Mariana C Stern


Associate Professor

Preventive Medicine (Division of Epidemiology)
Keck School of Medicine
USC / Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Topics

  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Prostate cancer

Research Overview

Dr. Stern's research is focused on the interplay between genes and environmental exposures and their role in cancer risk and prognosis. Using population-based strategies she tries to identify which combinations of genes and exposures put individuals at the highest risk for cancer. Her current studies are focused primarily on the analyses of selected environmental factors as potential sources of carcinogenic exposures relevant for cancer risk, taking into account variants in genes that play key roles in the mechanism of action of these carcinogens. Current ongoing studies in her group include the following topics:

1) Red meat and poultry intake in colorectal cancer risk, taking into account cooking practices and the potential interplay with genetic variants in metabolic enzymes.

2) Red meat, poultry and fish intake in prostate cancer risk, taking into account cooking practices and potential interactions with genetic variants in metabolism enzymes.

3) DNA repair variants, arylamines exposure and bladder cancer risk.

4) DNA repair variants, environmental exposures, and colorectal adenoma risk.

5) Genetic variants in the mechanism of action of chemotherapeutic drugs as potential prognostic markers for acute myelogenous leukemia.

6) Gene-exression based prognostic signatures for localized prostate cancer.

Dr. Stern is the Co-Director for the Molecular Epidemiology MS/PhD Program and currently teaches two courses: PM532 "Genetics in Public Health and Preventive Medicine", offered in the summer, and PM533 "Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology", offered in the Fall.