Research Summary

I am a professor of medicine at UCSF, and I focus my research on human genetics of cancer susceptibility and hematological traits. My research synthesizes concepts and data from human population genetics and epidemiology. A particular focus is on the genetics of admixed populations such as Latinos and African Americans. My research group was the first to demonstrate that breast cancer risk is associated with ancestry among Latina women; in particular, we showed that Native American genetic ancestry among Latina women was associated with protection from breast cancer. Subsequently, I led the group that mapped this difference to a locus on chromosome 6q25, and then performed fine mapping and found a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that explains a large fraction of this risk difference. I have also recently led a group to identify a set of SNP’s associated with survival among multiple myeloma patients.

Research Funding

  • December 1, 2004 - June 30, 2025 - Training in the Molecular & Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: T32CA112355
  • July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2024 - (8) Genetics of Immune Related Adverse Events and Response to Immunotherapy , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA227466
  • August 9, 2012 - July 31, 2022 - Genetics of mammographic density and breast cancer risk in Latinas , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: K24CA169004
  • September 8, 2014 - August 31, 2020 - Germline and Tumor Genomic Analyses of Breast Cancer in Latinas , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA184585

Education

Yale University, New Haven, CT, BS, 1991, Magna cum Lauda, Biology
University of California, San Francisco, CA, MD, 1996, Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, CA, Intern, 1996-1997, Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, CA, Resident, 1997-1999, Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, CA, 1999-2001, Fellow, General Internal Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology

Honors & Awards

  • 1988-1991
    IBM Thomas J. Watson Scholarship
  • 1991
    Distinction in Biology, Yale University
  • 1991
    Magna cum Laude, Yale University
  • 2001-2003
    UCSF Women's Health Research Scholar
  • 2002-2004
    Clinical Research Training Grant Award, American Cancer Society
  • 2003
    Best Breast Cancer Clinical Investigation, UCSF Breast Oncology Program Retreat
  • 2004-2007
    National Cancer Institute Career Transition Award
  • 2005
    Robert Crede Award for Clinical Research, UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine
  • 2012-2017
    National Cancer Mid-Career Investigator Award for Patient Oriented Research

Selected Publications

  1. Zavala VA, Casavilca-Zambrano S, Navarro-Vásquez J, Castañeda CA, Valencia G, Morante Z, Calderón M, Abugattas JE, Gómez H, Fuentes HA, Liendo-Picoaga R, Cotrina JM, Monge C, Neciosup SP, Huntsman S, Hu D, Sánchez SE, Williams MA, Núñez-Marrero A, Godoy L, Hechmer A, Olshen AB, Dutil J, Ziv E, Zabaleta J, Gelaye B, Vásquez J, Gálvez-Nino M, Enriquez-Vera D, Vidaurre T, Fejerman L. Association between Ancestry-Specific 6q25 Variants and Breast Cancer Subtypes in Peruvian Women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 Aug 02; 31(8):1602-1609.  View on PubMed
  2. Macauda A, Clay-Gilmour A, Hielscher T, Hildebrandt MA, Kruszewski M, Orlowski RZ, Kumar SK, Ziv E, Orciuolo E, Brown EE, Försti A, Waller RG, Machiela MJ, Chanock SJ, Camp NJ, Rymko M, Razny M, Cozen W, Varkonyi J, Piredda C, Pelosini M, Belachew AA, Subocz E, Hemminki K, Rybicka-Ramos M, Giles GG, Milne RL, Hofmann JN, Zaucha JM, Vangsted AJ, Goldschmidt H, Rajkumar SV, Tomczak W, Sainz J, Butrym A, Watek M, Iskierka-Jazdzewska E, Buda G, Robinson DP, Jurczyszyn A, Dudzinski M, Martinez-Lopez J, Sinnwell JP, Slager SL, Jamroziak K, Reis RM, Weinhold N, Bhatti P, Carvajal-Carmona LG, Zawirska D, Norman AD, Mazur G, Berndt SI, Campa D, Vachon CM, Canzian F. Does a Multiple Myeloma Polygenic Risk Score Predict Overall Survival of Myeloma Patients? Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 Jun 14.  View on PubMed
  3. Yang H, Ting X, Geng YH, Xie Y, Nierenberg JL, Huo YF, Zhou YT, Huang Y, Yu YQ, Yu XY, Li XF, Ziv E, Zhang H, Fang WG, Shen Y, Tian XX. The risk variant rs11836367 contributes to breast cancer onset and metastasis by attenuating Wnt signaling via regulating NTN4 expression. Sci Adv. 2022 06 10; 8(23):eabn3509.  View on PubMed
  4. Pollock NC, Ramroop JR, Hampel H, Troester MA, Conway K, Hu JJ, Freudenheim JL, Olopade OI, Huo D, Ziv E, Neuhausen SL, Stevens P, McElroy JP, Toland AE. Differences in somatic TP53 mutation type in breast tumors by race and receptor status. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2022 Apr; 192(3):639-648.  View on PubMed
  5. Fernández-Rhodes L, Graff M, Buchanan VL, Justice AE, Highland HM, Guo X, Zhu W, Chen HH, Young KL, Adhikari K, Palmer ND, Below JE, Bradfield J, Pereira AC, Glover L, Kim D, Lilly AG, Shrestha P, Thomas AG, Zhang X, Chen M, Chiang CWK, Pulit S, Horimoto A, Krieger JE, Guindo-Martínez M, Preuss M, Schumann C, Smit RAJ, Torres-Mejía G, Acuña-Alonzo V, Bedoya G, Bortolini MC, Canizales-Quinteros S, Gallo C, González-José R, Poletti G, Rothhammer F, Hakonarson H, Igo R, Adler SG, Iyengar SK, Nicholas SB, Gogarten SM, Isasi CR, Papnicolaou G, Stilp AM, Qi Q, Kho M, Smith JA, Langefeld CD, Wagenknecht L, Mckean-Cowdin R, Gao XR, Nousome D, Conti DV, Feng Y, Allison MA, Arzumanyan Z, Buchanan TA, Ida Chen YD, Genter PM, Goodarzi MO, Hai Y, Hsueh W, Ipp E, Kandeel FR, Lam K, Li X, Nadler JL, Raffel LJ, Roll K, Sandow K, Tan J, Taylor KD, Xiang AH, Yao J, Audirac-Chalifour A, de Jesus Peralta Romero J, Hartwig F, Horta B, Blangero J, Curran JE, Duggirala R, Lehman DE, Puppala S, Fejerman L, John EM, Aguilar-Salinas C, Burtt NP, Florez JC, García-Ortíz H, González-Villalpando C, Mercader J, Orozco L, Tusié-Luna T, Blanco E, Gahagan S, Cox NJ, Hanis C, Butte NF, Cole SA, Comuzzie AG, Voruganti VS, Rohde R, Wang Y, Sofer T, Ziv E, Grant SFA, Ruiz-Linares A, Rotter JI, Haiman CA, Parra EJ, Cruz M, Loos RJF, North KE. Ancestral diversity improves discovery and fine-mapping of genetic loci for anthropometric traits-The Hispanic/Latino Anthropometry Consortium. HGG Adv. 2022 Apr 14; 3(2):100099.  View on PubMed
  6. Rodríguez-Valentín R, Torres-Mejía G, Martínez-Matsushita L, Angeles-Llerenas A, Gómez-Flores-Ramos L, Wolff RK, Baumgartner KB, Hines LM, Ziv E, Flores-Luna L, Sánchez-Zamorano LM, Ortiz-Panozo E, Slattery ML. Energy homeostasis genes modify the association between serum concentrations of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 and breast cancer risk. Sci Rep. 2022 02 03; 12(1):1837.  View on PubMed
  7. Esserman L, Eklund M, Veer LV, Shieh Y, Tice J, Ziv E, Blanco A, Kaplan C, Hiatt R, Fiscalini AS, Yau C, Scheuner M, Naeim A, Wenger N, Lee V, Heditsian D, Brain S, Parker BA, LaCroix AZ, Madlensky L, Hogarth M, Borowsky A, Anton-Culver H, Kaster A, Olopade OI, Sheth D, Garcia A, Lancaster R, Plaza M. The WISDOM study: a new approach to screening can and should be tested. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2021 Oct; 189(3):593-598.  View on PubMed
  8. Huilgol YS, Keane H, Shieh Y, Hiatt RA, Tice JA, Madlensky L, Sabacan L, Fiscalini AS, Ziv E, Acerbi I, Che M, Anton-Culver H, Borowsky AD, Hunt S, Naeim A, Parker BA, van 't Veer LJ, Athena Breast Health Network Investigators and Advocate Partners, Esserman LJ. Elevated risk thresholds predict endocrine risk-reducing medication use in the Athena screening registry. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2021 Aug 03; 7(1):102.  View on PubMed
  9. Luo J, Martucci VL, Quandt Z, Groha S, Murray MH, Lovly CM, Rizvi H, Egger JV, Plodkowski AJ, Abu-Akeel M, Schulze I, Merghoub T, Cardenas E, Huntsman S, Li M, Hu D, Gubens MA, Gusev A, Aldrich MC, Hellmann MD, Ziv E. Immunotherapy-Mediated Thyroid Dysfunction: Genetic Risk and Impact on Outcomes with PD-1 Blockade in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 09 15; 27(18):5131-5140.  View on PubMed
  10. Adedokun B, Du Z, Gao G, Ahearn TU, Lunetta KL, Zirpoli G, Figueroa J, John EM, Bernstein L, Zheng W, Hu JJ, Ziegler RG, Nyante S, Bandera EV, Ingles SA, Press MF, Deming-Halverson SL, Rodriguez-Gil JL, Yao S, Ogundiran TO, Ojengbede O, Blot W, Troester MA, Nathanson KL, Hennis A, Nemesure B, Ambs S, Fiorica PN, Sucheston-Campbell LE, Bensen JT, Kushi LH, Torres-Mejia G, Hu D, Fejerman L, Bolla MK, Dennis J, Dunning AM, Easton DF, Michailidou K, Pharoah PDP, Wang Q, Sandler DP, Taylor JA, O'Brien KM, Kitahara CM, Falusi AG, Babalola C, Yarney J, Awuah B, Addai-Wiafe B, GBHS Study Team, Chanock SJ, Olshan AF, Ambrosone CB, Conti DV, Ziv E, Olopade OI, Garcia-Closas M, Palmer JR, Haiman CA, Huo D. Cross-ancestry GWAS meta-analysis identifies six breast cancer loci in African and European ancestry women. Nat Commun. 2021 07 07; 12(1):4198.  View on PubMed
  11. Luisa N. Borrell, Jennifer R. Elhawary, Elena Fuentes-Afflick, Jonathan Witonsky, Nirav Bhakta, Alan H. B. Wu, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, José R. Rodríguez-Santana, Michael A. Lenoir, James R. Gavin, Rick A. Kittles, Noah A. Zaitlen, David S. Wilkes, Neil R. Powe, Elad Ziv, Esteban G. Burchard. Race and Genetic Ancestry in Medicine—A Time for Reckoning With Racism. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 2021 Jul 1; 76(7):395-397.  View on PubMed
  12. Belachew AA, Wu X, Callender R, Waller R, Orlowski RZ, Vachon CM, Camp NJ, Ziv E, Hildebrandt MAT. Genetic determinants of multiple myeloma risk within the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. Cancer Epidemiol. 2021 08; 73:101972.  View on PubMed
  13. Li N, Zethoven M, McInerny S, Devereux L, Huang YK, Thio N, Cheasley D, Gutiérrez-Enríquez S, Moles-Fernández A, Diez O, Nguyen-Dumont T, Southey MC, Hopper JL, Simard J, Dumont M, Soucy P, Meindl A, Schmutzler R, Schmidt MK, Adank MA, Andrulis IL, Hahnen E, Engel C, Lesueur F, Girard E, Neuhausen SL, Ziv E, Allen J, Easton DF, Scott RJ, Gorringe KL, James PA, Campbell IG. Evaluation of the association of heterozygous germline variants in NTHL1 with breast cancer predisposition: an international multi-center study of 47,180 subjects. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2021 May 12; 7(1):52.  View on PubMed
  14. Macauda A, Piredda C, Clay-Gilmour AI, Sainz J, Buda G, Markiewicz M, Barington T, Ziv E, Hildebrandt MAT, Belachew AA, Varkonyi J, Prejzner W, Druzd-Sitek A, Spinelli J, Andersen NF, Hofmann JN, Dudzinski M, Martinez-Lopez J, Iskierka-Jazdzewska E, Milne RL, Mazur G, Giles GG, Ebbesen LH, Rymko M, Jamroziak K, Subocz E, Reis RM, Garcia-Sanz R, Suska A, Haastrup EK, Zawirska D, Grzasko N, Vangsted AJ, Dumontet C, Kruszewski M, Dutka M, Camp NJ, Waller RG, Tomczak W, Pelosini M, Razny M, Marques H, Abildgaard N, Watek M, Jurczyszyn A, Brown EE, Berndt S, Butrym A, Vachon CM, Norman AD, Slager SL, Gemignani F, Canzian F, Campa D. Expression quantitative trait loci of genes predicting outcome are associated with survival of multiple myeloma patients. Int J Cancer. 2021 07 15; 149(2):327-336.  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. Roelands J, Mall R, Almeer H, Thomas R, Mohamed MG, Bedri S, Al-Bader SB, Junejo K, Ziv E, Sayaman RW, Kuppen PJK, Bedognetti D, Hendrickx W, Decock J. Ancestry-associated transcriptomic profiles of breast cancer in patients of African, Arab, and European ancestry. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2021 Feb 08; 7(1):10.  View on PubMed
  18. Borrell LN, Elhawary JR, Fuentes-Afflick E, Witonsky J, Bhakta N, Wu AHB, Bibbins-Domingo K, Rodríguez-Santana JR, Lenoir MA, Gavin JR, Kittles RA, Zaitlen NA, Wilkes DS, Powe NR, Ziv E, Burchard EG. Race and Genetic Ancestry in Medicine - A Time for Reckoning with Racism. N Engl J Med. 2021 Feb 04; 384(5):474-480.  View on PubMed
  19. Spear ML, Diaz-Papkovich A, Ziv E, Yracheta JM, Gravel S, Torgerson DG, Hernandez RD. Recent shifts in the genomic ancestry of Mexican Americans may alter the genetic architecture of biomedical traits. Elife. 2020 12 29; 9.  View on PubMed
  20. Kachuri L, Graff RE, Smith-Byrne K, Meyers TJ, Rashkin SR, Ziv E, Witte JS, Johansson M. Pan-cancer analysis demonstrates that integrating polygenic risk scores with modifiable risk factors improves risk prediction. Nat Commun. 2020 11 27; 11(1):6084.  View on PubMed

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