Ellen O’Meara, PhD

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“Our work in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium is to make notable contributions to understanding cancer risk, screening effectiveness, and how to ensure the best outcomes for women with breast cancer.”

Ellen O’Meara, PhD

Senior Research Associate, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Ellen O’Meara, PhD, came to Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in 2009 with an array of scientific interests. The common thread across her more than two decades of research experience is studying the epidemiology of common diseases in adults, such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and cardiovascular disease.

Due to her strong interests in screening for disease and outcomes after diagnosis, Dr. O’Meara co-directs the Kaiser Permanente Washington-led Statistical Coordinating Center for the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium—a national network of breast imaging and breast cancer researchers. One of her goals is to find ways to optimize breast cancer screening—that is, to find the best balance of benefits and harms in subgroups of women based on their risks.

Dr. O’Meara’s other professional activities include memberships in the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the American Society of Preventive Oncology.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Mukamal KJ, Pai JK, O'Meara ES, Tracy RP, Psaty BM, Kuller LH, Newman AB, Yende S, Curhan GC, Siscovick DS, Rimm EB. CRP gene variation and risk of community-acquired pneumonia. Respirology. 2010 Jan;15(1):160-4. Epub 2009 Nov 23. PubMed

Zhang D, Abraham L, Sprague BL, Onega T, Advani S, Demb J, Miglioretti DL, Henderson LM, Wernli KJ, Walter LC, Kerlikowske K, Schousboe JT, Chrischilles E, Braithwaite D, O'Meara ES; Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium. Mammography adherence in relation to function-related indicators in older women. Prev Med. 2021 Nov 8:106869. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106869. Online ahead of print. PubMed

 

Research

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Roundup of 3 recent studies on breast cancer screening

New research spotlights overdiagnosis, MRI before surgery, and a new way of predicting breast cancer risk

VOICE STUDY

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Understanding young adults’ experiences with cancer

The VOICE study aims to improve the health and health care of people who had cancer as adolescents and young adults.

Cancer screening

An older woman stands in front of a mammography machine, preparing for her scan

Catching breast cancers when mammograms are limited

New study calculates risk-based approach to detect the most cancers with the fewest exams.

News

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Race, income, education affect access to 3D mammography

The technology’s potential benefits to detect breast cancer earlier are not equally shared among all women, researchers find.