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Gertraud Maskarinec, MD, PhD

Gertraud Maskarinec, MD, PhD
  • Professor (Researcher) and Full Member
    Cancer Epidemiology Program
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Program Director
    Post-Doctoral Training Program
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Academic Appointments

  • Graduate Faculty
    Office of Public Health Studies
  • Graduate Faculty
    Human Nutrition
    Food and Animal Sciences
    University of Hawaii at Manoa


  • MD, Preventive Medicine
    Universität Freiburg, Germany
  • PhD, MPH, Epidemiology
    University of Hawaii at Manoa

Research Focus

Dr. Maskarinec, a physician in preventive medicine and nutritional epidemiologist, has the goal to contribute to chronic disease prevention by understanding the etiology of breast cancer, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), and type 2 diabetes. To elucidate the difference in health status across ethnic groups, she has performed comparative studies that included participants from Hawaii, the US, Japan, and Europe. Nutritional factors, especially soy foods, dietary patterns, overweight and obesity, carotenoids and tocopherols, are the main topics of numerous publications. The soy-related research builds on the opportunities offered by the ethnically diverse population of Hawaii, the geographic proximity to Japan, the Nutrition Shared Resource, and the Analytical Laboratory Shared Resource. The focus on soy foods has led to several nutritional interventions that examined intermediate endpoints of cancer risk, including mammographic densities, pathologic markers, serum hormone levels, urinary estrogen metabolites, adipokines, inflammatory markers, and characteristics of nipple aspirate fluid. Given the considerable experimental and epidemiologic research indicating that diet may have a stronger influence on breast development during childhood and adolescence than during adulthood, Dr. Maskarinec and colleagues have applied a DXA and a bioimpedance method to monitor breast density among girls and young women. More recently, the role of obesity, soy intake, alternative medicine use, and mammographic density as predictors of cancer survival among participants of the Multiethnic Cohort have yielded interesting results.

Selected Publications

  • Woolcott CG, Conroy SM, Nagata C, Ursin G, Vachon CM, Yaffe MJ, Pagano I, Byrne C, Maskarinec G. (2014). Comparison of methods to assess and represent mammographic density: an analysis of four case-control studies. Am J Epidemiol, 179(2):236-44. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt238. Epub 2013 Oct 11.
  • Morimoto Y, Conroy SM, Ollberding NJ, Kim Y, Lim U, Cooney RV, Franke AA, Wilkens LR, Hernandez BY, Goodman MT, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN, Le Marchand L, Maskarinec G. (2014). Ethnic differences in serum adipokine and C-reactive protein levels: The Multiethnic Cohort. Int J Obesity (Lond), Feb 13. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.25. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Hormon BE, Little MA, Woekel ED, Ettienne R, Long CR, Wilkens LR, Le Marchand L, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN, Maskarinec G. (2014). Ethnic Differences and Predictors of Colonoscopy, Prostate Specific Antigen, and Mammography Screening Participation in the Multiethnic Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol, 38: 162-7. Mar 22. pii: S1877-7821(14)00029-0. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2014.02.007. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Leo QJN, Ollberding N, Wilkens LR, Kolonel LN, Henderson BE, Le Marchand L, Maskarinec G. (2014). Obesity and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Survival in an Ethnically Diverse Population: The Multiethnic Cohort Study. Cancer Cause Control, Jul 29. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Morimoto Y, Maskarinec, Park SY, Ettienne R, Matsuno RK, Long C, Steffen AD, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR. (2014). Dietary isoflavone intake is not associated with breast cancer risk in the Multiethnic Cohort. Brit J Nutr, 23 July. [Epub ahead of print].

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • G. Maskarinec, Program Director; M. Carbone, PI
    P30 CA071789-14S1 (PI: Carbone)
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center CCSG CURE Supplement.
    07/2013 - 06/2017
  • G. Maskarinec, PI of Pilot Study; PIs C. Vogel, N. Palafox
    University of Guam/Cancer Research Center of Hawaii Partnership.
    01/2014 - 08/2015
  • G. Maskarinec, Principal Investigator
    Soy Health Research Program
    "Measuring novel biomarkers for breast cancer risk in nipple aspirate fluid, serum, and urine during a crossover soy trial among premenopausal women"
    01/2013 – 12/2014
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