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

Horner K, Wagner E, Bowles EA, Kirlin B, Tuzzio L. PS3-29: the benefits of stakeholder involvement in research. Clin Med Res. 2010;8(3-4):201.

Feigelson H, Bischoff K, Bowles E, Engel J, James T, Onitilo A, Single R, Williams A, Wagner E, McCahill L. PS2-24: improving breast cancer surgery quality through a collaborative surgical database. Clin Med Res. 2010;8(3-4):180.

Onega T, Aiello Bowles EJ, Miglioretti DL, Carney PA, Geller BM, Yankaskas BC, Kerlikowske K, Sickles EA, Elmore JG. Radiologists' perceptions of computer aided detection versus double reading for mammography interpretation.  Acad Radiol. 2010;17(10):1217-26. PubMed

Bowles EJ, Anderson ML, Reed SD, Newton KM, Fitzgibbons ED, Seger D, Buist DS. Mammographic breast density and tolerance for short-term postmenopausal hormone therapy suspension.  J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010 Aug;19(8):1467-74. PubMed

De Roos AJ, Deeg HJ, Onstad L, Kopecky KJ, Bowles EJ, Yong M, Fryzek J, Davis S. Incidence of myelodysplastic syndromes within a nonprofit healthcare system in western Washington state, 2005-2006.  Am J Hematol. 2010 Oct;85(10):765-70. Epub 2010 Jul 22. PubMed

Elmore JG, Bowles EJ, Geller B, Oster NV, Carney PA, Miglioretti DL, Buist DS, Kerlikowske K, Sickles EA, Onega T, Rosenberg RD, Yankaskas BC. Radiologists' attitudes and use of mammography audit reports.  Acad Radiol. 2010;17(6):752-60. PubMed

 

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