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Sarah L. Kerns, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-2229

Faculty Appointments



My research focus is on an area termed 'Radiogenomics', which is the study of genetic factors that are associated with increased risk of developing late effects from radiotherapy used in treatment of cancer. The long term goal of this work is to develop a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) - based signature that can identify individual cancer patients who are at high risk of developing various normal tissue effects from their radiation treatment. Several genome-wide association studies are underway among prostate cancer cohorts in which patients are treated with radiotherapy and followed-up for several years to monitor for development of late urinary, rectal and sexual effects. The goal of these studies is to identify SNPs associated with each of these types of late radiotherapy effects and then develop risk models using these SNPs. Such models could be incorporated into clinical trials aiming to personalize radiotherapy to an individual's risk of normal tissue effects.



BS | University of Wisconsin-Madison

PhD | Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine
Cancer Biology

MPH | Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Public Health

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/2011 - 09/2013
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Radiation Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY

07/2009 - 07/2011
Postdoctoral Fellow, Human Genetics Program, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY


2017 - 2021
NCI Clinical Loan Repayment Program Award
Sponsor: NIH/NCI

2015 - 2021
NCI K07 Career Development Award
Sponsor: NIH/NCI

Annual Meeting Award
Sponsor: American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)

MPH Field Experience Fund-Group Award
Sponsor: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2004 - 2005
Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities Fellowship
Sponsor: Northwestern Univ. Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Journal Articles

Kleckner AS, Kleckner IR, Culakova E, Wojtovich AP, Klinedinst NJ, Kerns SL, Hardy SJ, Inglis JE, Padula GDA, Mustian KM, Janelsins MC, Dorsey SG, Saligan LN, Peppone LJ. "Exploratory Analysis of Associations Between Whole Blood Mitochondrial Gene Expression and Cancer-Related Fatigue Among Breast Cancer Survivors." Nursing research.. 2022 Apr 13; Epub 2022 Apr 13.

Van der Weijst L, Aguado-Barrera ME, Azria D, Berkovic P, Boisselier P, Briers E, Bultijnck R, Calvo-Crespo P, Chang-Claude J, Choudhury A, Defraene G, Demontois S, Dunning AM, Elliott RM, Ennis D, Faivre-Finn C, Franceschini M, Gutiérrez-Enríquez S, Herskind C, Higginson DS, Kerns SL, Johnson K, Mollà M, Lambrecht M, Ramos M, Rancati T, Rimner A, Rosenstein BS, De Ruysscher D, Salem A, Sangalli C, Seibold P, Sosa-Fajardo P, Sperk E, Stobart H, Summersgill H, Surmont V, Symonds P, Taboada-Lorenzo B, Talbot CJ, Valdagni R, Vega A, Veldeman L, Veldwijk MR, Ward T, Webb A, West CML, , Lievens Y. "Overview of health-related quality of life and toxicity of non-small cell lung cancer patients receiving curative-intent radiotherapy in a real-life setting (the REQUITE study)." Lung cancer : journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.. 2022 Mar 15; 166:228-241. Epub 2022 Mar 15.

Kerns SL, Amidon Morlang A, Lee SM, Peterson DR, Marples B, Zhang H, Bylund K, Rosenzweig D, Hall W, De Ruyck K, Rosenstein BS, Stock RG, Gómez-Caamaño A, Vega A, Sosa-Fajardo P, Taboada-Valladares B, Aguado-Barrera ME, Parker C, Veldeman L, Fonteyne V, Bultijnck R, Talbot CJ, Paul Symonds R, Johnson K, Rattay T, Webb A, Lambrecht M, de Ruysscher D, Vanneste B, Choudhury A, Elliott RM, Sperk E, Herskind C, Veldwijk MR, Rancati T, Avuzzi B, Valdagni R, Azria D, Farcy Jacquet MP, Chang-Claude J, Seibold P, West C, Janelsins M, Chen Y, Messing E, Morrow G, . "Use of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors is Associated with Reduced Risk of Late Bladder Toxicity Following Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer." Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.. 2022 Jan 22; Epub 2022 Jan 22.