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Jasmin McDonald


My multidisciplinary training in infectious diseases, breast cancer epidemiology and molecular epidemiology gives me a unique perspective to understand and study the complexities of cancer throughout the life course. My research portfolio integrates factors at the individual level (e.g. health behavior) and the macro-environment (e.g. physical, social, microbial environment) with biology (e.g. hormonal regulation, epigenetic modification) to study how these different ones Levels of etiology affect breast cancer risk throughout life - from early life to adulthood. My early research focuses on factors associated with growth and development in girls, suggesting markers of puberty development as breast cancer risk factors. Studies in mid-life women focus on the different health behaviors in different population groups exposed to a higher burden of cancer. Much of my portfolio is embedded in populations with a higher burden of cancer, including those with a genetic make-up, racial and ethnic minorities, and young women. So far, my contributions in this area have mainly been: (1) study of individual health behavior to inform genomic medical practices and women's health; (2) Investigation of the physical and social environmental stresses in early life and the influence on the growth and pubertal development of girls; (3) To study the role of microbial exposure and the immune system in early life and its influence on growth and pubertal development in girls; and (4) assessment of the underlying biological mechanisms that overlap at the individual and macro-environment level.


Biostatistical Methods Child and Adolescent Health Chronic Diseases Community Health Environmental Health Genetics Infectious Disease Public Health Education

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BS, 2003, University of Maryland PhD, 2009, Harvard University

Postman Affiliations

Faculty, Institute for Epidemiology

Columbia Affiliations

Co-Direktor, Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (CURE) Programm am Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Other affiliations

Co-Chair, Evaluation Subcommittee and Member, Internal Coordination Committee of the Research Network Cancer Disparities (Region 4 of GMaP)

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areas of expertise

Longitudinal Studies, Adolescent Health, Breastfeeding, Child Health and Development, Breast Cancer, Chronic Diseases, Health Inequalities / Inequalities, Minority Health, Women's Health, Environmental Risk Factors, Molecular Epidemiology, Epigenetics, Gene-Environment Interactions, Infectious Diseases, Life Course Approach to prevention, risk factors

Select publications

McDonald JA, Tehranifar P, Flom JD, Terry MB, James-Todd T. Use of hair products, age in menarche and mammographic breast density in multiethnic urban women. Environmental health. 2018; 17 (1): 1.

Zeinomar N, Thai A, Cloud A, McDonald JA, Liao Y and Terry MB. Alcohol Consumption and Breast Cancer-Specific and All-round Mortality in Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the New York City Breast Cancer Family Registry Location. PLoS One 2017; 12 (2).

Tehranifar P, Wu H-C, McDonald JA, Jasmine F, Santella RM, Gurvich I, JD Flom, Terry MB. Maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and DNA methylation in mid-life offspring. Epigenetics 2017 May 11: 0. Pubmed PMID: 28494218.

Halbert CH, McDonald J, Vadaparampil S, Rice L, Jefferson M (2016) Conducting precision medicine research with African Americans. PLoS ONE 11 (7): e0154850. PubMed PMID: 27441706; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4956119.

McDonald, J.A., Eng, S.M., Dina, O. O., Schooling, C. M., and Terry, M. B. Infection and pubertal timing: a systematic review. J Dev Orig Health Dis. December 7, 2016 (6): 636-651. PubMed PMID: 27827292.

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McDonald JA, Michels KB, Cohn BA, Flom JD, Tehranifar P, Terry MB. Alcohol consumption from early adulthood to mid-life and mammographic density. Cancer causes & control. 2016: 27 (4); 493-502. PubMed PMID: 26830901; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4798860.

Terry M, McDonald JA, Wu H, Eng S, Santella RM. New biomarkers in the breast cancer continuum. Stearns V., editor. New York, New York: Springer; 2015. Epigenetic Biomarkers of Breast Cancer Risk.

Delgado-Cruzata L, Zhang W, McDonald JA, Tsai WY, Valdovinos C, Falci L, Wang Q, Crew KD, Santella RM, Hershman DL, Greenlee H. Diet changes, weight loss, and changes in metabolic markers affect global DNA methylation in Hispanic , African-American, and Afro-Caribbean breast cancer survivors. J Nutr. 2015 Apr; 145 (4): 783-90. PubMed PMID: 25833781; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4381766.

Quandt Z, Flom JD, Tehranifar P, Reynolds D, Terry MB, McDonald JA. The association of alcohol consumption with mammographic density in a multiethnic urban population. BMC cancer. 2015; 15: 1094. PubMed PMID: 25777420; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4374505.

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McDonald JA, Weathers B, Barg FK, Troxel AB, Shea JA, Bowen D, Guerra CE, Halbert CH. Intentions to donate for cancer genetics research among African Americans. Genet Test Mol Biomarker. 2012 April; 16 (4): 252-8. PubMed PMID: 22224593; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3326272.

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