Jennifer Rider

Assistant Professor, Harvard School of Public Health


I have a long-standing interest in the role of inflammation and infections in cancer, in part because these risk factors may be modifiable and amenable to prevention. In a study in the Physicians’ Health Study cohort, we revealed an association between circulating antibodies against Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted parasitic protozoan, and development of lethal prostate cancer. I have investigated numerous inflammation-related circulating and genetic biomarkers with respect to prostate cancer, and most recently I have focused on characterizing focal prostatic atrophy and the inflammatory infiltrate in tissue specimens from a Swedish watchful waiting cohort. Together, these studies have strengthened the evidence for a role of inflammation potentially of an infectious origin in the etiology of prostate cancer. Leveraging my strong ties with Swedish colleagues, I also focus more generally on long-term prostate cancer outcomes including mortality, castration resistance, and quality of life. In addition to my research endeavors I am also committed to teaching and currently act as course director for Infections and Cancer, a course offered through the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.