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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Clinique Award

Area(s) of Focus

Julienne E. Bower, PhD

Associate Professor
Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry/Biobehavioral Sciences
Research Scientist,
Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology
David Geffen School of Medicine
University of California
Los Angeles, California

Current Research

There is considerable interest in the role of stress in breast cancer. Drs. Bower and Cole are studying the biological pathways that link psychological stress and breast cancer outcomes, with a focus on the nervous and immune systems.  Psychological stress activates the stress-response system in the brain leading to release of hormones that influence the immune system and inflammation. Research suggests that beta blockers, used to block stress signaling, may have beneficial effects on clinical outcomes in women with breast cancer.  In 2015-2016,  Drs. Bower and Cole will evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of propranolol, a widely used beta blocker, in early stage breast cancer patients to determine whether propranolol leads to changes in inflammation-related tumor markers.   This approach will provide new information on a possible strategy to target the tumor microenvironment to improve breast cancer outcomes.


Julienne E. Bower, PhD is a nationally recognized expert on biobehavioral processes in breast cancer and their impact on health and well-being.  She has conducted pioneering work on neuroimmune interactions in breast cancer survivors, focusing on immune mechanisms for behavioral symptoms such as cancer-related fatigue.  Her research also examines the impact of psychosocial stress on behavioral and biological outcomes in cancer populations, including effects on inflammation and the tumor microenvironment.  Dr. Bower's current BCRF funded research, conducted in collaboration with BCRF co-grantee Steven Cole  is designed to identify the upstream neural processes that regulate inflammatory activity and how these can be modulated by mind-body interventions.  Dr. Bower is an Associate Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and is also a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology.