researcher, Brigham & Women's Hospital
Eva Schernhammer's primary research interest is in exploring the exposures that influence the circadian system in humans and health consequences. She has done work on the effects of light at night on cancer risk through the melatonin pathway and demonstrated that the effects of light at night may affect not only breast cancer, but also other cancers such as colorectal cancer, generating evidence that supports a new hypothesis on the development of cancer. She has also conducted urinary melatonin measurements in the Nurses' Health Study to assess the hormone's variations according to shift work status and its association with breast cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study. Another research focus is to examine the role of other endogenous hormones such as IGF-I and IGFBP-3, and differences with respect to functionally different polymorphisms of these genes, and risk of breast cancer. This focus reflects a broad interest in identifying and applying the use of biomarkers. More recently Schernhammer has become interested in studying new areas including Parkinson's disease and its relation with cancer etiology, to further understand biological mechanisms in the development of cancer in humans.