Eric P. Winer, MD

Eric P. Winer, MD

Titles and Affiliations

Director of Yale Cancer Center
Physician-in-Chief, Smilow Cancer Hospital
Alfred Gilman Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine

Member, BCRF Scientific Advisory Board

The Play for P.I.N.K. Aquidneck Club Award

Areas of Focus

  • Heredity & Ethnicity

Research area

Understanding how and when to incorporate lifestyle interventions during breast cancer treatment and the effects on biomarkers of breast cancer.


Obesity at breast cancer diagnosis is associated with an increased risk of recurrence and cancer-specific and all-cause mortality. Lifestyle factors related to poorer health outcomes disproportionately affect low socioeconomic and underrepresented minority women. Dr. Winer seeks to understand the interplay between obesity, lifestyle factors, and breast cancer biomarkers and implement lifestyle weight management counseling for these underrepresented women to provide equitable care for all breast cancer patients.

Progress Thus Far

Randomized controlled trials targeting obesity and lifestyle factors among underserved populations are limited with only one large lifestyle intervention on both diet and exercise in Black women to date. Dr. Winer aims to create a lifestyle weight loss intervention and conduct a six-month randomized controlled trial of the intervention versus usual care among Black and Latina women diagnosed six months to five years ago with Stage 0-3 breast cancer and with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher in the Yale Cancer Center networks. The trial will measure the effects of the weight loss intervention on weight and breast-cancer biomarkers. To inform the trial design, Dr. Winer and his team have conducted a large population-based analysis that entails interviews, focus groups, surveys, and analysis of electronic medical records (EMR) of Black and Latina breast cancer survivors. This information helped the team understand which subgroups may be at greatest risk for weight change after diagnosis and could benefit most from nutrition and physical activity counseling.

What’s next

During the upcoming year, Dr. Winer and his team will begin recruitment for their weight loss intervention trial. Additionally, Dr. Winer and his team are analyzing EMR data from a racially and ethnically diverse cohort of women with breast cancer in the Yale Cancer Center network from 2013 to 2022 to assess associations between BMI, muscle loss, treatment adherence, and mortality. The team will evaluate these relationships by race and ethnicity to understand if any outcome disparities by race and ethnicity can be explained.


Eric P. Winer, MD, is the Director of Yale Cancer Center and Physician-in-Chief of Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. Dr. Winer is an internationally renowned expert in breast cancer whose research has won numerous awards and changed the face of the disease. He serves as the co-chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Breast Cancer Steering Committee that oversees the breast cancer clinical trials sponsored by the NCI. He has also been recognized for his mentoring efforts and was the recipient of the William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School in 2020.

Dr. Winer is a graduate of Yale College, with a degree in History and Russian/East European Studies. He subsequently obtained his medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, followed by training in internal medicine at Yale. He completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Duke University Medical Center and remained on the Duke Faculty until 1997. He then spent 24 years at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Winer held the Thompson Chair in Breast Cancer Research and served as chief clinical development officer, and senior vice president for medical affairs at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as well as Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School until returning to Yale in 2022.