3. Takahashi H, Cornish AJ, Sud A, Law PJ, Kinnersley B, Ostrom QT, Labreche K, Eckel-Passow JE, Armstrong GN, Claus EB, Il'yasova D, Schildkraut J, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Olson SH, Bernstein JL, Lai RK, Schoemaker MJ, Simon M, Hoffmann P, Nöthen MM, Jöckel KH, Chanock S, Rajaraman P, Johansen C, Jenkins RB, Melin BS, Wrensch MR, Sanson M, Bondy ML, Turnbull C, Houlston RS. Publisher Correction: Mendelian randomisation study of the relationship between vitamin D and risk of glioma. Sci Rep. 2019 May 23; 9(1):7924.
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  4. Ostrom QT, Egan KM, Nabors LB, Gerke T, Thompson RC, Olson JJ, LaRocca R, Chowdhary S, Eckel-Passow JE, Armstrong G, Wiencke JK, Bernstein JL, Claus EB, Il'yasova D, Johansen C, Lachance DH, Lai RK, Merrell RT, Olson SH, Sadetzki S, Schildkraut JM, Shete S, Houlston RS, Jenkins RB, Wrensch MR, Melin B, Amos CI, Huse JT, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Bondy ML. Glioma risk associated with extent of estimated European genetic ancestry in African Americans and Hispanics. Int J Cancer. 2019 Apr 09.
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  5. Jones CC, Bradford Y, Amos CI, Blot WJ, Chanock SJ, Harris CC, Schwartz AG, Spitz MR, Wiencke JK, Wrensch MR, Wu X, Aldrich MC. Cross-Cancer Pleiotropic Associations with Lung Cancer Risk in African Americans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 Apr; 28(4):715-723.
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  6. Eckel-Passow JE, Decker PA, Kosel ML, Kollmeyer TM, Molinaro AM, Rice T, Caron AA, Drucker KL, Praska CE, Pekmezci M, Hansen HM, McCoy LS, Bracci PM, Erickson BJ, Lucchinetti CF, Wiemels JL, Wiencke JK, Bondy ML, Melin B, Burns TC, Giannini C, Lachance DH, Wrensch MR, Jenkins RB. Using germline variants to estimate glioma and subtype risks. Neuro Oncol. 2019 Mar 18; 21(4):451-461.
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  7. Muskens IS, Hansen HM, Smirnov IV, Molinaro AM, Bondy ML, Schildkraut JM, Wrensch M, Wiemels JL, Claus EB. Longer genotypically-estimated leukocyte telomere length is associated with increased meningioma risk. J Neurooncol. 2019 May; 142(3):479-487.
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  8. Atkins I, Kinnersley B, Ostrom QT, Labreche K, Il'yasova D, Armstrong GN, Eckel-Passow JE, Schoemaker MJ, Nöthen MM, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Swerdlow AJ, Simon M, Rajaraman P, Chanock SJ, Shildkraut J, Bernstein JL, Hoffmann P, Jöckel KH, Lai RK, Claus EB, Olson SH, Johansen C, Wrensch MR, Melin B, Jenkins RB, Sanson M, Bondy ML, Houlston RS. Transcriptome-Wide Association Study Identifies New Candidate Susceptibility Genes for Glioma. Cancer Res. 2019 Apr 15; 79(8):2065-2071.
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  9. 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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  10. Ostrom QT, Coleman W, Huang W, Rubin JB, Lathia JD, Berens ME, Speyer G, Liao P, Wrensch MR, Eckel-Passow JE, Armstrong G, Rice T, Wiencke JK, McCoy LS, Hansen HM, Amos CI, Bernstein JL, Claus EB, Houlston RS, Il'yasova D, Jenkins RB, Johansen C, Lachance DH, Lai RK, Merrell RT, Olson SH, Sadetzki S, Schildkraut JM, Shete S, Andersson U, Rajaraman P, Chanock SJ, Linet MS, Wang Z, Yeager M, Melin B, Bondy ML, Barnholtz-Sloan JS. Sex-specific gene and pathway modeling of inherited glioma risk. Neuro Oncol. 2019 Jan 01; 21(1):71-82.
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  11. Amirian ES, Ostrom QT, Armstrong GN, Lai RK, Gu X, Jacobs DI, Jalali A, Claus EB, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Il'yasova D, Schildkraut JM, Ali-Osman F, Sadetzki S, Jenkins RB, Lachance DH, Olson SH, Bernstein JL, Merrell RT, Wrensch MR, Johansen C, Houlston RS, Scheurer ME, Shete S, Amos CI, Melin B, Bondy ML. Aspirin, NSAIDs, and Glioma Risk: Original Data from the Glioma International Case-Control Study and a Meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 Mar; 28(3):555-562.
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  12. 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 10 09; 20(11):1485-1493.
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  13. Ostrom QT, Kinnersley B, Armstrong G, Rice T, Chen Y, Wiencke JK, McCoy LS, Hansen HM, Amos CI, Bernstein JL, Claus EB, Eckel-Passow JE, Il'yasova D, Johansen C, Lachance DH, Lai RK, Merrell RT, Olson SH, Sadetzki S, Schildkraut JM, Shete S, Rubin JB, Andersson U, Rajaraman P, Chanock SJ, Linet MS, Wang Z, Yeager M, Houlston RS, Jenkins RB, Wrensch MR, Melin B, Bondy ML, Barnholtz-Sloan JS. Age-specific genome-wide association study in glioblastoma identifies increased proportion of 'lower grade glioma'-like features associated with younger age. Int J Cancer. 2018 11 15; 143(10):2359-2366.
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  14. Ostrom QT, Kinnersley B, Wrensch MR, Eckel-Passow JE, Armstrong G, Rice T, Chen Y, Wiencke JK, McCoy LS, Hansen HM, Amos CI, Bernstein JL, Claus EB, Il'yasova D, Johansen C, Lachance DH, Lai RK, Merrell RT, Olson SH, Sadetzki S, Schildkraut JM, Shete S, Rubin JB, Lathia JD, Berens ME, Andersson U, Rajaraman P, Chanock SJ, Linet MS, Wang Z, Yeager M, Houlston RS, Jenkins RB, Melin B, Bondy ML, Barnholtz-Sloan JS. Sex-specific glioma genome-wide association study identifies new risk locus at 3p21.31 in females, and finds sex-differences in risk at 8q24.21. Sci Rep. 2018 05 09; 8(1):7352.
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  15. Berntsson SG, Merrell RT, Amirian ES, Armstrong GN, Lachance D, Smits A, Zhou R, Jacobs DI, Wrensch MR, Olson SH, Il'yasova D, Claus EB, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Schildkraut J, Sadetzki S, Johansen C, Houlston RS, Jenkins RB, Bernstein JL, Lai R, Shete S, Amos CI, Bondy ML, Melin BS. Glioma-related seizures in relation to histopathological subtypes: a report from the glioma international case-control study. J Neurol. 2018 Jun; 265(6):1432-1442.
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  16. Disney-Hogg L, Cornish AJ, Sud A, Law PJ, Kinnersley B, Jacobs DI, Ostrom QT, Labreche K, Eckel-Passow JE, Armstrong GN, Claus EB, Il'yasova D, Schildkraut J, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Olson SH, Bernstein JL, Lai RK, Schoemaker MJ, Simon M, Hoffmann P, Nöthen MM, Jöckel KH, Chanock S, Rajaraman P, Johansen C, Jenkins RB, Melin BS, Wrensch MR, Sanson M, Bondy ML, Houlston RS. Impact of atopy on risk of glioma: a Mendelian randomisation study. BMC Med. 2018 03 15; 16(1):42.
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  17. Disney-Hogg L, Sud A, Law PJ, Cornish AJ, Kinnersley B, Ostrom QT, Labreche K, Eckel-Passow JE, Armstrong GN, Claus EB, Il'yasova D, Schildkraut J, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Olson SH, Bernstein JL, Lai RK, Swerdlow AJ, Simon M, Hoffmann P, Nöthen MM, Jöckel KH, Chanock S, Rajaraman P, Johansen C, Jenkins RB, Melin BS, Wrensch MR, Sanson M, Bondy ML, Houlston RS. Influence of obesity-related risk factors in the aetiology of glioma. Br J Cancer. 2018 04; 118(7):1020-1027.
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  18. Takahashi H, Cornish AJ, Sud A, Law PJ, Kinnersley B, Ostrom QT, Labreche K, Eckel-Passow JE, Armstrong GN, Claus EB, Il'yasova D, Schildkraut J, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Olson SH, Bernstein JL, Lai RK, Schoemaker MJ, Simon M, Hoffmann P, Nöthen MM, Jöckel KH, Chanock S, Rajaraman P, Johansen C, Jenkins RB, Melin BS, Wrensch MR, Sanson M, Bondy ML, Turnbull C, Houlston RS. Mendelian randomisation study of the relationship between vitamin D and risk of glioma. Sci Rep. 2018 02 05; 8(1):2339.
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  19. Jacobs DI, Liu Y, Gabrusiewicz K, Tsavachidis S, Armstrong GN, Zhou R, Wei J, Ivan C, Calin G, Molinaro AM, Rice T, Bracci PM, Hansen HM, Wiencke JK, Wrensch MR, Heimberger AB, Bondy ML. Germline polymorphisms in myeloid-associated genes are not associated with survival in glioma patients. J Neurooncol. 2018 Jan; 136(1):33-39.
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  20. Benz LS, Wrensch MR, Schildkraut JM, Bondy ML, Warren JL, Wiemels JL, Claus EB. Quality of life after surgery for intracranial meningioma. Cancer. 2018 Jan 01; 124(1):161-166.
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