Leslie Bernstein, PhD
Leslie Bernstein, PhD, Director of City of Hope’s Division of Biomarkers of Early Detection and Prevention, received the Margaret L. Kripke Legend Award for Promotion of Women in Cancer Medicine and Cancer Science. Dr. Bernstein has made a substantial mark on both science and society by identifying modifiable factors that can reduce cancer risk. She has championed the careers of women in cancer research and has served as a role model and mentor for female investigators. Dr. Bernstein has personally mentored more than 120 students, postdoctoral researchers, and junior faculty from all over the world who subsequently went on to careers in cancer research—many of whom were women.
Dr. Bernstein’s efforts to identify practical choices and behaviors that women can adopt have saved and extended lives, yielded unparalleled scientific achievement, and earned her status as a leader among her peers in biomedical research. She has helped develop, and led for nearly 25 years, the California Teachers Study, a collaborative research project that created and tracks a cohort of 133,500 female public-school professionals, providing data to cancer epidemiologists.
Her greatest contribution has been to our understanding of the impact of physical activity: Her studies clearly established that exercise over one’s lifetime can reduce the risk of cancer, and that physical activity can affect disease prognosis and quality of life in survivors. Dr. Bernstein led the first studies to suggest physical activity could reduce women’s risk of breast cancer. Her research has shown how breast cancer is affected by hormones, environmental chemicals, diet, and obesity.
About the Kripke Award
Established in 2008, the Kripke Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in advancing and promoting women in cancer medicine and cancer science. It honors Professor Emerita Margaret L. Kripke, PhD, for her advocacy for and promotion of women in academic medicine and science.