Photo of Brenda M. Birmann,  ScD

Brenda M. Birmann, ScD

Brigham And Women's Hospital

Brigham And Women's Hospital


brenda.birmann@channing.harvard.edu

Brenda M. Birmann, ScD

Brigham And Women's Hospital

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Assistant Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Associate Epidemiologist, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham And Women's Hospital

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

My research focuses on the epidemiology of hematopoietic malignancies, on oncogenic virus infections, and on the assessment of immune dysfunction for epidemiologic studies. My primary active research projects are prospective evaluations of lifestyle correlates of energy balance (anthropometric measures, physical activity, diet), and of biomarkers of growth factor, cytokine and other endogenous hormone dysregulation, in the etiology of multiple myeloma (MM) and lymphoma. I conduct studies in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) populations and biorepositories at the Channing Division of Network Medicine (Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School) and in collaborative contexts, including with colleagues in the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center SPORE in Multiple Myeloma, the International Lymphoma Epidemiology (InterLymph) Consortium, the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium (IMMC) and the Lymphoid Malignancies Working Group (LMWG) of the NCI Cohort Consortium. As a present co-leader of the LMWG and former Chair of IMMC and of the Infections and Immunology Working Group of InterLymph, I help to facilitate cross-consortium communication to nurture further collaboration on etiologic research, and I represent the NHS and HPFS cohorts in a large international consortium (formed among InterLymph and LMWG member studies) conducting a genome-wide association study of NHL. Lastly, I am involved in an international, multi-center study of plasma markers of immune dysregulation and risk of adult T-cell lymphoma among carriers of human T-lymphotropic virus type-I, and in a population-based case-control study of dietary pattern and risk of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Publications

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  • Epstein MM, Chang ET, Zhang Y, Fung TT, Batista JL, Ambinder RF, Zheng T, Mueller NE, Birmann BM. Dietary Pattern and Risk of Hodgkin Lymphoma in a Population-Based Case-Control Study. Am J Epidemiol 2015. PubMed
  • Wang SS, Vajdic CM, Linet MS, Slager SL, Voutsinas J, Nieters A, de Sanjose S, Cozen W, Alarcón GS, Martinez-Maza O, Brown EE, Bracci PM, Lightfoot T, Turner J, Hjalgrim H, Spinelli JJ, Zheng T, Morton LM, Birmann BM, Flowers CR, Paltiel O, Becker N, Holly EA, Kane E, Weisenburger D, Maynadie M, Cocco P, Foretova L, Staines A, Davis S, Severson R, Cerhan JR, Breen EC, Lan Q, Brooks-Wilson A, De Roos AJ, Smith MT, Roman E, Boffetta P, Kricker A, Zhang Y, Skibola C, Chanock SJ, Rothman N, Benavente Y, Hartge P, Smedby KE. Associations of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) Risk With Autoimmune Conditions According to Putative NHL Loci. Am J Epidemiol 2015; 181:406-21. PubMed
  • Andreotti G, Birmann BM, Cozen W, De Roos AJ, Chiu BC, Costas L, de Sanjosé S, Moysich K, Camp NJ, Spinelli JJ, Pahwa P, Dosman JA, McLaughlin JR, Boffetta P, Staines A, Weisenburger D, Benhaim-Luzon V, Brennan P, Costantini AS, Miligi L, Campagna M, Nieters A, Becker N, Maynadié M, Foretová L, Zheng T, Tricot G, Milliken K, Krzystan J, Steplowski E, Baris D, Purdue MP. A pooled analysis of cigarette smoking and risk of multiple myeloma from the international multiple myeloma consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015; 24:631-4. PubMed
  • Vijai J, Wang Z, Berndt SI, Skibola CF, Slager SL, de Sanjose S, Melbye M, Glimelius B, Bracci PM, Conde L, Birmann BM, Wang SS, Brooks-Wilson AR, Lan Q, de Bakker PI, Vermeulen RC, Portlock C, Ansell SM, Link BK, Riby J, North KE, Gu J, Hjalgrim H, Cozen W, Becker N, Teras LR, Spinelli JJ, Turner J, Zhang Y, Purdue MP, Giles GG, Kelly RS, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Ennas MG, Monnereau A, Bertrand KA, Albanes D, Lightfoot T, Yeager M, Chung CC, Burdett L, Hutchinson A, Lawrence C, Montalvan R, Liang L, Huang J, Ma B, Villano DJ, Maria A, Corines M, Thomas T, Novak AJ, Dogan A, Liebow M, Thompson CA, Witzig TE, Habermann TM, Weiner GJ, Smith MT, Holly EA, Jackson RD, Tinker LF, Ye Y, Adami HO, Smedby KE, De Roos AJ, Hartge P, Morton LM, Severson RK, Benavente Y, Boffetta P, Brennan P, Foretova L, Maynadie M, McKay J, Staines A, Diver WR, Vajdic CM, Armstrong BK, Kricker A, Zheng T, Holford TR, Severi G, Vineis P, Ferri GM, Ricco R, Miligi L, Clavel J, Giovannucci E, Kraft P, Virtamo J, Smith A, Kane E, Roman E, Chiu BC, Fraumeni JF, Wu X, Cerhan JR, Offit K, Chanock SJ, Rothman N, Nieters A. A genome-wide association study of marginal zone lymphoma shows association to the HLA region. Nat Commun 2015; 6:5751. PubMed
  • Skibola CF, Berndt SI, Vijai J, Conde L, Wang Z, Yeager M, de Bakker PI, Birmann BM, Vajdic CM, Foo JN, Bracci PM, Vermeulen RC, Slager SL, de Sanjose S, Wang SS, Linet MS, Salles G, Lan Q, Severi G, Hjalgrim H, Lightfoot T, Melbye M, Gu J, Ghesquières H, Link BK, Morton LM, Holly EA, Smith A, Tinker LF, Teras LR, Kricker A, Becker N, Purdue MP, Spinelli JJ, Zhang Y, Giles GG, Vineis P, Monnereau A, Bertrand KA, Albanes D, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Gabbas A, Chung CC, Burdett L, Hutchinson A, Lawrence C, Montalvan R, Liang L, Huang J, Ma B, Liu J, Adami HO, Glimelius B, Ye Y, Nowakowski GS, Dogan A, Thompson CA, Habermann TM, Novak AJ, Liebow M, Witzig TE, Weiner GJ, Schenk M, Hartge P, De Roos AJ, Cozen W, Zhi D, Akers NK, Riby J, Smith MT, Lacher M, Villano DJ, Maria A, Roman E, Kane E, Jackson RD, North KE, Diver WR, Turner J, Armstrong BK, Benavente Y, Boffetta P, Brennan P, Foretova L, Maynadie M, Staines A, McKay J, Brooks-Wilson AR, Zheng T, Holford TR, Chamosa S, Kaaks R, Kelly RS, Ohlsson B, Travis RC, Weiderpass E, Clavel J, Giovannucci E, Kraft P, Virtamo J, Mazza P, Cocco P, Ennas MG, Chiu BC, Fraumeni JF, Nieters A, Offit K, Wu X, Cerhan JR, Smedby KE, Chanock SJ, Rothman N. Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Five Susceptibility Loci for Follicular Lymphoma outside the HLA Region. Am J Hum Genet 2014; 95:462-71. PubMed
  • Cerhan JR, Berndt SI, Vijai J, Ghesquières H, McKay J, Wang SS, Wang Z, Yeager M, Conde L, de Bakker PI, Nieters A, Cox D, Burdett L, Monnereau A, Flowers CR, De Roos AJ, Brooks-Wilson AR, Lan Q, Severi G, Melbye M, Gu J, Jackson RD, Kane E, Teras LR, Purdue MP, Vajdic CM, Spinelli JJ, Giles GG, Albanes D, Kelly RS, Zucca M, Bertrand KA, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Lawrence C, Hutchinson A, Zhi D, Habermann TM, Link BK, Novak AJ, Dogan A, Asmann YW, Liebow M, Thompson CA, Ansell SM, Witzig TE, Weiner GJ, Veron AS, Zelenika D, Tilly H, Haioun C, Molina TJ, Hjalgrim H, Glimelius B, Adami HO, Bracci PM, Riby J, Smith MT, Holly EA, Cozen W, Hartge P, Morton LM, Severson RK, Tinker LF, North KE, Becker N, Benavente Y, Boffetta P, Brennan P, Foretova L, Maynadie M, Staines A, Lightfoot T, Crouch S, Smith A, Roman E, Diver WR, Offit K, Zelenetz A, Klein RJ, Villano DJ, Zheng T, Zhang Y, Holford TR, Kricker A, Turner J, Southey MC, Clavel J, Virtamo J, Weinstein S, Riboli E, Vineis P, Kaaks R, Trichopoulos D, Vermeulen RC, Boeing H, Tjonneland A, Angelucci E, Di Lollo S, Rais M, Birmann BM, Laden F, Giovannucci E, Kraft P, Huang J, Ma B, Ye Y, Chiu BC, Sampson J, Liang L, Park JH, Chung CC, Weisenburger DD, Chatterjee N, Fraumeni JF, Slager SL, Wu X, de Sanjose S, Smedby KE, Salles G, Skibola CF, Rothman N, Chanock SJ. Genome-wide association study identifies multiple susceptibility loci for diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Nat Genet 2014. PubMed
  • Morton LM, Slager SL, Cerhan JR, Wang SS, Vajdic CM, Skibola CF, Bracci PM, de Sanjosé S, Smedby KE, Chiu BC, Zhang Y, Mbulaiteye SM, Monnereau A, Turner JJ, Clavel J, Adami HO, Chang ET, Glimelius B, Hjalgrim H, Melbye M, Crosignani P, di Lollo S, Miligi L, Nanni O, Ramazzotti V, Rodella S, Costantini AS, Stagnaro E, Tumino R, Vindigni C, Vineis P, Becker N, Benavente Y, Boffetta P, Brennan P, Cocco P, Foretova L, Maynadié M, Nieters A, Staines A, Colt JS, Cozen W, Davis S, de Roos AJ, Hartge P, Rothman N, Severson RK, Holly EA, Call TG, Feldman AL, Habermann TM, Liebow M, Blair A, Cantor KP, Kane EV, Lightfoot T, Roman E, Smith A, Brooks-Wilson A, Connors JM, Gascoyne RD, Spinelli JJ, Armstrong BK, Kricker A, Holford TR, Lan Q, Zheng T, Orsi L, Dal Maso L, Franceschi S, La Vecchia C, Negri E, Serraino D, Bernstein L, Levine A, Friedberg JW, Kelly JL, Berndt SI, Birmann BM, Clarke CA, Flowers CR, Foran JM, Kadin ME, Paltiel O, Weisenburger DD, Linet MS, Sampson JN. Etiologic heterogeneity among non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes: the InterLymph Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes Project. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2014; 2014:130-44. PubMed
  • Mbulaiteye SM, Morton LM, Sampson JN, Chang ET, Costas L, de Sanjosé S, Lightfoot T, Kelly J, Friedberg JW, Cozen W, Marcos-Gragera R, Slager SL, Birmann BM, Weisenburger DD. Medical history, lifestyle, family history, and occupational risk factors for sporadic Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia: the Interlymph Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Subtypes Project. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2014; 2014:106-14. PubMed
  • Teras LR, Kitahara CM, Birmann BM, Hartge PA, Wang SS, Robien K, Patel AV, Adami HO, Weiderpass E, Giles GG, Singh PN, Alavanja M, Beane Freeman LE, Bernstein L, Buring JE, Colditz GA, Fraser GE, Gapstur SM, Michael Gaziano J, Giovannucci E, Hofmann JN, Linet MS, Neta G, Park Y, Purdue MP. Body size and multiple myeloma mortality: a pooled analysis of 20 prospective studies. British Journal of Haematology 2014. PubMed
  • Birmann BM, Giovannucci EL, Rosner BA, Colditz GA. Regular aspirin use and risk of multiple myeloma: a prospective analysis in the health professionals follow-up study and nurses' health study. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa) 2014; 7:33-41. PubMed
  • Epstein MM, Breen EC, Magpantay L, Detels R, Lepone L, Penugonda S, Bream JH, Jacobson LP, Martínez-Maza O, Birmann BM. Temporal stability of serum concentrations of cytokines and soluble receptors measured across two years in low-risk HIV-seronegative men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013; 22:2009-15. PubMed
  • Andreotti G, Birmann B, De Roos AJ, Spinelli J, Cozen W, Camp NJ, Moysich K, Chiu B, Steplowski E, Krzystan J, Boffetta P, Benhaim-Luzon V, Brennan P, de Sanjosé S, Costas L, Costantini AS, Miligi L, Cocco P, Becker N, Foretová L, Maynadié M, Nieters A, Staines A, Tricot G, Milliken K, Weisenburger D, Zheng T, Baris D, Purdue MP. A pooled analysis of alcohol consumption and risk of multiple myeloma in the international multiple myeloma consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013; 22:1620-7. PubMed
  • Berndt SI, Skibola CF, Joseph V, Camp NJ, Nieters A, Wang Z, Cozen W, Monnereau A, Wang SS, Kelly RS, Lan Q, Teras LR, Chatterjee N, Chung CC, Yeager M, Brooks-Wilson AR, Hartge P, Purdue MP, Birmann BM, Armstrong BK, Cocco P, Zhang Y, Severi G, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Lawrence C, Burdette L, Yuenger J, Hutchinson A, Jacobs KB, Call TG, Shanafelt TD, Novak AJ, Kay NE, Liebow M, Wang AH, Smedby KE, Adami HO, Melbye M, Glimelius B, Chang ET, Glenn M, Curtin K, Cannon-Albright LA, Jones B, Diver WR, Link BK, Weiner GJ, Conde L, Bracci PM, Riby J, Holly EA, Smith MT, Jackson RD, Tinker LF, Benavente Y, Becker N, Boffetta P, Brennan P, Foretova L, Maynadie M, McKay J, Staines A, Rabe KG, Achenbach SJ, Vachon CM, Goldin LR, Strom SS, Lanasa MC, Spector LG, Leis JF, Cunningham JM, Weinberg JB, Morrison VA, Caporaso NE, Norman AD, Linet MS, De Roos AJ, Morton LM, Severson RK, Riboli E, Vineis P, Kaaks R, Trichopoulos D, Masala G, Weiderpass E, Chirlaque MD, Vermeulen RC, Travis RC, Giles GG, Albanes D, Virtamo J, Weinstein S, Clavel J, Zheng T, Holford TR, Offit K, Zelenetz A, Klein RJ, Spinelli JJ, Bertrand KA, Laden F, Giovannucci E, Kraft P, Kricker A, Turner J, Vajdic CM, Ennas MG, Ferri GM, Miligi L, Liang L, Sampson J, Crouch S, Park JH, North KE, Cox A, Snowden JA, Wright J, Carracedo A, Lopez-Otin C, Bea S, Salaverria I, Martin-Garcia D, Campo E, Fraumeni JF, de Sanjose S, Hjalgrim H, Cerhan JR, Chanock SJ, Rothman N, Slager SL. Genome-wide association study identifies multiple risk loci for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Nat Genet 2013; 45:868-76. PubMed
  • Bertrand KA, Giovannucci E, Zhang SM, Laden F, Rosner B, Birmann BM. A prospective analysis of body size during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa) 2013; 6:864-73. PubMed
  • Perrotta C, Kleefeld S, Staines A, Tewari P, De Roos AJ, Baris D, Birmann B, Chiu B, Cozen W, Becker N, Foretova L, Maynadié M, Nieters A, de Sanjosé S, Miligi L, Seniori Costantini A, Purdue M, Spinelli J, Cocco P. Multiple myeloma and occupation: a pooled analysis by the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium. 2013; 37:300-5. PubMed
  • Patel AV, Diver WR, Teras LR, Birmann BM, Gapstur SM. Body mass index, height and risk of lymphoid neoplasms in a large United States cohort. Leuk Lymphoma 2013; 54:1221-7. PubMed
  • Schernhammer ES, Bertrand KA, Birmann BM, Sampson L, Willett WC, Feskanich D. Consumption of artificial sweetener- and sugar-containing soda and risk of lymphoma and leukemia in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr 2012; 96:1419-28. PubMed
  • Becker N, Falster MO, Vajdic CM, de Sanjose S, Martínez-Maza O, Bracci PM, Melbye M, Smedby KE, Engels EA, Turner J, Vineis P, Costantini AS, Holly EA, Spinelli JJ, La Vecchia C, Zheng T, Chiu BC, Montella M, Cocco P, Maynadié M, Foretova L, Staines A, Brennan P, Davis S, Severson R, Cerhan JR, Breen EC, Birmann B, Cozen W, Grulich AE, Newton R. Self-reported history of infections and the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: an InterLymph pooled analysis. Int J Cancer 2012; 131:2342-8. PubMed
  • Birmann BM, Neuhouser ML, Rosner B, Albanes D, Buring JE, Giles GG, Lan Q, Lee IM, Purdue MP, Rothman N, Severi G, Yuan JM, Anderson KC, Pollak M, Rifai N, Hartge P, Landgren O, Lessin L, Virtamo J, Wallace RB, Manson JE, Colditz GA. Pre-diagnosis biomarkers of insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin, and interleukin-6 dysregulation and multiple myeloma risk in the Multiple Myeloma Cohort Consortium. Blood 2012. PubMed
  • Teras LR, Gapstur SM, Diver WR, Birmann BM, Patel AV. Recreational physical activity, leisure sitting time and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoid neoplasms in the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Cohort. Int J Cancer 2012. PubMed
  • Kasperzyk JL, Chang ET, Birmann BM, Kraft P, Zheng T, Mueller NE. Nutrients and Genetic Variation Involved in One-Carbon Metabolism and Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk: A Population-based Case-Control Study. Am J Epidemiol 2011; 174:816-27. PubMed
  • Mueller NE, Lennette ET, Dupnik K, Birmann BM. Antibody titers against EBNA1 and EBNA2 in relation to Hodgkin lymphoma and history of infectious mononucleosis. Int J Cancer 2011. PubMed
  • Bertrand KA, Birmann BM, Chang ET, Spiegelman D, Aster JC, Zhang SM, Laden F. A prospective study of Epstein-Barr virus antibodies and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Blood 2010; 116:3547-53. PubMed
  • Grulich AE, Vajdic CM, Falster MO, Kane E, Smedby KE, Bracci PM, de Sanjose S, Becker N, Turner J, Martinez-Maza O, Melbye M, Engels EA, Vineis P, Costantini AS, Holly EA, Spinelli JJ, La Vecchia C, Zheng T, Chiu BC, Franceschi S, Cocco P, Maynadié M, Foretova L, Staines A, Brennan P, Davis S, Severson RK, Cerhan JR, Breen EC, Birmann B, Cozen W. Birth order and risk of non-hodgkin lymphoma--true association or bias? Am J Epidemiol 2010; 172:621-30. PubMed
  • Vajdic CM, Falster MO, de Sanjose S, Martínez-Maza O, Becker N, Bracci PM, Melbye M, Smedby KE, Engels EA, Turner J, Vineis P, Costantini AS, Holly EA, Kane E, Spinelli JJ, La Vecchia C, Zheng T, Chiu BC, Dal Maso L, Cocco P, Maynadié M, Foretova L, Staines A, Brennan P, Davis S, Severson R, Cerhan JR, Breen EC, Birmann B, Cozen W, Grulich AE. Atopic disease and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: an InterLymph pooled analysis. Cancer Res 2009; 69:6482-9. PubMed
  • Chang ET,Birmann BM,Kasperzyk JL,Conti DV,Kraft P,Ambinder RF,Zheng T,Mueller NE. Polymorphic variation in NFKB1 and other aspirin-related genes and risk of Hodgkin lymphoma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009; 18:976-86. PubMed
  • Birmann BM, Breen EC, Stuver S, Cranston B, Mart. Population differences in immune marker profiles associated with human T-lymphotropic virus type I infection in Japan and Jamaica. Int J Cancer 2008; 124:614-21. PubMed
  • Birmann BM, Tamimi RM, Giovannucci E, Rosner B, Hunter DJ, Kraft P, Mitsiades C, Anderson KC, Colditz GA. Insulin-like Growth Factor-1- and Interleukin-6-related Gene Variation and Risk of Multiple Myeloma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009; 18:282-8. PubMed
  • Ekström Smedby K, Vajdic CM, Falster M, Engels EA, Martínez-Maza O, Turner J, Hjalgrim H, Vineis P, Seniori Costantini A, Bracci PM, Holly EA, Willett E, Spinelli JJ, La Vecchia C, Zheng T, Becker N, De Sanjosé S, Chiu BC, Dal Maso L, Cocco P, Maynadié M, Foretova L, Staines A, Brennan P, Davis S, Severson R, Cerhan JR, Breen EC, Birmann B, Grulich AE, Cozen W. Autoimmune disorders and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes: a pooled analysis within the InterLymph Consortium. Blood 2008; 111:4029-38. PubMed
  • Birmann BM, Giovannucci E, Rosner B, Anderson KC, Colditz GA. Body mass index, physical activity, and risk of multiple myeloma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007; 16:1474-8. PubMed
  • Birmann BM, Mueller NE, Okayama A, Hsieh CC, Tsubouchi H, Harn D, Stuver SO. Patterns of serum type 1 and type 2 immune markers in healthy carriers of HTLV-I. J Med Virol 2006; 78:847-52. PubMed
  • Birmann BM, Mueller N, Okayama A, Hsieh CC, Tachibana N, Tsubouchi H, Lennette ET, Harn D, Stuver S. Serologic assessment of type 1 and type 2 immunity in healthy Japanese adults. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2004; 13:1385-91. PubMed
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