hero image
Katherine Reeves - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Katherine Reeves

Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, School of Public Health and Health Sciences | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Katherine Reeves' research focuses on modifiable factors that may mediate breast cancer risk

Expertise (5)

Forever Chemicals

Endocrine Disruption

Breast Cancer

Women's Health

Cancer Epidemiology


Katherine Reeves studies modifiable risk factors for breast cancer, with the ultimate goal of preventing breast cancer and reducing breast cancer deaths. She investigates how hormonal pathways, depression, obesity and metabolic disease, as well as endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, may impact breast cancer risk. Reeves is researching whether women’s exposure to BPA through their diet increases estrogenic activity and breast cancer risk.

Education (3)

University of Pittsburgh: Ph.D., Epidemiology

The Ohio State University: M.P.H., Epidemiology

Yale University: B.S., Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry

Select Recent Media Coverage (1)

Do ‘forever chemicals’ increase breast cancer risk? Researchers at UMass Amherst launch study

Boston 25 News  online


“Our overall goal is to understand if PFAS contribute to breast cancer development,” says Katherine Reeves, associate dean of graduate and professional studies and professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

view more

Select Publications (5)

The impact of COVID-19 on anxiety among breast cancer survivors before, during and after the pandemic.

Journal of Clinical Oncology

2023 Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented stressors on the mental health of patients with cancer as well as with cancer survivors. Little is known regarding anxiety among breast cancer survivors during and following the pandemic. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study evaluating the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on a cohort of breast cancer survivors (n = 1333). Between January and March 2022, participants enrolled in the Rays of Hope Breast Cancer Research Registry were invited to complete an online study questionnaire.

view more

Association between urinary phthalate biomarker concentrations and adiposity among postmenopausal women

Environmental Research

2023 Background Obesity is a leading risk factor for chronic diseases, potentially related to excess abdominal adiposity. Phthalates are environmental chemicals that have been suggested to act as obesogens, driving obesity risk. For the associations between phthalates and adiposity, prior studies have focused primarily on body mass index. We hypothesize that more refined measures of adiposity and fat distribution may provide greater insights into these associations given the role of central adiposity in chronic disease risk.

view more

Dietary patterns and urinary phthalate exposure among postmenopausal women of the Women's Health Initiative

Environmental Research

2023 Background Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to a higher risk of numerous chronic health outcomes. Diet is a primary source of exposure, but prior studies exploring associations between dietary patterns and phthalate exposure are limited. Objectives We evaluated the associations between dietary patterns and urinary phthalate biomarkers among a subset of postmenopausal women participating in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI).

view more

Variability and performance of NHS England’s ‘reason to reside’criteria in predicting hospital discharge in acute hospitals in England: a retrospective, observational cohort study

BMJ open

2022 Objectives NHS England (NHSE) advocates ‘reason to reside’ (R2R) criteria to support discharge planning. The proportion of patients without R2R and their rate of discharge are reported daily by acute hospitals in England. R2R has no interoperable standardised data model (SDM), and its performance has not been validated. We aimed to understand the degree of intercentre and intracentre variation in R2R-related metrics reported to NHSE, define an SDM implemented within a single centre Electronic Health Record to generate an electronic R2R (eR2R) and evaluate its performance in predicting subsequent discharge.

view more

Phthalates and bone mineral density: a systematic review

Environmental Health

2022 Exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as phthalates, may impact bone mineral density (BMD) through a variety of mechanisms. Studies of phthalate exposure and BMD in humans are scarce. To synthesize published data on the association between phthalate metabolites and BMD in humans and to provide methodological suggestions for future research. A single investigator searched PubMed for relevant studies, including observational studies of phthalate exposure and BMD in children and postmenopausal women. Twelve studies were screened with 5 meeting the eligibility criteria and included for review. A quality assessment form was used as a quality measure and key information was extracted from the included studies.

view more