Gertrude Case Buehring PhD

Professor of the Graduate School, Public Health
  • PhD - Genetics, University of California, Berkeley
  • CLS - Doctors Hospital (clinical laboratory scientist)
  • BA - Biology, Stanford University
  • PH162A - Public Health Microbiology
Research Interests: 
  • Viral etiology of human breast cancer
  • Bovine leukemia virus and its possible role in causing human breast cancer
  • Development of early diagnostic tests for infection bovine leukemia and for breast cancer
Current Projects: 

The following projects relate to our overall hypothesis that bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infects humans and could potentially cause cancer:

  1. How do humans become infected with BLV?  Is it from cattle via bovine food products?
  2. Can women infected with BLV pass the virus to their children transplacentally or through breast milk?
  3. Are other human organs besides breasts infected by BLV and could the virus be associated with cancer in these organs?
  4. Does infection of normal human breast cells with BLV in culture cause them to acquire characteristics of a malignant cell?
Selected Publications: 

Buehring GC,  DeLaney A, Shen HM, Schwartz DA, Bates MN. Bovine leukemia virus discovered in human blood.  BMC Infectious Diseases (submitted)

Baltzell KA, Shen HM, Krishnamurty S, Sison JD, Nuovo G, Buehring GC.  Bovine leukemia virus linked to breast cancer but not co-infection with human papilloma virus: Case-control study of women in Texas.  Cancer 124:1342-9, 2018.

Buehring GC, Shen HM, Schwartz DA, Lawson, JS. Bovine leukemia virus linked to breast cancer in Australian women and identified before breast cancer development. PLoS One, June 22, 2017, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0179367.

Buehring GC, Shen HM, Jensen HM, Jin DL, Hudes M, Block G.  Exposure to bovine leukemia virus is associated with breast cancer:  A case-control study. PLoS One, Sept. 2, 2015, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0134304.

Buehring GC, Shen HM, Jensen HM, Choi KY, Sun  D: Bovine leukemia virus DNA in human breast tissue. Emerging Infectious Diseases 20 (5): 772-782, 2014.

Hsieh K, Kimsey P, Buehring GC: Using inter-organizational partnerships to strengthen public health laboratory systems. Public Health Reports 128,Supplement 2 (Public Health Laboratory Systems): 63-69, 2013.

Joshi D, Buehring GC: Are viruses associated with human breast cancer? Scrutinizing the molecular evidence. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 135 (1): 1-15, 2012.

Baltzell K, Buehring GC, Krishnamurthy S, Kuerer H, Shen HM, Sison J: Limited evidence of human papillomavirus in breast tissue using in situ molecular methods. Cancer 118(5): 1212-1220, 2012

Baltzell K, Buehring GC, Krishnamurthy S, Kuerer H, Shen HM, Sison J: Epstein-Barr virus seldom found in mammary epithelium of breast cancer tissue using in situ molecular methods. Breast Cancer Res Treat 132(1):267-274, 2012.

Zhao X, Jimenez-Sanchez C, Sentsui H, Buehring GC: Sequence polymorphisms in the long terminal repeat of bovine leukemia virus: Evidence for selection pressure in regulatory sequences. Virus Res 124: 113-124, 2007.

Zhao X, Buehring GC: Natural genetic variations in bovine leukemia virus envelope gene: Possible effects of selection and escape. Virology 366(1):150-165, 2007.

McGirr KM, Buehring GC:  Variation in the tax/rex region of the human T cell leukemia/bovine leukemia virus group: Evolutionary consequences in this overlapping reading frame. Virus Genes 32(1):229-239, 2006.

Buehring GC, Letscher A, McGirr K, Khandar S, Che L, Nguyen C, Hackett A: Presence of epithelial cells in nipple aspirate fluid is associated with subsequent breast cancer:  A 25-year prospective study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 98(1): 63-70, 2006.

Buehring GC, Philpott SM, Choi KY:  Humans have antibodies reactive with bovine leukemia virus. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 19(12):1105-1113, 2003.

Phillpott SM, Buehring GC: Defective DNA repair in cells infected with human T-cell leukemia / bovine leukemia virus group. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 91(11):933-942, 1999.

Other interests: 
  • Member, Graduate group in Infectious Diseases and Immunology, UC Berkeley
  • Member, Graduate group in Endocrinology, UC Berkeley
  • Member, Avon Foundation Virus and Breast Cancer Research Consortium
  • Member, International Expert Panel on Misidentification and Cross-Contamination of Cell Lines
Profile Updated: October 17, 2018