Research Summary

I became a UCSF faculty member in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 1985 and joined the Department of Neurological Surgery in 2004. I am PI/co-PI of one of the first large-scale population based epidemiologic studies of adult glioma which I began in 1991.  This was funded continuously through 2016 by an NCI R01 and from 2002-2018 by a project in the UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE.  These two funding sources created the ongoing Adult Glioma Study created which is a large, unique data and specimen resource for etiologic and outcome studies of adult glioma. 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 currently are in the process of conducting large-scale longitudinal studies of immune profiles in both high and lower grade gliomas with funding from NCI and the loglio collective. 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. I received the Society of Neuro-oncology Lifetime Achievment award in 2016. My service to the NIH includes participation in numerous review panels over my 30+year career, including having served as a member on the EPIC-CASE study section.

Research Funding

  • September 20, 2002 - August 31, 2023 - Brain Tumor SPORE Grant , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: P50CA097257
  • May 15, 1991 - March 31, 2017 - Genetic and molecular epidemiology of adult glioma , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA052689
  • December 1, 1992 - November 30, 1997 - ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AND ADULT MALIGNANT GLIOMA , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01ES006285
  • September 30, 1992 - September 29, 1995 - HA-RAS RARE ALLELES IN MALIGNANT GLIOMA , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R03CA057220


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

Honors & Awards

  • 2016 Society of Neuro-oncology Lifetime Achievement Award

Selected Publications

  1. Francis SS, Guerra G, Hansen HM, Wendt G, Kachuri L, Wiencke JK, Wrensch M. Inherited polymorphisms in the Human Leukocyte Antigen Region modify the association between varicella-zoster virus antibody reactivity and glioma prognosis. Neuro Oncol. 2023 10 03; 25(10):1910-1912.  View on PubMed
  2. Lindström S, Wang L, Feng H, Majumdar A, Huo S, Macdonald J, Harrison T, Turman C, Chen H, Mancuso N, Bammler T, Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), Gallinger S, Gruber SB, Gunter MJ, Le Marchand L, Moreno V, Offit K, Colorectal Transdisciplinary Study (CORECT), Colon Cancer Family Registry Study (CCFR), Genetics And, De Vivo I, O'Mara TA, Spurdle AB, Tomlinson I, Endometrial Cancer Association Consortium (ECAC), Fitzgerald R, Gharahkhani P, Gockel I, Jankowski J, Macgregor S, Schumacher J, Barnholtz-Sloan J, Bondy ML, Houlston RS, Jenkins RB, Melin B, Wrensch M, Brennan P, Christiani DC, Johansson M, Mckay J, Aldrich MC, Amos CI, Landi MT, Tardon A, International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), Bishop DT, Demenais F, Goldstein AM, Iles MM, Kanetsky PA, Law MH, Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC), Amundadottir LT, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, Wolpin BM, Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium (Panscan), Klein A, Petersen G, Risch H, Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (Panc4), The PRACTICAL Consortium, Chanock SJ, Purdue MP, Scelo G, Pharoah P, Kar S, Hung RJ, Pasaniuc B, Kraft P. Genome-wide analyses characterize shared heritability among cancers and identify novel cancer susceptibility regions. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2023 06 08; 115(6):712-732.  View on PubMed
  3. Guerra G, McCoy L, Hansen HM, Rice T, Molinaro AM, Wiemels JL, Wiencke JK, Wrensch M, Francis SS. Antibodies to varicella-zoster virus and three other herpesviruses and survival in adults with glioma. Neuro Oncol. 2023 06 02; 25(6):1047-1057.  View on PubMed
  4. Hervey-Jumper SL, Zhang Y, Phillips JJ, Morshed RA, Young JS, McCoy L, Lafontaine M, Luks T, Ammanuel S, Kakaizada S, Egladyous A, Gogos A, Villanueva-Meyer J, Shai A, Warrier G, Rice T, Crane J, Wrensch M, Wiencke JK, Daras M, Oberheim Bush NA, Taylor JW, Butowski N, Clarke J, Chang S, Chang E, Aghi M, Theodosopoulos P, McDermott M, Jakola AS, Kavouridis VK, Nawabi N, Solheim O, Smith T, Berger MS, Molinaro AM. Interactive Effects of Molecular, Therapeutic, and Patient Factors on Outcome of Diffuse Low-Grade Glioma. J Clin Oncol. 2023 04 10; 41(11):2029-2042.  View on PubMed
  5. Tang E, Wiencke JK, Warrier G, Hansen H, McCoy L, Rice T, Bracci PM, Wrensch M, Taylor JW, Clarke JL, Koestler DC, Salas LA, Christensen BC, Kelsey KT, Molinaro AM. Evaluation of cross-platform compatibility of a DNA methylation-based glucocorticoid response biomarker. Clin Epigenetics. 2022 10 28; 14(1):136.  View on PubMed
  6. Yanchus C, Drucker KL, Kollmeyer TM, Tsai R, Winick-Ng W, Liang M, Malik A, Pawling J, De Lorenzo SB, Ali A, Decker PA, Kosel ML, Panda A, Al-Zahrani KN, Jiang L, Browning JWL, Lowden C, Geuenich M, Hernandez JJ, Gosio JT, Ahmed M, Loganathan SK, Berman J, Trcka D, Michealraj KA, Fortin J, Carson B, Hollingsworth EW, Jacinto S, Mazrooei P, Zhou L, Elia A, Lupien M, He HH, Murphy DJ, Wang L, Abyzov A, Dennis JW, Maass PG, Campbell K, Wilson MD, Lachance DH, Wrensch M, Wiencke J, Mak T, Pennacchio LA, Dickel DE, Visel A, Wrana J, Taylor MD, Zadeh G, Dirks P, Eckel-Passow JE, Attisano L, Pombo A, Ida CM, Kvon EZ, Jenkins RB, Schramek D. A noncoding single-nucleotide polymorphism at 8q24 drives IDH1-mutant glioma formation. Science. 2022 10 07; 378(6615):68-78.  View on PubMed
  7. Zhang Y, Lucas CG, Young JS, Morshed RA, McCoy L, Oberheim Bush NA, Taylor JW, Daras M, Butowski NA, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S, Wrensch M, Wiencke JK, Lee JC, Pekmezci M, Phillips JJ, Perry A, Bollen AW, Aghi MK, Theodosopoulos P, Chang EF, Hervey-Jumper SL, Berger MS, Clarke JL, Chang SM, Molinaro AM, Solomon DA. Prospective genomically guided identification of "early/evolving" and "undersampled" IDH-wildtype glioblastoma leads to improved clinical outcomes. Neuro Oncol. 2022 10 03; 24(10):1749-1762.  View on PubMed
  8. Wiencke JK, Molinaro AM, Warrier G, Rice T, Clarke J, Taylor JW, Wrensch M, Hansen H, McCoy L, Tang E, Tamaki SJ, Tamaki CM, Nissen E, Bracci P, Salas LA, Koestler DC, Christensen BC, Zhang Z, Kelsey KT. DNA methylation as a pharmacodynamic marker of glucocorticoid response and glioma survival. Nat Commun. 2022 09 20; 13(1):5505.  View on PubMed
  9. Bracci PM, Rice T, Hansen HM, Francis SS, Lee S, McCoy LS, Shrestha PP, Warrier G, Clarke JL, Molinaro AM, Taylor JW, Wiencke JK, Wrensch MR. Pre-surgery immune profiles of adult glioma patients. J Neurooncol. 2022 Aug; 159(1):103-115.  View on PubMed
  10. Guerra G, Kachuri L, Wendt G, Hansen HM, Mack SJ, Molinaro AM, Rice T, Bracci P, Wiencke JK, Kasahara N, Eckel-Passow JE, Jenkins RB, Wrensch M, Francis SS. The immunogenetics of viral antigen response is associated with subtype-specific glioma risk and survival. Am J Hum Genet. 2022 06 02; 109(6):1105-1116.  View on PubMed
  11. Walsh KM, Zhang C, Calvocoressi L, Hansen HM, Berchuck A, Schildkraut JM, Bondy ML, Wrensch M, Wiemels JL, Claus EB. Pleiotropic MLLT10 variation confers risk of meningioma and estrogen-mediated cancers. Neurooncol Adv. 2022 Jan-Dec; 4(1):vdac044.  View on PubMed
  12. Eckel-Passow JE, Lachance DH, Decker PA, Kollmeyer TM, Kosel ML, Drucker KL, Slager S, Wrensch M, Tobin WO, Jenkins RB. Inherited genetics of adult diffuse glioma and polygenic risk scores-a review. Neurooncol Pract. 2022 Aug; 9(4):259-270.  View on PubMed
  13. Molinaro AM, Wiencke JK, Warrier G, Koestler DC, Chunduru P, Lee JY, Hansen HM, Lee S, Anguiano J, Rice T, Bracci PM, McCoy L, Salas LA, Christensen BC, Wrensch M, Kelsey KT, Taylor JW, Clarke JL. Interactions of Age and Blood Immune Factors and Noninvasive Prediction of Glioma Survival. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 03 08; 114(3):446-457.  View on PubMed
  14. Reimer N, Hafke R, Wrensch M, Horst P, Bloch W, Hahn T, Kirchhoff A, Kluck KL, Stein J, Baumann FT. Influence of a 12-month supervised, intensive resistance, aerobic and impact exercise intervention on muscle strength in prostate cancer patients undergoing anti-hormone therapy: Study protocol for the randomized, controlled Burgdorf study. Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 03; 114:106685.  View on PubMed
  15. Graff M, Justice AE, Young KL, Marouli E, Zhang X, Fine RS, Lim E, Buchanan V, Rand K, Feitosa MF, Wojczynski MK, Yanek LR, Shao Y, Rohde R, Adeyemo AA, Aldrich MC, Allison MA, Ambrosone CB, Ambs S, Amos C, Arnett DK, Atwood L, Bandera EV, Bartz T, Becker DM, Berndt SI, Bernstein L, Bielak LF, Blot WJ, Bottinger EP, Bowden DW, Bradfield JP, Brody JA, Broeckel U, Burke G, Cade BE, Cai Q, Caporaso N, Carlson C, Carpten J, Casey G, Chanock SJ, Chen G, Chen M, Chen YI, Chen WM, Chesi A, Chiang CWK, Chu L, Coetzee GA, Conti DV, Cooper RS, Cushman M, Demerath E, Deming SL, Dimitrov L, Ding J, Diver WR, Duan Q, Evans MK, Falusi AG, Faul JD, Fornage M, Fox C, Freedman BI, Garcia M, Gillanders EM, Goodman P, Gottesman O, Grant SFA, Guo X, Hakonarson H, Haritunians T, Harris TB, Harris CC, Henderson BE, Hennis A, Hernandez DG, Hirschhorn JN, McNeill LH, Howard TD, Howard B, Hsing AW, Hsu YH, Hu JJ, Huff CD, Huo D, Ingles SA, Irvin MR, John EM, Johnson KC, Jordan JM, Kabagambe EK, Kang SJ, Kardia SL, Keating BJ, Kittles RA, Klein EA, Kolb S, Kolonel LN, Kooperberg C, Kuller L, Kutlar A, Lange L, Langefeld CD, Le Marchand L, Leonard H, Lettre G, Levin AM, Li Y, Li J, Liu Y, Liu Y, Liu S, Lohman K, Lotay V, Lu Y, Maixner W, Manson JE, McKnight B, Meng Y, Monda KL, Monroe K, Moore JH, Mosley TH, Mudgal P, Murphy AB, Nadukuru R, Nalls MA, Nathanson KL, Nayak U, N'Diaye A, Nemesure B, Neslund-Dudas C, Neuhouser ML, Nyante S, Ochs-Balcom H, Ogundiran TO, Ogunniyi A, Ojengbede O, Okut H, Olopade OI, Olshan A, Padhukasahasram B, Palmer J, Palmer CD, Palmer ND, Papanicolaou G, Patel SR, Pettaway CA, Peyser PA, Press MF, Rao DC, Rasmussen-Torvik LJ, Redline S, Reiner AP, Rhie SK, Rodriguez-Gil JL, Rotimi CN, Rotter JI, Ruiz-Narvaez EA, Rybicki BA, Salako B, Sale MM, Sanderson M, Schadt E, Schreiner PJ, Schurmann C, Schwartz AG, Shriner DA, Signorello LB, Singleton AB, Siscovick DS, Smith JA, Smith S, Speliotes E, Spitz M, Stanford JL, Stevens VL, Stram A, Strom SS, Sucheston L, Sun YV, Tajuddin SM, Taylor H, Taylor K, Tayo BO, Thun MJ, Tucker MA, Vaidya D, Van Den Berg DJ, Vedantam S, Vitolins M, Wang Z, Ware EB, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Weir DR, Wiencke JK, Williams SM, Williams LK, Wilson JG, Witte JS, Wrensch M, Wu X, Yao J, Zakai N, Zanetti K, Zemel BS, Zhao W, Zhao JH, Zheng W, Zhi D, Zhou J, Zhu X, Ziegler RG, Zmuda J, Zonderman AB, Psaty BM, Borecki IB, Cupples LA, Liu CT, Haiman CA, Loos R, Ng MCY, North KE. Discovery and fine-mapping of height loci via high-density imputation of GWASs in individuals of African ancestry. Am J Hum Genet. 2021 04 01; 108(4):564-582.  View on PubMed
  16. Eckel-Passow JE, Drucker KL, Kollmeyer TM, Kosel ML, Decker PA, Molinaro AM, Rice T, Praska CE, Clark L, Caron A, Abyzov A, Batzler A, Song JS, Pekmezci M, Hansen HM, McCoy LS, Bracci PM, Wiemels J, Wiencke JK, Francis S, Burns TC, Giannini C, Lachance DH, Wrensch M, Jenkins RB. Adult diffuse glioma GWAS by molecular subtype identifies variants in D2HGDH and FAM20C. Neuro Oncol. 2020 11 26; 22(11):1602-1613.  View on PubMed
  17. Zhang YD, Hurson AN, Zhang H, Choudhury PP, Easton DF, Milne RL, Simard J, Hall P, Michailidou K, Dennis J, Schmidt MK, Chang-Claude J, Gharahkhani P, Whiteman D, Campbell PT, Hoffmeister M, Jenkins M, Peters U, Hsu L, Gruber SB, Casey G, Schmit SL, O'Mara TA, Spurdle AB, Thompson DJ, Tomlinson I, De Vivo I, Landi MT, Law MH, Iles MM, Demenais F, Kumar R, MacGregor S, Bishop DT, Ward SV, Bondy ML, Houlston R, Wiencke JK, Melin B, Barnholtz-Sloan J, Kinnersley B, Wrensch MR, Amos CI, Hung RJ, Brennan P, McKay J, Caporaso NE, Berndt SI, Birmann BM, Camp NJ, Kraft P, Rothman N, Slager SL, Berchuck A, Pharoah PDP, Sellers TA, Gayther SA, Pearce CL, Goode EL, Schildkraut JM, Moysich KB, Amundadottir LT, Jacobs EJ, Klein AP, Petersen GM, Risch HA, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ, Wolpin BM, Li D, Eeles RA, Haiman CA, Kote-Jarai Z, Schumacher FR, Al Olama AA, Purdue MP, Scelo G, Dalgaard MD, Greene MH, Grotmol T, Kanetsky PA, McGlynn KA, Nathanson KL, Turnbull C, Wiklund F, Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), Barrett’s and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium (BEACON), Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR), Transdisciplinary Studies of Genetic Variation in Colorectal Cancer (CORECT), Endometrial Cancer Association Consortium (ECAC), Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO), Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL), Glioma International Case-Control Study (GICC), International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), Integrative Analysis of Lung Cancer Etiology and Risk (INTEGRAL) Consortium, International Consortium of Investigators Working on Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Epidemiologic Studies (I, Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC), Oral Cancer GWAS, Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PanC4), Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium (PanScan), Prostate Cancer Association Group to Investigate Cancer Associated Alterations in the Genome (PRACTI, Renal Cancer GWAS, Testicular Cancer Consortium (TECAC), Chanock SJ, Chatterjee N, Garcia-Closas M. Assessment of polygenic architecture and risk prediction based on common variants across fourteen cancers. Nat Commun. 2020 07 03; 11(1):3353.  View on PubMed
  18. Molinaro AM, Hervey-Jumper S, Morshed RA, Young J, Han SJ, Chunduru P, Zhang Y, Phillips JJ, Shai A, Lafontaine M, Crane J, Chandra A, Flanigan P, Jahangiri A, Cioffi G, Ostrom Q, Anderson JE, Badve C, Barnholtz-Sloan J, Sloan AE, Erickson BJ, Decker PA, Kosel ML, LaChance D, Eckel-Passow J, Jenkins R, Villanueva-Meyer J, Rice T, Wrensch M, Wiencke JK, Oberheim Bush NA, Taylor J, Butowski N, Prados M, Clarke J, Chang S, Chang E, Aghi M, Theodosopoulos P, McDermott M, Berger MS. Association of Maximal Extent of Resection of Contrast-Enhanced and Non-Contrast-Enhanced Tumor With Survival Within Molecular Subgroups of Patients With Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma. JAMA Oncol. 2020 04 01; 6(4):495-503.  View on PubMed
  19. 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 randomization analysis. Neuro Oncol. 2020 02 20; 22(2):207-215.  View on PubMed
  20. Muskens IS, Zhou M, Mccoy L, Bracci PM, Hansen HM, Gauderman WJ, Wiencke JK, Wrensch MR, Wiemels JL. Immune factors preceding diagnosis of glioma: a Prostate Lung Colorectal Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial nested case-control study. Neurooncol Adv. 2019 May-Dec; 1(1):vdz031.  View on PubMed

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