Margaret R. Wrensch MPH, PhD


Professor in Residence of Neurological Surgery and Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Stanley D. Lewis and Virginia S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research

Co-Director, Division of Neuroepidemiology


Dr. Wrensch is investigating the genetic and molecular epidemiology of adult brain cancer as principal investigator of the ongoing population-based case-control San Francisco Bay Area Adult Glioma Study. She is also Principal Investigator of one of the Department's four Specialized Program of Research Execllence (SPORE) grant projects. The studies recently discovered inherited variation in several regions of the human genome that alter risk for developing glioma. Future studies will examine how such variants influence risk and whether inherited variation influences survival after glioma diagnosis.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1971: BSc, Ohio State University
1973: MSc, Ohio State University
1977: MPH, University of California, Berkeley
1983: PhD, University of California, Berkeley
1985-1986: Assistant Research Epidemiologist, UCSF
1986-present: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF
1993-1995: Chief, Division of Epidemiology at the Parnassus Campus, UCSF
2001: Interim Head, Cancer Epidemiology Division, UCSF
2001-present: Adjunct Investigator, Kaiser Permanente, Division of Research, Oakland, CA

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

American Association for Cancer Research
Society of Neuro-Oncology
Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium (US co-President 2008-2010)

Selected Honors and Awards

1976-1980: Public Health Service trainee
1980-1982: National Cancer Institute trainee
1980-1982: Grossman Endowment recipient
1994: Nominated, Excellence in Small Group Teaching, UCSF
2000: Society of Neuro-oncology/American Brain Tumor Foundation Award for Excellence in Epidemiology, 5th Annual Meeting
2003: Marin Breast Cancer Watch, Community Breast Cancer Research Award
2003: Susan Love MD Breast Cancer Foundation, Otto W. Sartorius, MD Award for Excellence in Research

Selected Recent Publications

Jacobs KB, Yeager M, Zhou W, et al. Detectable clonal mosaicism and its relationship to aging and cancer. Nat Genet. 2012 May 6. doi: 10.1038/ng.2270. [Epub ahead of print].

Claus EB, Calvocoressi L, Bondy ML, Schildkraut JM, Wiemels JL, Wrensch M. Dental x-rays and risk of meningioma. Cancer. 2012 Apr 10. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26625. [Epub ahead of print].

Claus EB, Walsh KM, Calvocoressi L, Bondy ML, Schildkraut JM, Wrensch M, Wiemels JL. Cigarette Smoking and Risk of Meningioma: The Effect of Gender. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 May 2. [Epub ahead of print].

Xiao Y, Decker PA, Rice T, McCoy LS, Smirnov I, Patoka J, Hansen HM, Wiemels JL, Tihan T, Prados MD, Chang SM, Berger MS, Kosel ML, Frideley BL, Lachance DH, O'Neill BP, Buckner JC, Thompson RC, Nabors LB, Olson JJ, Brem S, Madden MH, Browning JE, Wiencke JK, Egan KM, Jenkins RB, Wrensch MR. SSBP2 variants are associated with survival in glioblastoma patients. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Apr 3. [Epub ahead of print].

Ferris J, McCoy L, Neugut AI, Wrensch M, Lai R. HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, NSAIDs and risk of glioma. Int J Cancer. 2012 Mar 15. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27536. [Epub ahead of print].

Vasconcelos GM, Christensen BC, Houseman EA, Xiao J, Marsit CJ, Wiencke JK, Zheng S, Karagas MR, Nelson HH, Wrensch MR, Kelsey KT, Pombo-de-Oliveira MS, Wiemels JL. History of Parvovirus B19 infection is associated with a DNA methylation signature in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Epigenetics 2011;6(12):1436-43.

Shete S, Lau CC, Houlston RS, Claus EB, Barnholtz-Sloan J, Lai R, Il'yasova D, Schildkraut J, Sadetzki S, Johansen C, Bernstein JL, Olson SH, Jenkins RB, Yang P, Vick NA, Wrensch M, Davis FG, McCarthy BJ, Leung EH, Davis C, Cheng R, Hosking FJ, Armstrong GN, Liu Y, Yu RK, Henriksson R; Gliogene Consortium, Melin BS, Bondy ML. Genome-wide high-density SNP linkage search for glioma susceptibility loci: results from the Gliogene Consortium. Cancer Res. 2011;71(24):7568-75.

Stacey SN, Sulem P, Jonasdottir A, et al. A germline variant in the TP53 polyadenylation signal confers cancer susceptibility. Nat Genet 2011;43(11):1098-103.

Claus EB, Calvocoressi L, Bondy ML, Schildkraut JM, Wiemels JL, Wrensch M. Family and personal medical history and risk of meningioma. J Neurosurg 2011;115(6):1072-7.

Jeng S, Gupta N, Wrensch M, Zhao S, Wu YW. Prevalence of congenital hydrocephalus in California, 1991-2000. Pediatr Neurol 2011;45(2):67-71.

Lachance DH, Yang P, Johnson DR, Decker PA, Kollmeyer TM, McCoy LS, Rice T, Xiao Y, Ali-Osman F, Wang F, Stoddard SM, Sprau DJ, Kosel ML, Wiencke JK, Wiemels JL, Patoka JS, Davis F, McCarthy B, Rynearson AL, Worra JB, Fridley BL, O'Neill BP, Buckner JC, Il'yasova D, Jenkins RB, Wrensch MR. Associations of high-grade glioma with glioma risk alleles and histories of allergy and smoking. Am J Epidemiol. 2011;174(5):574-81.

Wiemels JL, Wrensch M, Sison JD, Zhou M, Bondy M, Calvocoressi L, Black PM, Yu H, Schildkraut JM, Claus EB. Reduced allergy and immunoglobulin E among adults with intracranial meningioma compared to controls. Int J Cancer. 2011 Feb 7. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25858. [Epub ahead of print].

Cage TA, Auguste KI, Wrensch M, Wu YW, Gupta N. Self-reported functional outcome after surgical intervention in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. J Clin Neurosci 2011;18(5):649-54.

Jenkins RB, Wrensch MR, Johnson D, Fridley BL, Decker PA, Xiao Y, Kollmeyer TM, Rynearson AL, Fink S, Rice T, McCoy LS, Halder C, Kosel ML, Giannini C, Tihan T, O'Neill BP, Lachance DH, Yang P, Wiemels J, Wiencke JK. Distinct germ line polymorphisms underlie glioma morphologic heterogeneity. Cancer Genet 2011;204(1):13-8.

Zheng S, Houseman EA, Morrison Z, Wrensch MR, Patoka JS, Ramos C, Haas-Kogan DA, McBride S, Marsit CJ, Christensen BC, Nelson HH, Stokoe D, Wiemels JL, Chang SM, Prados MD, Tihan T, Vandenberg SR, Kelsey KT, Berger MS, Wiencke JK. DNA hypermethylation profiles associated with glioma subtypes and EZH2 and IGFBP2 mRNA expression. Neuro Oncol 2011;13(3):280-9.

Scheurer ME, Amirian ES, Davlin SL, Rice T, Wrensch M, Bondy ML. Effects of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory medication use on risk of specific glioma histologies. Int J Cancer. 2010 Dec 28. [Epub ahead of print].

Christensen BC, Smith AA, Zheng S, Koestler DC, Houseman EA, Marsit CJ, Wiemels JL, Nelson HH, Karagas MR, Wrensch MR, Kelsey KT, Wiencke JK. DNA methylation, isocitrate dehydrogenase mutation, and survival in glioma. J Natl Cancer Inst 2011;103(2):143-53.

McCarthy BJ, Rankin KM, Aldape K, Bondy ML, Brännström T, Broholm H, Feychting M, Il'yasova D, Inskip PD, Johansen C, Melin BS, Ruder AM, Butler MA, Scheurer ME, Schüz J, Schwartzbaum JA, Wrensch MR, Davis FG. Risk factors for oligodendroglial tumors: a pooled international study. Neuro Oncol 2011;13(2):242-50.

Scheurer ME, Etzel CJ, Liu M, Barnholtz-Sloan J, Wiklund F, Tavelin B, Wrensch MR, Melin BS, Bondy ML; GLIOGENE Consortium. Familial aggregation of glioma: a pooled analysis. Am J Epidemiol 2010;172(10):1099-107.

Jones LW, Ali-Osman F, Lipp E, Marcello JE, McCarthy B, McCoy L, Rice T, Wrensch M, Il'yasova D. Association between body mass index and mortality in patients with glioblastoma mutliforme. Cancer Causes Control 2010;21(12):2195-201.

Wiemels J, Wrensch M, Claus EB. Epidemiology and etiology of meningioma. J Neurooncol 2010;99(3):307-14.

Yang I, Tihan T, Han SJ, Wrensch MR, Wiencke J, Sughrue ME, Parsa AT. CD8+ T-cell infiltrate in newly diagnosed glioblastoma is associated with long-term survival. J Clin Neurosci 2010;17(11):1381-5.

Zhou M, Wiemels JL, Bracci PM, Wrensch MR, McCoy LS, Rice T, Sison JD, Patoka JS, Wiencke JK. Circulating levels of the innate and humoral immune regulators CD14 and CD23 are associated with adult glioma. Cancer Res 2010;70(19):7534-42.

Schwartzbaum JA, Xiao Y, Liu Y, Tsavachidis S, Berger MS, Bondy ML, Chang JS, Chang SM, Decker PA, Ding B, Hepworth SJ, Houlston RS, Hosking FJ, Jenkins RB, Kosel ML, McCoy LS, McKinney PA, Muir K, Patoka JS, Prados M, Rice T, Robertson LB, Schoemaker MJ, Shete S, Swerdlow AJ, Wiemels JL, Wiencke JK, Yang P, Wrensch MR. Inherited variation in immune genes and pathways and glioblastoma risk. Carcinogenesis 2010;31(10):1770-7.

DeLorenze GN, McCoy L, Tsai AL, Quesenberry CP Jr, Rice T, Il'yasova D, Wrensch M. Daily intake of antioxidants in relation to survival among adult patients diagnosed with malignant glioma. BMC Cancer 2010;10:215.

Robertson LB, Armstrong GN, Olver BD, Lloyd AL, Shete S, Lau C, Claus EB, Barnholtz-Sloan J, Lai R, Il'yasova D, Schildkraut J, Bernstein JL, Olson SH, Jenkins RB, Yang P, Rynearson AL, Wrensch M, McCoy L, Wienkce JK, McCarthy B, Davis F, Vick NA, Johansen C, Bødtcher H, Sadetzki S, Bruchim RB, Yechezkel GH, Andersson U, Melin BS, Bondy ML, Houlston RS. Survey of familial glioma and role of germline p16INK4A/p14ARF and p53 mutation. Fam Cancer 2010;9(3):413-21. Erratum in: Fam Cancer 2010;9(3):423-4. Rynerason, Amanda L [corrected to Rynearson, Amanda Lynn].

Liu Y, Shete S, Etzel CJ, Scheurer M, Alexiou G, Armstrong G, Tsavachidis S, Liang FW, Gilbert M, Aldape K, Armstrong T, Houlston R, Hosking F, Robertson L, Xiao Y, Wiencke J, Wrensch M, Andersson U, Melin BS, Bondy M. Polymorphisms of LIG4, BTBD2, HMGA2, and RTEL1 genes involved in the double-strand break repair pathway predict glioblastoma survival. J Clin Oncol 2010;28(14):2467-74.

Claus EB, Abdel-Wahab M, Burger PC, Engelhard HH, Ellison DW, Gaiano N, Gutmann DH, Heck DA, Holland EC, Jallo GI, Kruchko C, Kun LE, Maria BL, Rumboldt Z, Seminara D, Spinella GM, Stophel L, Wechsler-Reya R, Wrensch M, Gilbertson RJ. Defining future directions in spinal cord tumor research: proceedings from the National Institutes of Health workshop. J Neurosurg Spine 2010;12(2):117-21.

Christensen BC, Houseman EA, Marsit CJ, Zheng S, Wrensch MR, Wiemels JL, Nelson HH, Karagas MR, Padbury JF, Bueno R, Sugarbaker DJ, Yeh RF, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT. Aging and environmental exposures alter tissue-specific DNA methylation dependent upon CpG island context. PLoS Genet 2009;5(8):e1000602.

Wrensch M, Jenkins RB, Chang JS, Yeh RF, Xiao Y, Decker PA, Ballman KV, Berger M, Buckner JC, Chang S, Giannini C, Halder C, Kollmeyer TM, Kosel ML, LaChance DH, McCoy L, O'Neill BP, Patoka J, Pico AR, Prados M, Quesenberry C, Rice T, Rynearson AL, Smirnov I, Tihan T, Wiemels J, Yang P, Wiencke JK. Variants in the CDKN2B and RTEL1 regions are associated with high-grade glioma susceptibility. Nat Genet 2009;41(8):905-8.

Houseman EA, Christensen BC, Karagas MR, Wrensch MR, Nelson HH, Wiemels JL, Zheng S, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT, Marsit CJ. Copy number variation has little impact on bead-array-based measures of DNA methylation Bioinformatics 2009;25(16):1999-2005.

Wiemels JL, Wilson D, Patil C, Patoka J, McCoy L, Rice T, Schwartzbaum J, Heimberger A, Sampson JH, Chang S, Prados M, Wiencke JK, Wrensch M. IgE, allergy, and risk of glioma: Update from the San Francisco Bay Area Adult Glioma Study in the Temozolomide era. Int J Cancer 2009;125(3):680-687.

Il'yasova D, Marcello JE, McCoy L, Rice T, Wrensch M. Total dietary antioxidant index and survival in patients with glioblastoma multiforme [published online ahead of print April 12, 2009]. doi: 10.1007/s10552-009-9338-7.

McKean-Cowdin R, Barnholtz-Sloan J, Inskip PD, Ruder AM, Butler M, Rajaraman P, Razavi P, Patoka J, Wiencke JK, Bondy ML, Wrensch M. Associations between polymorphisms in DNA repair genes and glioblastoma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(4):1118-26.

Marsit CJ, Christensen BC, Houseman EA, Karagas MR, Wrensch MR, Yeh RF, Nelson HH, Wiemels JL, Zheng S, Posner MR, McClean MD, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT. Epigenetic profiling reveals etiologically distinct patterns of DNA methylation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Carcinogenesis 2009;30(3):416-22.

Pico AR, Smirnov IV, Chang JS, Yeh RF, Wiemels JL, Wiencke JK, Tihan T, Conklin BR, Wrensch M. SNPLogic: an interactive single nucleotide polymorphism selection, annotation, and prioritization system. Nucleic Acids Res 2009;37(Database issue):D803-9.

Felini MJ, Olshan AF, Schroeder JC, Carozza SE, Miike R, Rice T, Wrensch M. Reproductive factors and hormone use and risk of adult gliomas. Cancer Causes Control 2009;20(1):87-96.

Bondy ML, Scheurer ME, Malmer B, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Davis FG, Il'yasova D, Kruchko C, McCarthy BJ, Rajaraman P, Schwartzbaum JA, Sadetzki S, Schlehofer B, Tihan T, Wiemels JL, Wrensch M, Buffler PA; Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium. Brain tumor epidemiology: consensus from the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium [review]. Cancer 2008;113(7 Suppl):1953-68.

Chang JS, Yeh RF, Wiencke JK, Wiemels JL, Smirnov I, Pico AR, Tihan T, Patoka J, Miike R, Sison JD, Rice T, Wrensch MR. Pathway analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms potentially associated with glioblastoma multiforme susceptibility using random forests. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008;17(6):1368-73.

Davis FG, Malmer BS, Aldape K, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Bondy ML, Brännström T, Bruner JM, Burger PC, Collins VP, Inskip PD, Kruchko C, McCarthy BJ, McLendon RE, Sadetzki S, Tihan T, Wrensch MR, Buffler PA. Issues of diagnostic review in brain tumor studies: from the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008;17(3):484-9.

Felini MJ, Olshan AF, Schroeder JC, North KE, Carozza SE, Kelsey KT, Liu M, Rice T, Wiencke JK, Wrensch MR.