Annette Molinaro MA, PhD

Annette Molinaro, PhD

Associate Professor in Residence of Neurological Surgery and Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Principal Investigator, BTRC

Co-Director, Clinical and Biostatistics Core, UCSF Brain SPORE


Co-Director, Biospecimen and Biostatistics Core, UCSF Brain P01


Dr. Molinaro is a principal investigator in the BTRC and the Co-Director of the Clinical and Biostatistics Core for the newly funded UCSF Brain SPORE as well as the Co-Director of the Biospecimen and Biostatistics Core for the newly funded UCSF Brain Tumor Program Project Grant (P01). Dr. Molinaro’s research interests are primarily focused on statistical genetics and computational biology, including prediction, survival analysis, classification, and causal inference with additional curiosities in cancer epidemiology and in the estimation of absolute risk in stratified case-cohort studies. Her research has pertained to predicting clinical outcomes with high-dimensional explanatory variables, such as SNP and methylation arrays, and large-scale epidemiology studies. This has included an adaptation to Classification and Regression Trees (CART) for survival outcomes, the introduction of partDSA, a novel data-adaptive algorithm that builds Boolean combinations of explanatory variables, and a non-parametric method for point estimation based on a stratified case-cohort study design. In addition, she has worked with collaborators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on comparing cross-validation approaches to validating predictors in small sample sizes and the power of data mining methods for detecting genetic associations and interactions. Dr. Molinaro was recently awarded an R01 by the NCI to expand partDSA for building risk models accommodating various study designs and competing risks.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1998: BSc, Florida State University
2000: MA, University of California, Berkeley
2004: PhD, University of California, Berkeley
1998 – 2004: Biostatistician, UCSF Cancer Center
2004 – 2005: Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute
2005 – 2011: Assistant Professor, Biostatistics, Yale University Schools of Public Health & Medicine
2005 – 2011: Co-Director Bioinformatics & Biostatistics Core, Skin SPORE, Yale University
2011-Present: Departments of Neurological Surgery and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

Editorial Board, Neuro-Oncology Practice
Associate Editor, Biometrics
Elected Member, International Statistical Institute 
Society for Neuro-Oncology
American Statistical Association
International Biometric Society
Institute of Mathematical Statistics 
Caucus for Women in Statistics
Statistical Modelling Society

Selected Honors and Awards

2004: Evelyn Fix Prize, University of California, Berkeley
2004: Chin Long Chiang Biostatistics Student of the Year, University of California, Berkeley
2006: Elected Member, International Statistical Institute
2008: Yale School of Public Health’s Teacher of the Year
2009: Yale Center for Clinical Investigation Scholar
2013: Diane D. Ralston Clniical and Basic Neuroscience Teaching Award

Selected Recent Publications

Sun MZ, Ivan ME, Clark AJ, Oh MC, Delance AR, Oh T, Safaee M, Kaur G, Bloch O, Molinaro AM, Gupta N, Parsa AT. Gross Total Resection Improves Overall Survival in Children with Choroid Plexus Carcinoma. Journal of Neuro Oncology 2013 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print].

Wang DD, Ouyang D, Englot DJ, Rolston JD, Molinaro AM, Ward M, Chang EF. Trends in surgical treatment for trigeminal neuralgia in the United States of America from 1988 to 2008. J Clin Neurosci 2013;20(11):1538-45.

Walsh KM, Rice T, Decker PA, Kosel ML, Kollmeyer T, Hansen HM, Zheng S, McCoy LS, Bracci PM, Anderson E, Hsuang G, Wiemels JL, Pico AR, Smirnov I, Molinaro AM, Tihan T, Berger MS, Chang SM, Prados MD, Lachance DH, Sicotte H, Eckel-Passow JE, Wiencke JK, Jenkins RB, Wrensch MR. Genetic variants in telomerase-related genes are associated with an older age at diagnosis in glioma patients: evidence for distinct pathways of gliomagenesis. Neuro Oncol 2013;15(8):1041-7.

Phillips JJ, Aranda D, Ellison DW, Judkins AR, Croul SE, Brat DJ, Ligon KL, Horbinski C, Venneti S, Zadeh G, Santi M, Zhou S, Appin CL, Sioletic S, Sullivan LM, Martinez-Lage M, Robinson AE, Yong WH, Cloughesy T, Lai A, Phillips HS, Marshall R, Mueller S, Haas-Kogan DA, Molinaro AM, Perry A. PDGFRA amplification is common in pediatric and adult high-grade astrocytomas and identifies a poor prognostic group in IDH1 mutant glioblastoma. Brain Pathol 2013;23(5):565-73.

Mueller S, Bhargava S, Molinaro AM, Yang X, Kolkowitz I, Olow A, Wehmeijer N, Orbach S, Chen J, Matthay KK, Haas-Kogan DA. Poly (ADP-Ribose) polymerase inhibitor MK-4827 together with radiation as a novel therapy for metastatic neuroblastoma. Anticancer Res 2013;33(3):755-62.

Moore CL, Daniels B, Singh D, Luty S, Molinaro A. Prevalence and clinical importance of alternative causes of symptoms using a renal colic computed tomography protocol in patients with flank or back pain and absence of pyuria. Acad Emerg Med 2013;20(5):470-8.

Lupo JM, Essock-Burns E, Molinaro AM, Cha S, Chang SM, Butowski N, Nelson SJ. Using susceptibility-weighted imaging to determine response to combined anti-angiogenic, cytotoxic, and radiation therapy in patients with glioblastoma multiforme. Neuro Oncol 2013;15(4):480-9.

Oh MC, Kim JM, Kaur G, Safaee M, Sun MZ, Singh A, Aranda D, Molinaro AM, Parsa AT. Prognosis by tumor location in adults with spinal ependymomas. J Neurosurg Spine 2013;18(3):226-35.

Chakravarti A, Wang M, Robins HI, Lautenschlaeger T, Curran WJ, Brachman DG, Schultz CJ, Choucair A, Dolled-Filhart M, Christiansen J, Gustavson M, Molinaro A, Mischel P, Dicker AP, Bredel M, Mehta M. RTOG 0211: a phase 1/2 study of radiation therapy with concurrent gefitinib for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2013;85(5):1206-11.

Safaee M, Oh MC, Sughrue ME, Delance AR, Bloch O, Sun M, Kaur G, Molinaro AM, Parsa AT. The relative patient benefit of gross total resection in adult choroid plexus papillomas. J Clin Neurosci 2013;20(6):808-12.

Oh MC, Sayegh ET, Safaee M, Sun MZ, Kaur G, Kim JM, Aranda D, Molinaro AM, Gupta N, Parsa AT. Prognosis by tumor location for pediatric spinal cord ependymomas. J Neurosurg Pediatr 2013;11(3):282-8.

Essock-Burns E, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Lupo JM, Cha S, Chang SM, Nelson SJ. Comparison of DSC-MRI post-processing techniques in predicting microvascular histopathology in patients newly diagnosed with GBM. J Magn Reson Imaging 2013;38(2):388-400.

Engler JR, Robinson AE, Smirnov I, Hodgson JG, Berger MS, Gupta N, James CD, Molinaro A, Phillips JJ. Increased microglia/macrophage gene expression in a subset of adult and pediatric astrocytomas. PLoS One 2012;7(8):e43339.

Barajas RF Jr, Phillips JJ, Parvataneni R, Molinaro A, Essock-Burns E, Bourne G, Parsa AT, Aghi MK, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Cha S, Chang SM, Nelson SJ. Regional variation in histopathologic features of tumor specimens from treatment-naive glioblastoma correlates with anatomic and physiologic MR Imaging. Neuro Oncol 2012;14(7):942-54.

Hu YL, DeLay M, Jahangiri A, Molinaro AM, Rose SD, Carbonell WS, Aghi MK. Hypoxia-induced autophagy promotes tumor cell survival and adaptation to antiangiogenic treatment in glioblastoma. Cancer Res 2012;72(7):1773-83.

Lostritto K, Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Leffell DJ, Molinaro AM, Bale AE, Mayne ST. Lifetime history of indoor tanning in young people: a retrospective assessment of initiation, persistence, and correlates. BMC Public Health 2012;12:118.

Lostritto K, Strawderman RL, Molinaro AM. A partitioning deletion/substitution/addition algorithm for creating survival risk groups. Biometrics 2012;68(4):1146-56.

Baquero MT, Hanna JA, Neumeister V, Cheng H, Molinaro AM, Harris LN, Rimm DL. Stathmin expression and its relationship to microtubule-associated protein tau and outcome in breast cancer. Cancer 2012;118(19):4660-9.

Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Molinaro AM, Gordon PB, Leffell DJ, Bale AE, Mayne ST. Host phenotype characteristics and MC1R in relation to early-onset basal cell carcinoma. J Invest Dermatol 2012;132(4):1272-9. d

Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Molinaro AM, Leffell DJ, Bale AE, Mayne ST. Indoor tanning and risk of early-onset basal cell carcinoma. J Am Acad Dermatol 2012;67(4):552-62.

Potts MB, Smith JS, Molinaro AM, Berger MS. Natural history and surgical management of incidentally discovered low-grade gliomas. J Neurosurg 2012;116(2):365-72.

Molinaro AM, Carriero N, Bjornson R, Hartge P, Rothman N, Chatterjee N. Power of data mining methods to detect genetic associations and interactions. Hum Hered 2011;72(2):85-97.

Baquero MT, Lostritto K, Gustavson MD, Bassi KA, Appia F, Camp RL, Molinaro AM, Harris LN, Rimm DL. Evaluation of prognostic and predictive value of microtubule associated protein tau in two independent cohorts. Breast Cancer Res 2011;13(5):R85.

Jahangiri A, Molinaro AM, Tarapore PE, Blevins L Jr, Auguste KI, Gupta N, Kunwar S, Aghi MK. Rathke cleft cysts in pediatric patients: presentation, surgical management, and postoperative outcomes. Neurosurg Focus 2011;31(1):E3.

Tolles J, Bai Y, Baquero M, Harris LN, Rimm DL, Molinaro AM. Optimal tumor sampling for immunostaining of biomarkers in breast carcinoma. Breast Cancer Res. 2011;13(3):R51.

Kluger HM, Dudek AZ, McCann C, Ritacco J, Southard N, Jilaveanu LB, Molinaro A, Sznol M. A phase 2 trial of dasatinib in advanced melanoma. Cancer 2011;117(10):2202-8.

Kluger HM, Hoyt K, Bacchiocchi A, Mayer T, Kirsch J, Kluger Y, Sznol M, Ariyan S, Molinaro A, Halaban R. Plasma markers for identifying patients with metastatic melanoma. Clin Cancer Res 2011;17(8):2417-25.

Bai Y, Tolles J, Cheng H, Siddiqui S, Gopinath A, Pectasides E, Camp RL, Rimm DL, Molinaro AM. Quantitative assessment shows loss of antigenic epitopes as a function of pre-analytic variables. Lab Invest 2011;91(8):1253-61.

Martin KD, Naert L, Goldstein LB, Kasl S, Molinaro AM, Lichtman JH. Comparing the use of diagnostic imaging and receipt of carotid endarterectomy in elderly black and white stroke patients. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2012;21(7):600-6.

Godshalk SE, Paranjape T, Nallur S, Speed W, Chan E, Molinaro AM, Bacchiocchi A, Hoyt K, Tworkoski K, Stern DF, Sznol M, Ariyan S, Lazova R, Halaban R, Kidd KK, Weidhaas JB, Slack FJ. A Variant in a MicroRNA complementary site in the 3' UTR of the KIT oncogene increases risk of acral melanoma. Oncogene 2011;30(13):1542-50.

Kerlikowske K, Molinaro AM, Gauthier ML, Berman HK, Waldman F, Bennington J, Sanchez H, Jimenez C, Stewart K, Chew K, Ljung BM, Tlsty TD. Biomarker expression and risk of subsequent tumors after initial ductal carcinoma in situ diagnosis. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010 May 5;102(9):627-37. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djq101. Epub 2010 Apr 28. Erratum in: J Natl Cancer Inst 2010;102(13):993.

Molinaro AM, Lostritto K, van der Laan M. partDSA: deletion/substitution/addition algorithm for partitioning the covariate space in prediction. Bioinformatics 2010;26(10):1357-63.

Gould Rothberg BE, Berger AJ, Molinaro AM, Subtil A, Krauthammer MO, Camp RL, Bradley WR, Ariyan S, Kluger HM, Rimm DL. Melanoma prognostic model using tissue microarrays and genetic algorithms. J Clin Oncol 2009;27(34):5772-80.

Koga Y, Pelizzola M, Cheng E, Krauthammer M, Sznol M, Ariyan S, Narayan D, Molinaro AM, Halaban R, Weissman SM. Genome-wide screen of promoter methylation identifies novel markers in melanoma. Genome Res 2009;19(8):1462-70.

Halaban R, Krauthammer M, Pelizzola M, Cheng E, Kovacs D, Sznol M, Ariyan S, Narayan D, Bacchiocchi A, Molinaro A, Kluger Y, Deng M, Tran N, Zhang W, Picardo M, Enghild JJ. Integrative analysis of epigenetic modulation in melanoma cell response to decitabine: clinical implications. PLoS One 2009;4(2):e4563.

Giltnane JM, Molinaro A, Cheng H, Robinson A, Turbin D, Gelmon K, Huntsman D, Rimm DL. Comparison of quantitative immunofluorescence with conventional methods for HER2/neu testing with respect to response to trastuzumab therapy in metastatic breast cancer. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2008;132(10):1635-47.

Petersen ML, Molinaro AM, Sinisi SE, van der Laan MJ. Cross-Validated Bagged Learning. J Multivar Anal 2008;25(2):260-266. Gustavson MD, Molinaro AM, Tedeschi G, Camp RL, Rimm DL. AQUA analysis of thymidylate synthase reveals localization to be a key prognostic biomarker in 2 large cohorts of colorectal carcinoma. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2008;132(11):1746-52.

Pelizzola M, Koga Y, Urban AE, Krauthammer M, Weissman S, Halaban R, Molinaro AM. MEDME: an experimental and analytical methodology for the estimation of DNA methylation levels based on microarray derived MeDIP-enrichment. Genome Res 2008;18(10):1652-9.

Ghosh S, Sullivan CA, Zerkowski MP, Molinaro AM, Rimm DL, Camp RL, Chung GG. High levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptors (VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, neuropilin-1) are associated with worse outcome in breast cancer. Hum Pathol 2008;39(12):1835-43.

Kluger HM, Siddiqui SF, Angeletti C, Sznol M, Kelly WK, Molinaro AM, Camp RL. Classification of renal cell carcinoma based on expression of VEGF and VEGF receptors in both tumor cells and endothelial cells. Lab Invest 2008;88(9):962-72.

Moeder CB, Giltnane JM, Harigopal M, Molinaro A, Robinson A, Gelmon K, Huntsman D, Camp RL, Rimm DL; American Society of Clinical Oncology; College of American Pathologists. Quantitative justification of the change from 10% to 30% for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 scoring in the American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists guidelines: tumor heterogeneity in breast cancer and its implications for tissue microarray based assessment of outcome. J Clin Oncol 2007;25(34):5418-25.

Moore LE, Fung ET, McGuire M, Rabkin CC, Molinaro A, Wang Z, Zhang F, Wang J, Yip C, Meng XY, Pfeiffer RM. Evaluation of apolipoprotein A1 and posttranslationally modified forms of transthyretin as biomarkers for ovarian cancer detection in an independent study population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15(9):1641-6.

Hothorn T, Bühlmann P, Dudoit S, Molinaro A, van der Laan MJ. Survival ensembles. Biostatistics 2006;7(3):355-73.

Molinaro AM, Simon R, Pfeiffer RM. Prediction error estimation: a comparison of resampling methods. Bioinformatics 2005;21(15):3301-7.

Kerlikowske K, Molinaro A, Cha I, Ljung BM, Ernster VL, Stewart K, Chew K, Moore DH 2nd, Waldman F. Characteristics associated with recurrence among women with ductal carcinoma in situ treated by lumpectomy. J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95(22):1692-702.