Christine Ambrosone

Christine Ambrosone


Special Interests:

Risk factors for aggressive breast tumor characteristics in African-American women Using Molecular Epidemiology, with biomarkers of susceptibility and exposure, to elucidate cancer etiology Examine genetic and modifiable factors that influence cancer treatment outcomes

About Me


Dr. Ambrosone joined the Roswell Park faculty in 2002 and is currently the Chair of the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, and co-leader of the CCSG Population Sciences Program. Dr. Ambrosone graduated from the University at Buffalo summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and earned her PhD degree at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1995. She was a member of the Division of Molecular Epidemiology at the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, AR until 2000, when she joined the faculty at Mt. Sinai as Director of Epidemiology in the Derald H. Ruttenberg Cancer Center. She is a molecular epidemiologist with background and expertise in the role of gene environment interactions in the etiology of cancer, as well as factors that affect toxicities experienced with cancer treatment, and predictors of cancer survival. Much of her current work focuses on breast cancer disparities.

Dr. Ambrosone was formerly a member of NCI’s EPIC Study Section and the ACS’s study section on Carcinogenesis, Nutrition and the Environment, and has served on several special emphasis panels and SPORE reviews. She is former Senior Editor for Cancer Research, was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Director of the National Cancer Institute until 2012, and serves on Advisory Boards for a number of Cancer Center Programs. Dr. Ambrosone is co-founder and former chair of the Molecular Epidemiology Group of the American Association for Cancer Research, and was Co-Chair of the Southwest Oncology Group’s Committee on Molecular Epidemiology until 2012. Dr. Ambrosone has more than 280 peer-reviewed publications, most related to molecular epidemiology of cancer risk and prognosis.



Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Professor of Oncology
  • Senior Vice President, Population Sciences
  • Chair, Cancer Prevention & Control
  • Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Endowed Chair in Cancer Prevention


Education and Training:

  • PhD - Roswell Park Graduate Division, State University of New York at Buffalo

Professional Memberships:

  • American Academy for Cancer Research
  • Southwest Oncology Group


Research Overview:

Dr. Ambrosone’s research focuses on the molecular epidemiology of cancer risk and prognosis, to better understand genetic and non-genetic causes of cancer and cancer outcomes, particularly breast cancer. African-American women are more likely than women of European descent to be diagnosed before age 40 and to have tumors with more aggressive characteristics; the reasons for these disparities are unclear. To unravel the etiology of aggressive breast cancer in African-American women, she leads a large case-control study studying reproductive and behavioral factors, genetic variability, and epigenetic mechanisms in the development of breast tumors with poor prognosis. She and colleagues formed the AMBER Consortium, with more than 5,000 African-American women with breast cancer and a large number of controls, to further investigate risk factors, and to determine differences in molecular tumor characteristics.

Dr. Ambrosone is also studying factors that influence cancer treatment outcomes, examining the role of genetic variability in side effects from cancer treatment, and in disease-free survival. Conducting studies in the context of cooperative group trials and in collaboration with colleagues at Kaiser Permanente, she is also investigating the role of lifestyle factors, such as diet and supplement use, in treatment outcomes.


Hinch AG, Tandon A, Patterson N, Song Y, Rohland N, Palmer CD, Chen GK, Wang K, Buxbaum SG, Akylbekova EL, Aldrich MC, Ambrosone CB, Amos C, et al. The landscape of recombination in African-Americans. Nature 2011;476:170-175. PMCID: PMC3154982

Sucheston LE, Zhao H, Yao S, Zirpoli G, Liu S, Barlow WE, Moore HF, Budd GT, Hershman DL, Davis W, Ciupak GL, Stewart JA, Isaacs C, Hobday TH, Salim M, Hortobagyi GN, Gralow JR, Livingston RB, Albain KS, Hayes DF, Ambrosone CB. Genetic predictors of taxane-induced neurotoxicity in a SWOG Phase III Intergroup adjuvant breast cancer treatment trial (S0221). Br Ca Trt Res 2011;130:993-1002. PMCID: PMC3532924

Yao S, Sucheston LE, Zhao H, Barlow WE, Zirpoli G, Liu S, Moore HCF, Budd GT, Hershman DL, Davis W, Ciupak GL, Stewart JA, Isaacs C, Hobday TJ, Salim M, Hortobagyi GN, Gralow JR, Livingston RB, Albain KS, Hayes DF, Ambrosone CB. Germline genetic variants in ABCB1, ABCC1 and ALDH1A1, and risk of hematological and gastrointestinal toxicities in a SWOG Phase III trial S0221 for breast cancer. Pharmacogenomics Journal. 2014 Jun;14(3):241-7. PMCID: PMC3940691

Ambrosone CB, Young AC, Sucheston LE, Wang D, Yan L, Liu S, Tang L, Hu Q, Freudenheim JL. Shields PG, Morrison CD, Demissie K, Higgins MJ. Genome-wide methylation patterns provide insight into differences in breast tumor biology between American women of African and European ancestry. Oncotarget 2014 Jan;5(1):237-48. PMCID: PMC3960204

Palmer JR, Viscidi E, Troester MA, Hong CC, Schedin P, Bethea TN, Bandera EV, Borges V, McKinnon C, Haiman CA, Lunetta K, Kolonel LN, Rosenberg L, Olshan AF, Ambrosone CB. Parity, lactation, and breast cancer subtypes in African American women: results from the AMBER Consortium. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Sep 15;106(10). pii: dju237. doi: 10.1093/jnci/dju237. Print 2014 Oct. PMCID: PMC4271113 [Available on 2015/10/1]

Ambrosone CB, Zirpoli G, Hong C-C, Yao S, Troester MA, Bandera EV, Schedin P, Bethea TN, Borges V, Park SY, Chandra D, Rosenberg L, Kolonel LN, Olshan AF, Palmer JR. Important Role of Menarche in Development of Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer in African American Women (J Natl Cancer Institute, in press 2015).