General Medical Sciences (Oncology)

Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan


Associate Professor
General Medical Sciences (Oncology)
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Associate Director for Bioinformatics
Co-Director, Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Core Facility
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Associate Director for Clinical Informatics, Institute for Computational Biology

Phone: 216.368.1506
Fax: 216.368.2606


Research Interests | Recent Publications | CWRU Barnholtz-Sloan Team | Ongoing Research

Research Interests

Cancer Genetic Epidemiology
Ancestry analysis


Recent Publications

Yingli Wolinksy Yingli Wolinsky, PhD, MBA
Research Administrator/Manager
phone: 216.368.4305
Karen Devine Karen Devine, RN, BSN, CCRP
Research Nurse Manager (Brain Tumors)
phone: 216.368.0076
Jordonna Fulop Jordonna Fulop, RN
Research Nurse
Quinn Ostrom Quinn Ostrom, MA, MPH
Research Assistant
phone: 216.368.5542
Yanwen Chen Yanwen Chen, PhD, MS
Haley Gittleman Haley Gittleman, MS
Lindsay Stetson Lindsay Stetson
PhD Student, Systems Biology & Bioinformatics
NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Peter Liao Peter Liao
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) student
Ryan Lym Ryan Lym
Medical Student
Selene Virk Selene Virk, PhD
CoGEC Postdoctoral Fellow
Bob Lanese Bob Lanese, MS
Programmer/Analyst, OnCore Administrator
Mike Warfe Mike Warfe, MBA
ITS Solutions Architect for Research
Patrick Mergler Patrick Mergler, MBA
IT&S Director, Seidman Cancer Center
Mark Herron Mark Herron, MA, CIPP/US, CISSP
Information Assurance Analyst
HIPAA/FISMA/PCI Compliance Specialist


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Ongoing Research

Ohio Brain Tumor Working Group
Administered by Case CCC, the Ohio Brain Tumor Working Group is a coordinated multi-center effort, takes on a cellular biology translational approach to glioma therapy, is participated by multiple adult or children brain tumor centers in Ohio, made up of 4-5 projects, 3 cores, a Career Developmental Program and a Developmental Research Program.

The Ohio Brain Tumor Study (OBTS)
OBTS Logo The Ohio Brain Tumor Study (OBTS) is a prospective study of primary benign and malignant brain tumor patients from the four major academic centers in the state of Ohio: The Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) and University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC), Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at the Cleveland Clinic, the Dardinger Neuro-oncology Center and the Department of Neurosurgery at the James Cancer Hospital and Ohio State University Medical Center, and the Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati. Our primary aim is to objectively characterize subtypes of primary benign and malignant brain tumors using genetic and environmental exposure information and associate these with clinical outcomes. All newly diagnosed primary malignant and benign patients are identified at each center and consented for study. From each patient we obtain the following: blood sample (for DNA, RNA, plasma and mononuclear cells), snap-frozen tumor tissue within 15-30 minutes of resection (for DNA and RNA) or re-cuts of formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue (for DNA), interview/questionnaire data, medical chart review and active yearly follow-up for clinical outcomes. This protocol forms a new brain tumor genetic epidemiology research consortia between the four major academic centers in the State of Ohio accruing eligible subjects to the first prospective accrual study of genetics of brain tumors and outcome in Ohio.

Since the inception of OBTS, some pilot grant monies have been sought after and secured using the accrued specimens. A Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) Small Pilot Award has been awarded to Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan to study methylation patterns in benign and atypical meningiomas using banked samples from OBTS. Also, two new Case CCC pilot grants are recently awarded to Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan and her research team using the banked samples from OBTS to build human brain tumor tissue microarrays and to do targeted proteomics on short-term vs. long term survival GBM patients.

Tissue Source Site (TSS) Networks in Support of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Program
After the success of the three-year TCGA pilot program, funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute, to accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer through the application of genomic analysis technologies, including large-scale genome sequencing, the NCI launched a full on new TCGA TSS program encompassing over 20 cancers, and awarded Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan the new TCGA contract using the entire OBTS statewide network as TSS network to prospectively accrue newly diagnosed grade II-IV glioma patients and their annotated biospecimens and clinical data.

International Case-Control Study of Malignant Glioma
The goal of this project is to build upon and expand the GLIOGENE (GLIOGENE: An International Brain Tumor Family Study) infrastructure to recruit more than 6000 glioma cases and 6000 controls and collect biologic samples from 14 participating GLIOGENE sites to have a sufficiently large data set to further our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the development of this devastating disease. Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan is the local PI of the Cleveland glioma recruiting sites at UHCMC and Cleveland Clinic.

African American Cancer Epidemiology Study (AACES) a.k.a. Epidemiology of Ovarian Cancer in African American Women
The goal of this project is to study environmental and genetic risk factors for ovarian cancer in African American women. The project will utilize rapid case ascertainment networks in nine states, including Ohio, to identify African American women diagnosed with ovarian cancer within 1-3 months of diagnosis. Appropriately matched controls will also be accrued (matched on age, race, state and county). Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan is the Ohio PI for the rapid case ascertainment system in Ohio recruiting women with ovarian cancer.

Director, Biostatistics Core
In September 2011, the Case CCC was awarded a research grant to establish a GI SPORE- GI Cancers Research Center at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). With this designation, CWRU joins only six other nationally recognized GI SPORE Centers of Excellence in the country. Researchers from CWRU, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic, all members of the Cancer Center, collaborate in the research effort. The GI SPORE team intends to battle these diseases by developing new tests to identify individuals who are susceptible to these cancers; new molecular tests to pick up cancers and pre-cancers in the early curable stages; new drugs for prevention of these cancers; and new treatment approaches, with particular emphasis on discovery of new targets for blocking the metastatic spread of these cancers.

Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet)
Director, Bioinformatics Core
This five-year award from the National Cancer Institute will support the BETRNet, which consists of multiple centers collaborating to develop an understanding of the basis of Barrett's esophagus and its conversion to esophageal carcinoma. Researchers will also work to determine the role genetics and environmental factors play in the development and progression of these diseases, with the ultimate goal of reducing the mortality associated with this deadly cancer.

Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS)
Scientific Principal Investigator
The Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) is a not-for-profit corporation established to provide a resource for descriptive statistical data on all primary brain tumors irrespective of behavior. The CBTRUS database contains the largest aggregation of population–based data on the incidence of all primary brain and central nervous system tumors in the United States. This database has been developed by compiling data from state cancer registries that include information on both malignant and non–malignant primary brain tumors.

Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan with her team works with CBTRUS staff to coordinate data acquisition, develop and manage data sets, and conduct data analyses. She also collaborates on interpreting and disseminating brain and central nervous system tumor data by producing statistical reports and scholarly publications, presentations, responding to data request, and developing grant applications for scientific utilization of the data sets.


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