Keck School Faculty

Joseph Leo Wiemels, PhD
Joseph Leo Wiemels, PhD
Professor of Preventive Medicine
Center for Genetic Epidemiology
1520 San Pablo Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
The causes of most human cancers are unclear, but appear to be related to miscues in normal tissue developmental pathways, mutations (genetic and epigenetic) in critical genes caused by errors, infection, and chemicals, and a failure of recognition and removal of tumors by the immune system. Dr. Wiemels studies these factors as potential causes of hematopoietic and brain tumors. Large population-based studies of human cancer in California populations form a basis for examining the origin of these cancers, with a focus on future prevention. This type of research is highly collaborative, and Dr. Wiemels works with several epidemiologists, geneticists, clinicians, biologists, and statisticians.

Epigenomic profiling of newborns with isolated orofacial clefts reveals widespread DNA methylation changes and implicates metastable epiallele regions in disease risk Epigenetics. 2019 Mar 14; 1-16. . View in PubMed

Body mass index, comorbidities, and hormonal factors in relation to meningioma in an ethnically diverse population: the Multiethnic Cohort Neuro Oncol. 2019 Jan 06. . View in PubMed

BMI1 enhancer polymorphism underlies chromosome 10p1231 association with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Int J Cancer. 2018 Dec 01; 143(11):2647-2658. . View in PubMed

Advancing brain tumor epidemiology - multi-level integration and international collaboration: The 2018 Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium meeting report Clin Neuropathol. 2018 Nov/Dec; 37(6):254-261. . View in PubMed

Genetic determinants of childhood and adult height associated with osteosarcoma risk Cancer. 2018 Oct 12. . View in PubMed

Genome-wide association analysis identifies a meningioma risk locus at 11p155. Neuro Oncol. 2018 Oct 09; 20(11):1485-1493. . View in PubMed

Allergies and Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Case-Control Study and Meta-analysis Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Oct; 27(10):1142-1150. . View in PubMed

Genetic determinants of childhood and adult height associated with osteosarcoma risk Cancer. 2018 Sep 15; 124(18):3742-3752. . View in PubMed

Allergies and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A case-control study and meta-analysis Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Aug 01. . View in PubMed

BMI1 enhancer polymorphism underlies chromosome 10p1231 association with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Int J Cancer. 2018 Jun 19. . View in PubMed

Genome-wide association analysis identifies a meningioma risk locus at 11p155. Neuro Oncol. 2018 May 12. . View in PubMed

An overview of disparities in childhood cancer: Report on the Inaugural Symposium on Childhood Cancer Health Disparities, Houston, Texas, 2016 Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2018 May 08; 1-16. . View in PubMed

Genomic characterization of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in radiation-exposed Chornobyl cleanup workers Environ Health. 2018 May 02; 17(1):43. . View in PubMed

Herpesvirus Infection in Infants with Gastroschisis Epidemiology. 2018 Apr 06. . View in PubMed

An overview of disparities in childhood cancer: Report on the Inaugural Symposium on Childhood Cancer Health Disparities, Houston, Texas, 2016 Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2018 Mar; 35(2):95-110. . View in PubMed

Cohort Profile: Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium Int J Epidemiol. 2018 Feb 01; 47(1):22-23u. . View in PubMed

Herpesvirus Infection in Infants with Gastroschisis Epidemiology. 2018 07; 29(4):571-573. . View in PubMed

GWAS in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia reveals novel genetic associations at chromosomes 17q12 and 8q2421. Nat Commun. 2018 01 18; 9(1):286. . View in PubMed

A germ-line deletion of APOBEC3B does not contribute to subtype-specific childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia etiology Haematologica. 2018 Jan; 103(1):e29-e31. . View in PubMed

Cohort Profile: Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium Int J Epidemiol. 2018 02 01; 47(1):22-23u. . View in PubMed

Genomic characterization of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in radiation-exposed Chornobyl cleanup workers Environ Health. 2018 05 02; 17(1):43. . View in PubMed

Brain tumor epidemiology in the era of precision medicine: The 2017 Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium meeting report Clin Neuropathol. 2017 Nov/Dec; 36(6):255-263. . View in PubMed

Adult infiltrating gliomas with WHO 2016 integrated diagnosis: additional prognostic roles of ATRX and TERT Acta Neuropathol. 2017 Jun; 133(6):1001-1016. . View in PubMed

Cesarean Section and Risk of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in a Population-Based, Record-Linkage Study in California Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Jan 15; 185(2):96-105. . View in PubMed

Adult infiltrating gliomas with WHO 2016 integrated diagnosis: additional prognostic roles of ATRX and TERT Acta Neuropathol. 2017 06; 133(6):1001-1016. . View in PubMed

Cesarean Section and Risk of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in a Population-Based, Record-Linkage Study in California Am J Epidemiol. 2017 01 15; 185(2):96-105. . View in PubMed

Buccal mucosa micronuclei counts in relation to exposure to low dose-rate radiation from the Chornobyl nuclear accident and other medical and occupational radiation exposures Environ Health. 2017 06 23; 16(1):70. . View in PubMed

Correlates of Prenatal and Early-Life Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Frequency of Common Gene Deletions in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cancer Res. 2017 04 01; 77(7):1674-1683. . View in PubMed

Clonal and microclonal mutational heterogeneity in high hyperdiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 08; 7(45):72733-72745. . View in PubMed

Childhood Leukemia: A Preventable Disease Pediatrics. 2016 Nov; 138(Suppl 1):S45-S55. . View in PubMed

Childhood Leukemia and Primary Prevention Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2016 Oct; 46(10):317-352. . View in PubMed

Association of common genetic variation in the protein C pathway genes with clinical outcomes in acute respiratory distress syndrome Crit Care. 2016 May 23; 20(1):151. . View in PubMed

Genome-wide CpG island methylation and intergenic demethylation propensities vary among different tumor sites Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Feb 18; 44(3):1105-17. . View in PubMed

Birth weight, fetal growth, and risk of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma: an updated record linkage study in California Ann Epidemiol. 2016 Feb; 26(2):141-145. . View in PubMed

Birth weight and risk of paediatric Hodgkin lymphoma: Findings from a population-based record linkage study in California Eur J Cancer. 2016 12; 69:19-27. . View in PubMed

Genetic contribution to variation in DNA methylation at maternal smoking-sensitive loci in exposed neonates Epigenetics. 2016 09; 11(9):664-673. . View in PubMed

Genetic Variation Associated with Longer Telomere Length Increases Risk of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 07; 25(7):1043-9. . View in PubMed

Common genetic variants associated with telomere length confer risk for neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers Carcinogenesis. 2016 06; 37(6):576-582. . View in PubMed

A functional polymorphism in the CEBPE gene promoter influences acute lymphoblastic leukemia risk through interaction with the hematopoietic transcription factor Ikaros Leukemia. 2016 05; 30(5):1194-7. . View in PubMed

Evolving evidence on tumor and germline genetic classification of gliomas: implications for etiology and survival studies Clin Neuropathol. 2016 Jan-Feb; 35(1):31-8. . View in PubMed

A Heritable Missense Polymorphism in CDKN2A Confers Strong Risk of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Is Preferentially Selected during Clonal Evolution Cancer Res. 2015 Nov 15; 75(22):4884-94. . View in PubMed

Glioma Groups Based on 1p/19q, IDH, and TERT Promoter Mutations in Tumors N Engl J Med. 2015 Jun 25; 372(26):2499-508. . View in PubMed

Association of genetic variation in IKZF1, ARID5B, and CEBPE and surrogates for early-life infections with the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Hispanic children Cancer Causes Control. 2015 Apr; 26(4):609-19. . View in PubMed

Epigenetic remodeling in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia occurs in two tracks and employs embryonic stem cell-like signatures Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Mar 11; 43(5):2590-602. . View in PubMed

Global characteristics of childhood acute promyelocytic leukemia Blood Rev. 2015 Mar; 29(2):101-25. . View in PubMed

Brain Tumor Epidemiology - A Hub within Multidisciplinary Neuro-oncologyReport on the 15th Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium (BTEC) Annual Meeting, Vienna, 2014. Clin Neuropathol. 2015 Jan-Feb; 34(1):40-6. . View in PubMed

Excess winter deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases are associated with both mild winter temperature and socio-economic inequalities in the US. Int J Cardiol. 2015; 187:642-4. . View in PubMed

Genomic ancestry and somatic alterations correlate with age at diagnosis in Hispanic children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia Am J Hematol. 2014 Jul; 89(7):721-5. . View in PubMed

Endogenous and exogenous hormone exposure and the risk of meningioma in men J Neurosurg. 2014 Apr; 120(4):820-6. . View in PubMed

Cancer cluster investigations: review of the past and proposals for the future Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Jan 28; 11(2):1479-99. . View in PubMed

Direct and indirect targets of the E2A-PBX1 leukemia-specific fusion protein PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e87602. . View in PubMed

Associations between genome-wide Native American ancestry, known risk alleles and B-cell ALL risk in Hispanic children Leukemia. 2013 Dec; 27(12):2416-9. . View in PubMed

GATA3 risk alleles are associated with ancestral components in Hispanic children with ALL Blood. 2013 Nov 07; 122(19):3385-7. . View in PubMed

Genetic variants in ARID5B and CEBPE are childhood ALL susceptibility loci in Hispanics Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Oct; 24(10):1789-95. . View in PubMed

Blood levels of folate at birth and risk of childhood leukemia Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Jun; 22(6):1088-94. . View in PubMed

Exogenous hormone use, reproductive factors, and risk of intracranial meningioma in females J Neurosurg. 2013 Mar; 118(3):649-56. . View in PubMed

Analysis of 60 reported glioma risk SNPs replicates published GWAS findings but fails to replicate associations from published candidate-gene studies Genet Epidemiol. 2013 Feb; 37(2):222-8. . View in PubMed

Dental x-rays and risk of meningioma: response to DrsCalnon, Jorgensen, and White. Cancer. 2013 Jan 15; 119(2):465-6. . View in PubMed

Assessment of autoantibodies to meningioma in a population-based study Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Jan 01; 177(1):75-83. . View in PubMed

Genome-wide association study of glioma and meta-analysis Hum Genet. 2012 Dec; 131(12):1877-88. . View in PubMed

Epigenetic biomarkers of T-cells in human glioma Epigenetics. 2012 Dec 01; 7(12):1391-402. . View in PubMed

A global DNA methylation and gene expression analysis of early human B-cell development reveals a demethylation signature and transcription factor network Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Dec; 40(22):11339-51. . View in PubMed

Allergy and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a population-based and record-based study Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Dec 01; 176(11):970-8. . View in PubMed

HLA-DP genetic variation, proxies for early life immune modulation and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia risk Blood. 2012 Oct 11; 120(15):3039-47. . View in PubMed

A low-frequency variant at 8q2421 is strongly associated with risk of oligodendroglial tumors and astrocytomas with IDH1 or IDH2 mutation. Nat Genet. 2012 Oct; 44(10):1122-5. . View in PubMed

Dental x-rays and risk of meningioma Cancer. 2012 Sep 15; 118(18):4530-7. . View in PubMed

Fetal growth and body size genes and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia Cancer Causes Control. 2012 Sep; 23(9):1577-85. . View in PubMed

Cigarette smoking and risk of meningioma: the effect of gender Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Jun; 21(6):943-50. . View in PubMed

Haplotypes of DNA repair and cell cycle control genes, X-ray exposure, and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Dec; 22(12):1721-30. . View in PubMed

Family and personal medical history and risk of meningioma J Neurosurg. 2011 Dec; 115(6):1072-7. . View in PubMed

History of Parvovirus B19 infection is associated with a DNA methylation signature in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia Epigenetics. 2011 Dec; 6(12):1436-43. . View in PubMed

Genetic variants in the folate pathway and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Sep; 22(9):1243-58. . View in PubMed

Associations of high-grade glioma with glioma risk alleles and histories of allergy and smoking Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Sep 01; 174(5):574-81. . View in PubMed

Early life exposure to infections and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia Int J Cancer. 2011 Apr 01; 128(7):1632-43. . View in PubMed

DNA hypermethylation profiles associated with glioma subtypes and EZH2 and IGFBP2 mRNA expression Neuro Oncol. 2011 Mar; 13(3):280-9. . View in PubMed

DNA methylation, isocitrate dehydrogenase mutation, and survival in glioma J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Jan 19; 103(2):143-53. . View in PubMed

Distinct germ line polymorphisms underlie glioma morphologic heterogeneity Cancer Genet. 2011 Jan; 204(1):13-8. . View in PubMed

Backtracking RAS mutations in high hyperdiploid childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2010 Oct 15; 45(3):186-91. . View in PubMed

Circulating levels of the innate and humoral immune regulators CD14 and CD23 are associated with adult glioma Cancer Res. 2010 Oct 01; 70(19):7534-42. . View in PubMed

FLT3 mutation incidence and timing of origin in a population case series of pediatric leukemia BMC Cancer. 2010 Sep 27; 10:513. . View in PubMed

Epidemiology and etiology of meningioma J Neurooncol. 2010 Sep; 99(3):307-14. . View in PubMed

Genetic polymorphisms in adaptive immunity genes and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Sep; 19(9):2152-63. . View in PubMed

Analysis of t(15;17) chromosomal breakpoint sequences in therapy-related versus de novo acute promyelocytic leukemia: association of DNA breaks with specific DNA motifs at PML and RARA loci Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2010 Aug; 49(8):726-32. . View in PubMed

Breast cancer DNA methylation profiles are associated with tumor size and alcohol and folate intake PLoS Genet. 2010 Jul 29; 6(7):e1001043. . View in PubMed

Evidence for direct involvement of epirubicin in the formation of chromosomal translocations in t(15;17) therapy-related acute promyelocytic leukemia Blood. 2010 Jan 14; 115(2):326-30. . View in PubMed

Copy number variation has little impact on bead-array-based measures of DNA methylation Bioinformatics. 2009 Aug 15; 25(16):1999-2005. . View in PubMed

Aging and environmental exposures alter tissue-specific DNA methylation dependent upon CpG island context PLoS Genet. 2009 Aug; 5(8):e1000602. . View in PubMed

Differentiation of lung adenocarcinoma, pleural mesothelioma, and nonmalignant pulmonary tissues using DNA methylation profiles Cancer Res. 2009 Aug 01; 69(15):6315-21. . View in PubMed

4G/5G polymorphism of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene is associated with mortality in intensive care unit patients with severe pneumonia Anesthesiology. 2009 May; 110(5):1086-91. . View in PubMed

Allergies and childhood leukemia Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2009 Mar-Apr; 42(2):99-104. . View in PubMed

Epigenetic profiling reveals etiologically distinct patterns of DNA methylation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma Carcinogenesis. 2009 Mar; 30(3):416-22. . View in PubMed

Backtracking of leukemic clones to birth Methods Mol Biol. 2009; 538:7-27. . View in PubMed

Household exposure to paint and petroleum solvents, chromosomal translocations, and the risk of childhood leukemia Environ Health Perspect. 2009 Jan; 117(1):133-9. . View in PubMed

Chromosome 12p deletions in TEL-AML1 childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia are associated with retrotransposon elements and occur postnatally Cancer Res. 2008 Dec 01; 68(23):9935-44. . View in PubMed

Brain tumor epidemiology: consensus from the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium Cancer. 2008 Oct 01; 113(7 Suppl):1953-68. . View in PubMed

Chromosomal translocations in childhood leukemia: natural history, mechanisms, and epidemiology J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2008; (39):87-90. . View in PubMed

Epidemiology of brain tumors Neurol Clin. 2007 Nov; 25(4):867-90, vii. . View in PubMed

Exogenous hormone use and meningioma risk: what do we tell our patients? Cancer. 2007 Aug 01; 110(3):471-6.. View in PubMed

DNA quantification of whole genome amplified samples for genotyping on a multiplexed bead array platform Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Aug; 16(8):1686-90. . View in PubMed

Allergy-related polymorphisms influence glioma status and serum IgE levels Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Jun; 16(6):1229-35. . View in PubMed

Accuracy of multiplexed Illumina platform-based single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping compared between genomic and whole genome amplified DNA collected from multiple sources Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Dec; 15(12):2533-6. . View in PubMed

Acute lung injury and the coagulation pathway: Potential role of gene polymorphisms in the protein C and fibrinolytic pathways Intensive Care Med. 2006 Sep; 32(9):1293-303. . View in PubMed

Cytogenetics of Hispanic and White children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in California Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Mar; 15(3):578-81. . View in PubMed

Epidemiology of intracranial meningioma Neurosurgery. 2005 Dec; 57(6):1088-95; discussion 1088-95. . View in PubMed

ERCC1 and ERCC2 polymorphisms and adult glioma Neuro Oncol. 2005 Oct; 7(4):495-507. . View in PubMed

Ethnic difference in daycare attendance, early infections, and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Aug; 14(8):1928-34. . View in PubMed

History of chickenpox and shingles and prevalence of antibodies to varicella-zoster virus and three other herpesviruses among adults with glioma and controls Am J Epidemiol. 2005 May 15; 161(10):929-38. . View in PubMed

DNA topoisomerase II in therapy-related acute promyelocytic leukemia N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 14; 352(15):1529-38. . View in PubMed

Genomic anatomy of the specific reciprocal translocation t(15;17) in acute promyelocytic leukemia Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2003 Feb; 36(2):175-88. . View in PubMed

History of allergies among adults with glioma and controls Int J Cancer. 2002 Apr 01; 98(4):609-15. . View in PubMed

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