Dr. Julie Palmer is Professor of Epidemiology and Senior Epidemiologist at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. She received her B.A. from Brown University, M.P.H from Boston University, and Sc.D. in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public health. A major research interest is the etiology of breast cancer in African American women. Dr. Palmer was instrumental in designing and implementing the Black Women's Health Study and has served as co-investigator of the study since its inception in 1995. Dr. Palmer is director of genetic research in the Black Women’s Health Study and has spearheaded efforts to use DNA from study participants in genetic analyses of breast and colon cancer, lupus, uterine fibroids, and sarcoidosis. Her group is following up findings from European and Asian ancestry breast cancer GWAS by genotyping the associated genetic regions in Black Women’s Health Study samples.
In addition to her genetic studies, Dr. Palmer’s current research focuses on the relation of reproductive and anthropometric factors to breast cancer subtypes. Also with regard to breast cancer, Dr. Palmer is PI of the Boston University center of a collaborative follow-up study of DES-exposed cohorts and published findings of a positive association of prenatal diethylstilbestrol exposure with risk of breast cancer. Dr. Palmer’s work extends beyond cancer epidemiology. Since 2004, she has established a program of research into modifiable causes of type 2 diabetes within the Black Women’s Health Study.