Holly Harris, MPH, ScD

Holly Harris, MPH, ScD

Assistant Member, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences Division


Sc.D., Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Epidemiology, 2010.
M.P.H., University of Southern California, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, 2005.
B.A., Macalester College, Biology, 2000.

Research Focus

I am broadly interested in the impact of lifestyle, nutrition, and genetic factors on women’s health. Specifically, I have focused on ovarian and breast cancer, as well as on hormonally related conditions that have shared reproductive risk factors with these diseases, including endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Much of my research to date has focused on understanding the role of the potentially modifiable risk factors of diet and lifestyle on the risk of these conditions. A more recent facet of my research is to explore the interrelatedness of these conditions and their shared risk factors. As ovarian cancer is rare, I am particularly interested in identifying women, such as those with endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), who may be at higher risk because these women may benefit from screening modalities for ovarian cancer which are currently not appropriate for population-based use. Identification of women at high risk for ovarian cancer and breast cancer is also important as it allows for targeted prevention strategies and can guide clinical decisions regarding frequency of screening and chemoprevention strategies for both of these cancers. Finally, understanding the influence of genetic factors, both alone or as a part of gene-environment interactions may facilitate prevention and help identify women most at risk for ovarian and breast cancer. 


1. Harris HR, Willett WC, Terry KL, Michels KB. Body fat distribution and risk of premenopausal breast cancer in the Nurses’ Health Study II. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011; 103(3):273-8. PMCID: PMC3107569

2. Harris HR, Cramer DW, Vitonis AF, DePari M, Terry KL. Folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, methionine and alcohol intake in relation to ovarian cancer risk. Intl J Cancer. 2012; 131(4): E518-29. PMCID: PMC3288483

3. Harris HR, Bergkvist L, Wolk A. Alcohol intake and mortality among women with invasive breast cancer. Br J Cancer. 2012; 106(3): 592-5. PMCID: PMC3273342

4. Harris HR, Chavarro JE, Malspeis S, Willett WC, Missmer SA. Dairy-food, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D intake and endometriosis: a prospective cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2013; 177(5): 420-30. PMCID: PMC3626048

5. Harris HR, Willett WC, Michels KB. Parental smoking during pregnancy and risk of overweight and obesity in the daughter. Intl J Obes (Lond). 2013; 37(10):1356-63. PMCID: PMC3795801

6. Harris HR, Costenbader KH, Mu F, Kvaskoff M, Malspeis S, Karlson EW, Missmer SA. Endometriosis and the risks of systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015; 75(7): 1279-84. PMCID: PMC4740245

7. Harris HR, Bergkvist L, Wolk A. Adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research recommendations and breast cancer risk. Intl J Cancer. 2016; 138(11): 2657-64. PMID: 26804371

8. Harris HR, Simard JF, Arkema EV. Endometriosis and systemic lupus erythematosus: a population-based case-control study. Lupus. 2016; 25(9):1045-9. PMCID: PMC4945380

9. Harris HR, Willett WC, Vaidya RL, Michels KB. Adolescent dietary patterns and premenopausal breast cancer incidence. Carcinogenesis. 2016;37(4):376-84. PMCID: PMC5006215

10. Harris HR, Titus LJ, Cramer DW, Terry KL. Long and irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome, and ovarian cancer risk in a population-based case-control study. Intl J Cancer. 2017; 140(2):285-291.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:  


Related Labs & Projects

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Holly Harris, MPH

Contact Information

(206) 667-2712
(206) 667-4787
Additional contact

Mail Stop: M4-B874