Eva S. Schernhammer

Appointment Title: 
Adjunct Associate Professor
Type of Faculty: 
Part Time
Harvard Medical School, Channing Division of Network Medicine Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology 181 Longwood Avenue, 3rd Floor Boston, MA 02115
Areas of Interest: 


Cancer Epidemiology

Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Epidemiology

Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology

Genetic Epidemiology

Nutritional/Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Epidemiology

Physical Activity, Obesity and Diabetes

Psychiatric Epidemiology

Biographical Information: 

Dr. Eva Schernhammer is an Associate Professor of Medicine (Harvard Medical School) and Epidemiology (Harvard School of Public Health). In addition, she holds adjunct faculty positions at the Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA, and the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Vienna Medical School, Austria (her native home town). She is based at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Harvard Medical School, home of several famous cohort studies including the Physicians’ Health Study and the Nurses’ Health Study.

Her research focuses on the influence of lifestyle as well as gene-environment interactions in the context of chronic diseases. These include a variety of cancers such as breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease and its relation with cancer etiology, to further understand biological mechanisms in carcinogenesis. Dr. Schernhammer’s research is embedded in the Harvard cohorts, including the Nurses’ Health Studies and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and other national and international observational studies (e.g., the MrOS and ORDET cohorts and Danish register-based case-control studies).

Her primary research interest is the relation of circadian rhythms and markers of the circadian system (e.g., melatonin) to cancer risk. Her major scientific contributions have highlighted the effects of light at night on cancer risk through the melatonin pathway. This work has led to the establishment of a new classification of shift work as a probable human carcinogen by WHO in 2007. Schernhammer holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Vienna Medical School, a Doctor of Public Health degree (epidemiology) from the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a Master of Science degree in psychology from the University of Vienna. She completed her medical training in Vienna and practiced for several years in hematology/oncology before becoming interested in cancer prevention. 


MD, University of Vienna Medical School, Austria
DrPH, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
MSc, University of Vienna, Austria
MPH, Quantitative Methods, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Habilitation (Priv.-Doz. Public Health) University of Vienna Medical School, Austria
This faculty member is available to serve as: 
MS Report Committee Member
Field Studies Advisor

Please check with the faculty member or their office about availability to serve during current academic period.

Selected Publications: 


81.Monsees G, Kraft P, Hankinson S, Hunter D, Schernhammer E. Circadian genes and breast cancer susceptibility in rotating night shift workers. Intl J Cancer 2012; 131(11): 2547-2552. PMCID: PMC3408553


82.Schernhammer ES, Giobbie-Hurder A, Gantman K, Savoie JS, Scheib R, Chen WY. A double-blinded randomized trial of oral melatonin supplementation in breast cancer survivors. Cancer Causes Control 2012; 23(4): 609-616. PMID: 22370698


83.Thompson C, Waldhör T, Schernhammer ES, Hackl M, Vutuc C, Haidinger G. Smoking and Lung Cancer: Current Trends in Austria. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2012; 124(15-16): 493-499. 


84.Schernhammer ES, Bertrand K, Birmann B, Sampson L, Willett W, Feskanich D. Consumption of artificial sweetener and sugar containing soda and the risk of lymphoma and leukemia in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr 2012; 96(6): 1419-1428. PMCID: PMC3497928.


85.Ogino S, Morikawa T, Nishihara R, Sato K, Kirkner GJ, Yamauchi M, Kuchiba A, Liao X, Imamura Y, Qian ZR, Chan AT, Schernhammer ES, Giovannucci E, Meyerhardt JA, Fuchs CF. A Prospective Study of Family History and Colorectal Cancer Risk According to LINE-1 Methylation Level. J Natl Cancer Inst 2013; 105(20): 130-140. PMCID: PMC3545905. 


86.Li WQ, Qureshi AA, Schernhammer ES, Han J. Rotating night shift work and risk of psoriasis in US women. J Invest Dermatol 2013; 133(2): 565-567. PMCID: PMC3511636. 


87.McMullan CF, Hu F, Rimm E, Schernhammer ES, Forman J. Association of melatonin levels with insulin-resistance in non-diabetic young women. Am J Epidemiol 2013; 178(2):231-238. PMID: 23813704 [PubMed - in process]


88.Ogino S, Lochhead P, Chan AT, Nishihara R, Cho E, Wolpin BM, Meyerhardt AJ, Meissner A, Schernhammer ES, Fuchs CS, Giovannucci E. Molecular Pathological Epidemiology of Epigenetics: Emerging Integrative Science to Analyze Environment, Host, and Disease. Mod Pathol 2013; 26(4):465-484. PMCID: in progress  


89.Schernhammer ES, Qiu J, Wermuth L, Funk Lassen C, Friis S, Ritz B. Gout and the risk of Parkinson’s Disease in Denmark. Eur J Epidemiol 2013; 28(4):359-360. PMCID: 3655156.   


90.McMullan CF, Schernhammer ES, Hu F, Rimm E, Forman J. Melatonin secretion and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. JAMA 2013; 309(13):1388-1396. PMCID: in progress


91.Sigurdardottir LG, Valdimarsdottir UA, Mucci L, Fall K, Rider J, Schernhammer E, Czeisler C, Launer L, Harris T, Stampfer M, Gudnason V, Lockley S. Sleep Disruption among Older Men and Risk of Prostate Cancer. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2013; 22(5):872-879. PMID: 23777922 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


92.Schernhammer ES, Sperati F, Razavi P, Agnoli C, Sieri S, Berrino F, Krogh V, Abbagnato CA, Grioni S, Blandino G, Schunemann HJ, Muti P. Endogenous sex steroids and risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women: The ORDET cohort. Breast Cancer Research 2013; 15(3): Epub ahead of print.


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