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Travis A. Gerke, ScD

Academic Rank: Assistant Member



    • Cancer Epidemiology
    • Genitourinary Oncology
    • Cancer Epidemiology Program

Education & Training


  • Harvard University, AM - Biostatistics
  • Harvard School of Public Health, Sc.D. -

My active line of research lies in integrative molecular prostate cancer epidemiology, and is driven by concurrent interests in biostatistical methods development and computational biology. Several of my recent publications investigate tumor-based biomarkers that can distinguish aggressive from non-aggressive prostate cancers in large prospective cohorts. My methodological interests in this area concern ways in which high-dimensional data analysis techniques can be modified to discover markers that are highly specific for indolent cancer types. With regard to computational biology and statistics, I also collaborate on efforts to streamline processing, analysis, and epidemiologic translation of large-scale genomic databases such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Gene Expression Omnibus. Finally, an emerging research interest of mine applies contemporary methods in causal inference to existing clinical trial data in order to discover optimal treatment sequences for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.


  • Wang K, Chen X, Gerke TA, Bird VY, Ghayee HK, Prosperi M. BMI trajectories and risk of overall and grade-specific prostate cancer: An observational cohort study among men seen for prostatic conditions. Cancer Med. 2018 Sep. Pubmedid: 30207080.
  • Jones AA, Gerke T, Striley CW, Whitehead N, Osborne V, Cottler LB. One Step at a Time: A Latent Transitional Analysis on Changes in Substance Use, Exposure to Violence, and HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors among Female Offenders. Am J Crim Justice. 2018 Sep;43(3):471-485. Pubmedid: 30220837. Pmcid: PMC6135105.
  • Preston MA, Gerke T, Carlsson SV, Signorello L, Sjoberg DD, Markt SC, Kibel AS, Trinh QD, Steinwandel M, Blot W, Vickers AJ, Lilja H, Mucci LA, Wilson KM. Baseline Prostate-specific Antigen Level in Midlife and Aggressive Prostate Cancer in Black Men. Eur Urol. 2018 Sep. Pubmedid: 30237027.
  • Williams VL, Awasthi S, Fink AK, Pow-Sang JM, Park JY, Gerke T, Yamoah K. African-American men and prostate cancer-specific mortality: a competing risk analysis of a large institutional cohort, 1989-2015. Cancer Med. 2018 May;7(5):2160-2171. Pubmedid: 29601662. Pmcid: PMC5943433.
  • Stopsack KH, Ebot EM, Downer MK, Gerke TA, Rider JR, Kantoff PW, Mucci LA. Regular aspirin use and gene expression profiles in prostate cancer patients. Cancer Causes Control. 2018 Jun. Pubmedid: 29915914.
  • Komura K, Yoshikawa Y, Shimamura T, Chakraborty G, Gerke TA, Hinohara K, Chadalavada K, Jeong SH, Armenia J, Du SY, Mazzu YZ, Taniguchi K, Ibuki N, Meyer CA, Nanjangud GJ, Inamoto T, Lee GM, Mucci LA, Azuma H, Sweeney CJ, Kantoff PW. ATR inhibition controls aggressive prostate tumors deficient in Y-linked histone demethylase KDM5D. J Clin Invest. 2018 Jul;128(7):2979-2995. Pubmedid: 29863497. Pmcid: PMC6025984.
  • Pettersson A, Gerke T, Penney KL, Lis RT, Stack EC, Pértega-Gomes N, Zadra G, Tyekucheva S, Giovannucci EL, Mucci LA, Loda M. MYC Overexpression at the Protein and mRNA Level and Cancer Outcomes among Men Treated with Radical Prostatectomy for Prostate Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Feb;27(2):201-207. Pubmedid: 29141848. Pmcid: PMC5831163.
  • Graff RE, Ahearn TU, Pettersson A, Ebot EM, Gerke T, Penney KL, Wilson KM, Markt SC, Pernar CH, Gonzalez-Feliciano AG, Song M, Lis RT, Schmidt DR, Vander Heiden MG, Fiorentino M, Giovannucci EL, Loda M, Mucci LA. Height, Obesity, and the Risk of -Defined Prostate Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Feb;27(2):193-200. Pubmedid: 29167279. Pmcid: PMC5809280.
  • Peeri NC, Creed JH, Anic GM, Thompson RC, Olson JJ, LaRocca RV, Chowdhary SA, Brockman JD, Gerke TA, Nabors LB, Egan KM. Toenail selenium, genetic variation in selenoenzymes and risk and outcome in glioma. Cancer Epidemiol. 2018 Aug;55:45-51. Pubmedid: 29777993.
  • Barber LE, Gerke T, Markt SC, Peisch SF, Wilson KM, Ahearn TU, Giovannucci EL, Parmigiani G, Mucci LA. Family history of breast or prostate cancer and prostate cancer risk. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Aug. Pubmedid: 30082473.
  • Rounbehler RJ, Berglund AE, Gerke T, Takhar MM, Awasthi S, Li W, Davicioni E, Erho NG, Ross AE, Schaeffer EM, Klein EA, Karnes RJ, Jenkins RB, Cleveland JL, Park JY, Yamoah K. Tristetraprolin Is a Prognostic Biomarker for Poor Outcomes among Patients with Low-Grade Prostate Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Aug. Pubmedid: 30108099.
  • Ahearn TU, Peisch S, Pettersson A, Ebot EM, Zhou K, Graff RE, Sinnott JA, Fazli L, Judson GL, Bismar TA, Rider JR, Gerke T, Chan JM, Fiorentino M, Flavin R, Sesso HD, Finn S, Giovannucci EL, Gleave M, Loda M, Li Z, Pollak M, Mucci LA. Expression of IGF/insulin receptor in prostate cancer tissue and progression to lethal disease. Carcinogenesis. 2018 Aug. Pubmedid: 30165429.
  • Ebot EM, Gerke T, Labbé DP, Sinnott JA, Zadra G, Rider JR, Tyekucheva S, Wilson KM, Kelly RS, Shui IM, Loda M, Kantoff PW, Finn S, Vander Heiden MG, Brown M, Giovannucci EL, Mucci LA. Gene expression profiling of prostate tissue identifies chromatin regulation as a potential link between obesity and lethal prostate cancer. Cancer. 2017 Nov;123(21):4130-4138. Pubmedid: 28700821. Pmcid: PMC5802874.
  • Wang K, Chen X, Bird VY, Gerke TA, Manini TM, Prosperi M. Association between age-related reductions in testosterone and risk of prostate cancer-An analysis of patients' data with prostatic diseases. Int J Cancer. 2017 Nov;141(9):1783-1793. Pubmedid: 28699177. Pmcid: PMC6169522.
  • Zareba P, Flavin R, Isikbay M, Rider JR, Gerke TA, Finn S, Pettersson A, Giunchi F, Unger RH, Tinianow AM, Andersson SO, Andrén O, Fall K, Fiorentino M, Mucci LA. Perineural Invasion and Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 May;26(5):719-726. Pubmedid: 28062398. Pmcid: PMC5413395.
  • Pettersson A, Gerke T, Fall K, Pawitan Y, Holmberg L, Giovannucci EL, Kantoff PW, Adami HO, Rider JR, Mucci LA. The ABC model of prostate cancer: A conceptual framework for the design and interpretation of prognostic studies. Cancer. 2017 May;123(9):1490-1496. Pubmedid: 28152172. Pmcid: PMC5716345.
  • Sinnott JA, Peisch S, Tyekucheva S, Gerke TA, Lis RT, Rider JR, Fiorentino M, Stampfer MJ, Mucci LA, Loda M, Penney KL. Prognostic Utility of a New mRNA Expression Signature of Gleason Score. Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Jan;23(1):81-87. Pubmedid: 27663590. Pmcid: PMC5215643.
  • Li D, Mai V, Gerke T, Pinney SM, Yaghjyan L. Interactions of Family History of Breast Cancer with Radiotherapy in Relation to the Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence. J Breast Cancer. 2017 Dec;20(4):333-339. Pubmedid: 29285037. Pmcid: PMC5743992.
  • Stopsack KH, Gerke TA, Andrén O, Andersson SO, Giovannucci EL, Mucci LA, Rider JR. Cholesterol uptake and regulation in high-grade and lethal prostate cancers. Carcinogenesis. 2017 Aug;38(8):806-811. Pubmedid: 28595267. Pmcid: PMC6074871.
  • Fankhauser CD, Mucci LA, Gerke TA. Re: Won Sik Ham, Heather J. Chalfin, Zhaoyong Feng, et al. New Prostate Cancer Grading System Predicts Long-term Survival Following Surgery for Gleason Score 8-10 Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol 2017;71:907-12. Eur Urol. 2017 07;72(1):e9-e10. Pubmedid: 28108146.
  • Mucci LA, Pernar CH, Peisch S, Gerke T, Wilson KM. Prostate cancer incidence as an iceberg. Eur J Epidemiol. 2017 06;32(6):477-479. Pubmedid: 28560536. Pmcid: PMC5709244.
  • Waniga HM, Gerke T, Shoemaker A, Bourgoine D, Eamranond P. The Impact of Revised Discharge Instructions on Patient Satisfaction. J Patient Exp. 2016 Sep;3(3):64-68. Pubmedid: 28725840. Pmcid: PMC5513645.
  • Conboy L, Gerke T, Hsu KY, St John M, Goldstein M, Schnyer R. The Effectiveness of Individualized Acupuncture Protocols in the Treatment of Gulf War Illness: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial. PLoS One. 2016 Mar;11(3):e0149161. Pubmedid: 27031099. Pmcid: PMC4816551.
  • Lu D, Sinnott JA, Valdimarsdóttir U, Fang F, Gerke T, Tyekucheva S, Fiorentino M, Lambe M, Sesso HD, Sweeney CJ, Wilson KM, Giovannucci EL, Loda M, Mucci LA, Fall K. Stress-Related Signaling Pathways in Lethal and Nonlethal Prostate Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Feb;22(3):765-772. Pubmedid: 26490316. Pmcid: PMC4738177.
  • Ahearn TU, Pettersson A, Ebot EM, Gerke T, Graff RE, Morais CL, Hicks JL, Wilson KM, Rider JR, Sesso HD, Fiorentino M, Flavin R, Finn S, Giovannucci EL, Loda M, Stampfer MJ, De Marzo AM, Mucci LA, Lotan TL. A Prospective Investigation of PTEN Loss and ERG Expression in Lethal Prostate Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016 Feb;108(2). Pubmedid: 26615022. Pmcid: PMC4862436.
  • Kelly RS, Sinnott JA, Rider JR, Ebot EM, Gerke T, Bowden M, Pettersson A, Loda M, Sesso HD, Kantoff PW, Martin NE, Giovannucci EL, Tyekucheva S, Heiden MV, Mucci LA. The role of tumor metabolism as a driver of prostate cancer progression and lethal disease: results from a nested case-control study. Cancer Metab. 2016 Dec;4:22. Pubmedid: 27980733. Pmcid: PMC5142400.
  • Preston MA, Batista JL, Wilson KM, Carlsson SV, Gerke T, Sjoberg DD, Dahl DM, Sesso HD, Feldman AS, Gann PH, Kibel AS, Vickers AJ, Mucci LA. Baseline Prostate-Specific Antigen Levels in Midlife Predict Lethal Prostate Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Aug;34(23):2705-2711. Pubmedid: 27298404. Pmcid: PMC5019757.
  • Stopsack KH, Gerke TA, Sinnott JA, Penney KL, Tyekucheva S, Sesso HD, Andersson SO, Andrén O, Cerhan JR, Giovannucci EL, Mucci LA, Rider JR. Cholesterol Metabolism and Prostate Cancer Lethality. Cancer Res. 2016 Aug;76(16):4785-4790. Pubmedid: 27325648. Pmcid: PMC4987257.
  • Terry RS, Gerke T, Mason JB, Sorensen MD, Joseph JP, Dahm P, Su LM. Postoperative rhabdomyolysis following robotic renal and adrenal surgery: a cautionary tale of compounding risk factors. J Robot Surg. 2015 Sep;9(3):195-200. Pubmedid: 26531199.
  • Martin NE, Gerke T, Sinnott JA, Stack EC, Andrén O, Andersson SO, Johansson JE, Fiorentino M, Finn S, Fedele G, Stampfer M, Kantoff PW, Mucci LA, Loda M. Measuring PI3K Activation: Clinicopathologic, Immunohistochemical, and RNA Expression Analysis in Prostate Cancer. Mol Cancer Res. 2015 Oct;13(10):1431-1440. Pubmedid: 26124442. Pmcid: PMC4618038.
  • Shui IM, Mondul AM, Lindström S, Tsilidis KK, Travis RC, Gerke T, Albanes D, Mucci LA, Giovannucci E, Kraft P. Circulating vitamin D, vitamin D-related genetic variation, and risk of fatal prostate cancer in the National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium. Cancer. 2015 Jun;121(12):1949-1956. Pubmedid: 25731953. Pmcid: PMC4457645.
  • Sinnott JA, Rider JR, Carlsson J, Gerke T, Tyekucheva S, Penney KL, Sesso HD, Loda M, Fall K, Stampfer MJ, Mucci LA, Pawitan Y, Andersson SO, Andrén O. Molecular differences in transition zone and peripheral zone prostate tumors. Carcinogenesis. 2015 Jun;36(6):632-638. Pubmedid: 25870172. Pmcid: PMC4572920.
  • Rider JR, Fiorentino M, Kelly R, Gerke T, Jordahl K, Sinnott JA, Giovannucci EL, Loda M, Mucci LA, Finn S. Tumor expression of adiponectin receptor 2 and lethal prostate cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2015 Jun;36(6):639-647. Pubmedid: 25863129. Pmcid: PMC4481603.
  • Penney KL, Sinnott JA, Tyekucheva S, Gerke T, Shui IM, Kraft P, Sesso HD, Freedman ML, Loda M, Mucci LA, Stampfer MJ. Association of prostate cancer risk variants with gene expression in normal and tumor tissue. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Jan;24(1):255-260. Pubmedid: 25371445. Pmcid: PMC4294966.
  • Gerke TA, Martin NE, Ding Z, Nuttall EJ, Stack EC, Giovannucci E, Lis RT, Stampfer MJ, Kantoff PW, Parmigiani G, Loda M, Mucci LA. Evaluating a 4-marker signature of aggressive prostate cancer using time-dependent AUC. Prostate. 2015 Dec;75(16):1926-1933. Pubmedid: 26469352. Pmcid: PMC4831584.
  • Shui IM, Lindström S, Kibel AS, Berndt SI, Campa D, Gerke T, Penney KL, Albanes D, Berg C, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Chanock S, Crawford ED, Diver WR, Gapstur SM, Gaziano JM, Giles GG, Henderson B, Hoover R, Johansson M, Le Marchand L, Ma J, Navarro C, Overvad K, Schumacher FR, Severi G, Siddiq A, Stampfer M, Stevens VL, Travis RC, Trichopoulos D, Vineis P, Mucci LA, Yeager M, Giovannucci E, Kraft P. Prostate cancer (PCa) risk variants and risk of fatal PCa in the National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium. Eur Urol. 2014 Jun;65(6):1069-1075. Pubmedid: 24411283. Pmcid: PMC4006298.
  • Bismar TA, Alshalalfa M, Petersen LF, Teng LH, Gerke T, Bakkar A, Al-Mami A, Liu S, Dolph M, Mucci LA, Alhajj R. Interrogation of ERG gene rearrangements in prostate cancer identifies a prognostic 10-gene signature with relevant implication to patients' clinical outcome. BJU Int. 2014 Feb;113(2):309-319. Pubmedid: 24006850.