Elisa Bandera, M.D., Ph.D.

Rutgers University- School of Public HealthRutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street New Brunswick NJ 08903 Work Phone: 732-235-9874
Photo of Elisa Bandera M.D., Ph.D.

Biographical Info


Dr. Bandera earned an MD degree from the University of Málaga, Spain and a PhD in Epidemiology and Community Health from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she also completed post-doctoral training in nutritional epidemiology of cancer.  She is currently Professor and Chief, Cancer Epidemiology and Health Outcomes and Co-Leader, Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers School of Public Health.

Major research interests include the impact of obesity and body composition and related comorbidities on breast and ovarian cancer risk, treatment and survival outcomes and survivorship, with a focus on cancer health disparities.  She has served as Principal Investigator in several epidemiologic studies, including the New Jersey Ovarian Cancer Study, which is a member of the Ovarian Cancer Association International Consortium, the Jersey Girl Study (a study evaluating factors affecting puberty in girls), the Women’s Circle of Health Study (a study of breast cancer in African American women, which is a member of the AMBER Consortium), the Women’s Circle of Health Follow-up Study (a cohort study of African American breast cancer survivors) and KP-ROCS (a cohort study evaluating the impact of obesity on ovarian cancer treatment and survival in which racial/ethnic disparities in treatment outcomes and survival were also evaluated).  Her research has been funded by several grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Bandera has served in numerous advisory boards and expert panels for several organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF).  She is very involved in translating epidemiologic findings to public health action at the national and international levels. She was a member of the American Cancer Society’s 2006 Committee on Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Prevention.  She also served as a member of the American Cancer Society’s 2012 and 2018 Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention and Survival Committee.  Dr. Bandera led the Systematic Literature Review and meta-analysis on endometrial cancer in support of the 2007 WCRF/AICR Second Expert Report on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer.  For more than 10 years she served as a member of the WCRF/AICR International Expert Panel for the Continuous Update Project and the WCRF/AICR Third Expert Report on Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Cancer: A Global Perspective, released in May 2018.  She also served as Chair of the Lifestyle Behaviors, Energy Balance and Chemoprevention Special Interest Group of the American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO) and as a member of the ASPO Executive Committee (2016-2019). At the state level, Dr. Bandera led the Nutrition and Physical Activity Workgroup of the New Jersey Task Force on Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment for more than ten years and served as Vice Chair of the Advisory Group for Cancer Prevention and Control of the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research.

Grant Review Panels (selected)

  • NIH Cancer, Heart and Sleep Epidemiology Study Section Panel B, CHSB
  • National Cancer Institute Initial Review Group Subcommittee J for Population and Patient-Oriented Training
  • National Cancer Institute Review Group Subcommittee G for Education
  • National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel Loan Repayment Program for Clinical Research
  • Ovarian Cancer Research Program of the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
  • American Institute for Cancer Research Grant Review Panel I
  • World Cancer Research Fund International RFA on Biomarkers Research Panel.


Categories: Environmental and Population Health Biosciences, Epi Members, Member

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