Portrait of Jessica DeHart

Jessica Clague DeHart is a molecular epidemiologist and associate professor of community and global health. Clague DeHart graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in health promotion and disease prevention. She completed a master of public health in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University and a PhD in molecular cancer epidemiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health and MD Anderson Cancer Center. As an R25 NCI cancer prevention doctoral fellow at MD Anderson, she focused her research on molecular epidemiology of tobacco-related cancers. Clague DeHart’s postdoctoral work was conducted at City of Hope in the division of clinical cancer genetics and focused on the genetics of breast and ovarian cancer in Hispanic women. As an assistant professor at City of Hope, she developed a research program that uses data from large observational studies to design biologically-based wellness intervention trials.

At CGU, Clague DeHart currently oversees a research team focused on cancer and healthy aging. She is currently the principal investigator on several grant-funded studies as well as community-based intervention trials that investigate the individual and combined impact of lifestyle factors (exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress) on cancer prevention, progression, and symptom management, as well as aging. Clague DeHart believes, “even the most effective intervention is meaningless if no one will do it.” Therefore, a major focus of her research is to develop interventions that are not only biologically effective in preventing disease but also feasible for the average person to maintain. Her team’s interventions focus on whole person health (physical and psychosocial), incorporate family and informal caregivers, utilize innovative technology, and are designed to not only help people survive but thrive.

Clague DeHart serves on the steering committee of the California Teachers Study—a large cohort of 133,000 female teachers and administrators in California established in 1995 with ongoing follow-up on multiple risk factors and health outcomes. Her research within the cohort focuses on examining the biological mechanisms (e.g., telomeres and inflammation) underlying associations between modifiable risk factors, cancer, and healthy aging.

Clague DeHart works with many cancer foundations. She serves on the scientific advisory board of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, where she advises the Love Research Army and conducts research within in the Health of Women (HOW) study and Metastatic Breast Cancer Collateral Damage (MBCCD) project. Clague DeHart also serves as faculty for the National Breast Cancer Coalition Project LEAD Institute—an intensive science course designed to train breast cancer advocates.

Co-authored with Timothy J. Williamson, et al. “Metastatic Breast Cancer Collateral Damage Project (MBCCD): Scale development and preliminary results of the Survey of Health, Impact, Needs, and Experiences (SHINE).” Breast Cancer Research 171, no. 1 (2018): 75-84. PMID: 29767345

Co-authored with Huiyan Ma, et al. “Recreational physical activity and risk of triple negative breast cancer in the California Teachers Study.” Breast Cancer Research 18, no. 1 (2016): 62. PMCID: PMC4912767

Co-authored with Peggy Reynolds, et al. “Recent Menopausal Estrogen-Only Therapy Decreases Lung Cancer Mortality in Women Enrolled in the California Teachers Study.” PLoS ONE 9, no. 7 (2014): e103735.

Co-authored with Jeffrey N. Weitzel, et al. “Prevalence and Type of BRCA Mutations in Hispanics undergoing Genetic Cancer Risk Assessment in the Southwestern United States.” J Clin Oncol 31, no. 2 (2013): 210-216.

Co-authored with Leslie Bernstein. “Physical Activity and Cancer (Review).” Curr Oncol Rep 14, no. 6 (2012): 550-558.

Co-authored with Peggy Reynolds, et al. “Menopausal Hormone Therapy Does not Influence Lung Cancer Risk: Results from the California Teachers Study.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 20, no. 3 (2011): 560-564. PMCID: PMC3065239 *Selected as a Member of the Faculty of 1000 (F1000).

Co-authored with Greg Wilhoite, et al. “RAD51C germline mutations in breast and ovarian cancer cases from high-risk families.” PLoS ONE 6, no. 9 (2011): e25632.