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Rulla M. Tamimi, ScD

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School Of Public Health

Associate Epidemiologist, Channing Laboratory, Brigham And Women's Hospital

Contact Info

Rulla Tamimi
Brigham And Women's Hospital
181 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA, 02115
Phone: 617-525-0862


Not Available.

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Breast Cancer, Co-Leader
Cancer Epidemiology

DF/HCC Associations

Member, Center Scientific Council

Research Abstract

Dr. Tamimiís research focus is to better understand breast cancer risk by utilizing molecular markers and focusing on intermediate endpoints in epidemiologic studies. Studying mammographic density and benign breast disease as intermediate endpoints may elucidate further the development of breast cancer especially at its earlier stages. Dr. Tamimi has taken the lead on the mammographic density and benign breast disease projects in the Nursesí Health Study. Her current focus is to identify molecular and early life predictors of proliferative breast disease. Among women with benign breast disease, she is interested in examining molecular markers in epithelial and stromal tissues of benign tissue and their association with subsequent breast cancer risk. Dr. Tamimi is also studying circulating biomarkers such as sex steroid hormones, insulin-like growth factor and vitamin D metabolites in relation to mammographic density.
Characterization of breast tumors by hormone receptor status has been important in understanding the mechanisms by which certain breast cancer risk factors operate, but also for determining treatment and prognosis. Dr. Tamimi has worked closely with many collaborators to create breast cancer tissue microarrays within the Nursesí Health Study. Her current goal is to examine how lifestyle factors, and genetic and plasma markers influence the molecular characteristics of the breast tumor. Better molecular classification of breast tumors may provide important clues as to the biology and underlying mechanisms of breast carcinogenesis. Future work will examine the relationship between tumor markers, prognosis, and survival.


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