Associate Professor, Epidemiology
Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutch
Dr. Holly Harris is a public health researcher who studies the impact of lifestyle, nutrition and genetic factors on women’s health. She focuses specifically on ovarian and breast cancer, as well as the hormonally related conditions that share reproductive risk factors with these diseases such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Much of Harris’ research focuses on the potentially modifiable factors of diet and lifestyle on the risk of these conditions; she also explores their interrelatedness and shared risk factors. For instance, women with endometriosis may be at higher risk for ovarian cancer and, thus, may benefit from screening modalities not appropriate for the population at large. Identification of women at high risk for ovarian and breast cancer allows for targeted prevention strategies and can guide clinical decisions regarding frequency of screening and chemoprevention strategies. Dr. Harris believes that understanding the influence of genetic factors, both alone and as a part of gene-environment interactions, may facilitate prevention and help identify women most at risk for ovarian and breast cancer. She also led a study that found a link between childhood abuse and endometriosis; women who reported severe to chronic abuse had a 79 percent higher risk of developing the condition.
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.
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