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URMC / Radiation Oncology / Research / Dr. Kerns

Dr. Kerns

My CV: Sarah L. Kerns, Ph.D., M.P.H.


  • NIH SBIR Phase II Contract "Predictive Biomarkers of Adverse Reactions to Prostate Radiotherapy” (PIs: Peterson-Roth, Kerns, Rosenstein) 
  • NIH/NCI K07 Career Development Award "Risk Prediction for Development of Adverse Effects Following Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer” (PI: Kerns)
  • DOD Prostate Cancer Research Program Award "Genetic Modeling of Radiation Injury in Prostate Cancer Patients Treated With Radiotherapy” (PIs: Rosenstein and Ostrer; UR site PI: Kerns)
  • NIH/NCI Clinical Loan Repayment Program Award 2017-2019, 2019-2020


Genetics of Late Radiotherapy Toxicity

Radiogenomics Consortium

  • Meta-analysis of multiple genome-wide association studies of late GU and GI toxicity in prostate cancer patients treated with radiotherapy.
  • Development of risk prediction models incorporating single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and clinical factors.
  • Prospective, longitudinal study of late GU and GI toxicity in prostate cancer patients treated with radiotherapy at Wilmot Cancer Institute to validate radiosensitivity SNPs and assess performance of genetic risk models (NIH, 1KO7CA187546).
  • Functional laboratory-based studies of novel radiosensitivity genes identified through genetic association studies of clinical late toxicity.
  • Collaborative studies through the Radiogenomics Consortium to identify genetic markers of late toxicity in breast, lung, and head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy.
  • Assessment of physician knowledge and preferences related to genetic testing for radiosensitivity.


Late Effects in Testicular Cancer Survivors 

  • Collaborative project with Dr. Lois Travis at Indiana University.
  • Assessment of the cumulative burden of morbidity among testicular cancer survivors.
  • Identification of risk factors for increased morbidity.
  • Analysis of adverse health outcome clusters.


Inflammatory Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer 

  • Collaborative project with Dr. William Hall at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
  • Role of CRP and cytokines in prostate cancer and radiotherapy response.
  • Gene expression changes in response to radiotherapy and role in acute and late toxicity.


Genetics and Epigenetics of Chemotherapy Response 

  • Collaborative project with Dr. Michelle Janelsins at the University of Rochester.
  • Assessment of genome-wide epigenetic changes in response to chemotherapy among breast cancer patients.
  • Genetic risk factors for chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment.

Staff & Student Researchers

  • Ashley Amidon, M.P.H. Health Project Coordinator
  • Rebecca Fuchs, Computational Biology major (former undergraduate student)
  • Michelle Hollenberg, Computational Biology major (former undergraduate student)
  • Sharon Lee, Public Health Sciences major, and Computational Biology minor (current undergraduate student)
  • Omar El-Charif (current medical student)

Collaborators at URMC


  • John Kang, M.D., Ph.D. Resident, Holman Pathway project