Erin Bowles, MPH

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“At KPWHRI, we have access to extensive data on cancer care. I'm using the data to learn how to improve the experiences of cancer patients and their families.”

Erin Bowles, MPH

Director, Collaborative Science, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Twitter: @ErinJBowles


 

Biography

Epidemiologist Erin Bowles, MPH, is looking at cancer screening and treatment from many different perspectives. Her research brings new insight into cancer risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship, while helping improve cancer care for patients and families.

Erin received an R50 mid-career research award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This award is given to cancer researchers who have demonstrated successes and contributions to cancer research as a non-principal investigator. As a key member of 2 large cancer collaborations — the NCI's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and the Health Care Systems Cancer Research Network (CRN) — Erin has developed diverse expertise that includes reading mammograms for breast density and using administrative data to understand patterns of care in cancer treatment.

Her current work includes:

  • Collaborating on a multi-site CRN study led by an investigator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to understand how obesity affects chemotherapy treatment dosing and risks of recurrence and toxicity in women with breast cancer
  • Helping investigators from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the University of California (UC) San Francisco and UC Davis understand imaging trends in children and pregnant women, and subsequent risks of leukemia associated with ionizing radiation from imaging exams
  • Working with investigators from the NCI, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, and Kaiser Permanente Georgia to study how mammographic breast density, radiation treatment, and tissue biomarkers are associated with second cancers in women with previous breast cancer
  • Collaborating on several studies within the BCSC to understand how disparities and social determinants of health affect breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and surveillance
  • Helping investigators from the University of Wisconsin develop a model to predict thyroid cancer diagnosis and evaluate how health care utilization affects thyroid cancer detection and outcomes
  • Working with teams from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, University of Washington, and Multicare Health System to develop and validate questions about cancer screening for people eligible for breast, colorectal, cervical, and/or lung cancer screening for the National Health Interview Survey.

Erin’s experience working with large observational cohorts and collaborations with numerous study teams over the past 20 years has provided her with expertise in data collection and quality control for many subject areas. She is also a manager of the Collaborative Science Division at KPWHRI, providing leadership, supervision, mentorship, and support to junior faculty.

Research interests and experience

  • Cancer

    Breast cancer; colorectal cancer; multiple myeloma; thyroid cancer; pancreatic cancer; biostatistics; epidemiology; mammography; mammographic breast density; cancer treatment; cancer screening and surveillance; automated data collection; quality of care; medication use; care coordination; administrative data

  • Health Services & Economics

    Access to care; health disparities; health outcomes research; quality of life; measurement of change in health care systems; practice variation

  • Women's Health

    Menopause; hormone replacement therapy (HRT); breast cancer

  • Aging & Geriatrics

    Cognitive health and dementia; biostatistics; epidemiology; medication use; cancer

Recent publications

Marlow EC, Ducore J, Kwan ML, Cheng SY, Bowles EJA, Greenlee RT, Pole JD, Rahm AK, Stout NK, Weinmann S, Smith-Bindman R, Miglioretti DL. Leukemia risk in a cohort of 3.9 million children with and without Down syndrome. J Pediatr. 2021 Mar 5:S0022-3476(21)00212-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.03.001. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wernli KJ, Bowles EA, Knerr S, Leppig KA, Ehrlich K, Gao H, Schwartz MD, O’Neill SC. Characteristics associated with participation in Engaged 2 - a web-based breast cancer risk communication and decision support trial. Perm J. 2020 Dec;24:1-4. doi: 10.7812/TPP/19.205. PubMed

Wernli KJ, Knerr S, Li T, Leppig K, Ehrlich K, Farrell D, Gao H, Bowles EA, Graham AL, Luta G, Jayasekera J, Mandelblatt JS, Schwartz MD, O’Neill SC. Effect of personalized breast cancer risk tool on chemoprevention and breast imaging: ENGAGED-2 trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Jan 14;5(1):pkaa114. doi: 10.1093/jncics/pkaa114. eCollection 2021 Feb. PubMed

Bowles EJA, Miglioretti DL, Kwan ML, Bartels U, Furst A, Cheng SY, Lau C, Greenlee RT, Weinmann S, Marlow EC, Rahm AK, Stout NK, Bolch WE, Theis MK, Smith-Bindman R, Pole JD. Long-term medical imaging use in children with central nervous system tumors.  PLoS One. 2021 Apr 21;16(4):e0248643. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0248643. eCollection 2021. PubMed

Wang RC, Miglioretti DL, Marlow EC, Kwan ML, Theis MK, Bowles EJA, Greenlee RT, Rahm AK, Stout NK, Weinmann S, Smith-Bindman R. Trends in imaging for suspected pulmonary embolism across U.S. health care systems, 2004 to 2016. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(11):e2026930. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.26930.  PubMed

Mahorter SS, Knerr S, Bowles EJA, Wernli KJ, Gao H, Schwartz MD, O'Neill SC. Prior breast density awareness, knowledge, and communication in a health system-embedded behavioral intervention trial. Cancer. 2020 Apr 15;126(8):1614-1621. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32711. Epub 2020 Jan 24. PubMed

 

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