Lynne R. Wilkens, DrPH, MS

Lynne R. Wilkens, DrPH, MS

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Director, Biostatistics Shared Resource, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Associate Director, Shared Resources, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Full Member, Population Sciences in the Pacific Program (Cancer Epidemiology), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Specialist (Professor), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

DrPH, MS, Biostatistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Focus

Dr. Lynne Wilkens has a DrPH from the University of North Carolina in Biostatistics and has worked in cancer research for over 30 years. Much of this effort has focused on epidemiology and intervention research. A primary focus for Dr. Wilkens at University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center has been in the quantification of cancer incidence and mortality rates for the multiethnic populations of Hawaiʻi and the US affiliated Pacific, and studying the underlying causes of differences in cancer risks between racial and ethnic groups. Factors considered include genetic and lifestyle factors, including diet, physical activity, tobacco use and neighborhood environment. Dr. Wilkens has published over 500 publications from these efforts.

Dr. Wilkens is a Multiple Principal Investigator for the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) study (U01 CA164973) and has been an investigator with the project since its inception. The MEC was initiated in 1993 and has followed over 215,000 individuals from 5 major ethnic groups in Hawaiʻi and southern California for cancer and other diseases. Dr. Wilkens has vast experience with study design, data structure and data analysis for the MEC and its substudies. Dr. Wilkens led the Data Management and Analysis Core for the P01 MEC Adiposity Phenotype study (P01 CA168530) that examined the role of body composition in cancer incidence.

Dr. Wilkens has worked in the broader Pacific. Research in the NCI-funded U54 UH Cancer Center – University of Guam Partnership (U54 CA143727) has focused on the quantification of cancer risk among ethnic groups in Guam and the role of modifiable factors, such as screening, diet and betel nut use, in cancer risk. The USDA-funded Children's Healthy Living Program (CHL) in the Pacific (NIFA 2011-68001-30335) quantified the prevalence of obesity in children in the US-affiliated Pacific and investigated the effect of a community-based intervention on obesity prevention.

Dr. Wilkens' primary methodological interest is in improving the accuracy in measurement of exposure variables. Many exposures important to health, such as diet and physical activity, are measured with error, which biases associations with disease and reduces power. Accuracy can be improved by combining measurements of the broad constructs of diet and physical activity , each with unique strengths and limitations. For instance, self-reported measurements can be combined with relevant objective measures such as biomarkers. Also, technology is being integrated into approaches for collecting behavioral data from individuals in order to improve accuracy; examples include image-based dietary recalls or accelerometry for physical activity. Dr. Wilkens is the contact Principal Investigator for TANDAM, the dietary assessment center for the NIH Nutrition for Precision Health project, which investigated multiple novel methods.

Dr. Wilkens holds several leadership positions, serving as the Associate Director of Shared Resources, which coordinates the activities of five CCSG-supported Shared Resources, and the Director of the Biostatistics Shared Resource, which provides support to UH Cancer Center members in quantitative aspects of research.

Selected Publications

Choi E, Ding VY, Luo SJ, Ten Haaf K, Wu JT, Aredo JV, Wilkens LR, Freedman ND, Backhus LM, Leung AN, Meza R, Lui NS, Haiman CA, Park SL, Le Marchand L, Neal JW, Cheng I, Wakelee HA, Tammemägi MC, Han SS. (2023). Risk Model-Based Lung Cancer Screening and Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the US. JAMA Oncol. Dec 1;9(12):1640-1648. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2023.4447. PMID: 37883107; PMCID: PMC10603577.

Herzog TA, Wilkens LR, Badowski G, Mendez AJP, Franke AA, Pokhrel P, Chennaux JSN, Tenorio LF, Sotto PP, Kawamoto CT, Paulino YC. (2023). The Betel Nut Intervention Trial (BENIT)-A Randomized Clinical Trial for Areca Nut and Betel Quid Cessation: Primary Outcomes. Int J Environ Res Public Health. Aug 21;20(16):6622. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20166622. PMID: 37623205; PMCID: PMC10454381.

Zhou K, Lim T, Dodge JL, Terrault NA, Wilkens LR, Setiawan VW. (2023). Population-attributable risk of modifiable lifestyle factors to hepatocellular carcinoma: The multi-ethnic cohort. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2023 Jul;58(1):89-98. doi: 10.1111/apt.17523. Epub Apr 13. PMID: 37051717; PMCID: PMC10810233.

Wilkens LR, Kang M, Park SY, Sawyer A, Boushey CJ, Au DLM, Paik HY, Le Marchand L, Haiman CA, Kolonel LN, Murphy SP. (2023). Validation and Comparison of Nutrient Intakes from Two Dietary Questionnaires Developed for the Multiethnic Cohort Study. J Acad Nutr Diet. Apr;123(4):655-663.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2022.09.016. Epub 2022 Sep 30. PMID: 36191897.

Acuna N, Park SY, Le Marchand L, Hébert JR, Boushey C, Wilkens LR, Wu AH, Setiawan VW. (2023). Diet quality and risk of gastric adenocarcinoma: The Multiethnic Cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. Jan;117(1):46-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2022.11.009. Epub 2022 Dec 20. PMID: 36789943; PMCID: PMC10196603.

Publication list via PubMed