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Cosette Wheeler, Ph.D.

Regent's Professor, UNM HSC, Director of EPIC-STI, Leader Project #4, Leader Admin Core, Co-Leader Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core

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Contact Information

Mail: BRF 123

About Cosette

Cosette, the Program Director and Principal Investigator of NM-HOPES-PROSPR, is a UNM Regents Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Sciences Center. Her New Mexico research group has contributed for over 20 years to understanding the molecular epidemiology of human papillomaviruses (HPV) in cervical precancer and cancer. She has overseen a number of large-scale multidisciplinary population-based projects that have ultimately enabled advances in primary and secondary cervical cancer screening. She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles a number in top tier journals. In 2008 Sciencewatch (Thomson Reuters) ranked her citations over the past decade 7th in human papillomavirus contributions and in the top 1% in the field of clinical medicine.

Research Interests

Dr. Wheeler's interests and productivity have spanned many facets of HPV-related cervical disease from development of nucleic acid-based HPV diagnostics, HPV phylogeny and global molecular variation, host and viral genetic risk factors of cervical disease outcomes, and she has led groups supporting clinical trials to assess the utility of both HPV testing (US National Cancer Institute ALTS trial) and HPV vaccines (Merck Gardasil phase I, II and III and GSK Cervarix phase II and III). Within the Gardasil and Cervarix phase III pivotal efficacy trials, her clinical trials group acted as a lead enrollment site for the US and North America. Dr. Wheeler is currently the director of one of five US National Cooperative Research Centers in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI-CRC), the UNM Interdisciplinary HPV Prevention Center funded by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and she directs a UNM dedicated clinical trial facility, the House of Prevention Epidemiology (HOPE). In 2006 she was presented the American Society of Coloposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award.

Since 2006, Dr. Wheeler has directed a state-wide surveillance program in New Mexico that represents a one-of-a-kind US resource which captures all Pap and HPV tests, and all cervical, vulvar, and vaginal pathology under state regulations for all New Mexico residents. The goal of this monitoring program which interfaces with a state-wide immunization registry as well as health plan billing data for vaccine delivery is to assess real world HPV vaccine impact and effectiveness as a requisite to appropriate integration of screening and vaccination in the US.

Dr. Wheeler's laboratory has acted as a reference laboratory for the World Health Organization (WHO) and has developed international HPV DNA standards reagents for the WHO. These standards were considered necessary for monitoring global implementation of HPV vaccines. She has served as a Research Associate for the US National Research Council and as a scientific fellow for both the US National Science Foundation and the American Social Health Association and she has acted as an advisor to the US Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society as well the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC), Cancer UK, and the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, Cuernevaca, Mexico in support of their efforts to understand and prevent cervical cancer in developing countries.

Recent Publications

PubMed - Wheeler CM

  1. Similar Risk Patterns After Cervical Screening in Two Large U.S. Populations: Implications for Clinical Guidelines
    Gage JC, Hunt WC, Schiffman M, Katki HA, Cheung LA, Myers O, Cuzick J, Wentzensen N, Kinney W, Castle PE, Wheeler CM; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Nov 3. PMID: 27824767
  2. Efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of the human papillomavirus 16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine in women older than 25 years: 7-year follow-up of the phase 3, double-blind, randomised controlled VIVIANE study.
    Wheeler CM, Skinner SR, Del Rosario-Raymundo MR, Garland SM, Chatterjee A, Lazcano-Ponce E, Salmerón J, McNeil S, Stapleton JT, Bouchard C, Martens MG, Money DM, Quek SC, Romanowski B, Vallejos CS, Ter Harmsel B, Prilepskaya V, Fong KL, Kitchener H, Minkina G, Lim YK, Stoney T, Chakhtoura N, Cruickshank ME, Savicheva A, da Silva DP, Ferguson M, Molijn AC, Quint WG, Hardt K, Descamps D, Suryakiran PV, Karkada N, Geeraerts B, Dubin G, Struyf F; VIVIANE Study Group.
    Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Oct;16(10):1154-68. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30120-7. PMID: 27373900
  3. Population-Based Incidence Rates of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia in the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Era.
    Benard VB, Castle PE, Jenison SA, Hunt WC, Kim JJ, Cuzick J, Lee JH, Du R, Robertson M, Norville S, Wheeler CM; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee.
    JAMA Oncol. 2016 Sep 29. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.3609. PMID: 27685805
  4. Population-based prevalence of cervical infection with human papillomavirus genotypes 16 and 18 and other high risk types in Tlaxcala, Mexico
    Rudolph SE, Lorincz A, Wheeler CM, Gravitt P, Lazcano-Ponce E, Torres-Ibarra L, León-Maldonado L, Ramírez P, Rivera B, Hernández R, Franco EL, Cuzick J, Méndez-Hernández P, Salmerón J; FRIDA Study Group.
    BMC Infect Dis. 2016 Sep 1;16:461. doi: 10.1186/s12879-016-1782-x.PMID: 27585544

  5. Health Service Accessibility and Risk in Cervical Cancer Prevention: Comparing Rural Versus Nonrural Residence in New Mexico.
    McDonald YJ, Goldberg DW, Scarinci IC, Castle PE, Cuzick J, Robertson M, Wheeler CM.
    J Rural Health. 2016 Aug 24. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12202. PMID: 27557124
  6. Progression of HPV infection to detectable cervical lesions or clearance in adult women: Analysis of the control arm of the VIVIANE study.
    Skinner SR, Wheeler CM, Romanowski B, Castellsagué X, Lazcano-Ponce E, Del Rosario-Raymundo MR, Vallejos C, Minkina G, Pereira Da Silva D, McNeil S, Prilepskaya V, Gogotadze I, Money D, Garland SM, Romanenko V, Harper DM, Levin MJ, Chatterjee A, Geeraerts B, Struyf F, Dubin G, Bozonnat MC, Rosillon D, Baril L; VIVIANE Study Group.
    Int J Cancer. 2016 May 15;138(10):2428-38. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29971.PMID: 26685704
  7. Variation in Screening Abnormality Rates and Follow-Up of Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancer Screening within the PROSPR Consortium.
    Tosteson AN, Beaber EF, Tiro J, Kim J, McCarthy AM, Quinn VP, Doria-Rose VP, Wheeler CM, Barlow WE, Bronson M, Garcia M, Corley DA, Haas JS, Halm EA, Kamineni A, Rutter CM, Tosteson TD, Trentham-Dietz A, Weaver DL; PROSPR consortium.
    J Gen Intern Med. 2016 Apr;31(4):372-9. doi: 10.1007/s11606-015-3552-7. PMID: 26658934
  8. HPV vaccination impact on a cervical cancer screening program: methods of the FASTER-Tlalpan Study in Mexico.
    Salmerón J, Torres-Ibarra L, Bosch FX, Cuzick J, Lörincz A, Wheeler CM, Castle PE, Robles C, Lazcano-Ponce E.
    Salud Publica Mex. 2016 Apr;58(2):211-9. PMID: 27557379
  9. Risk Stratification Using Human Papillomavirus Testing among Women with Equivocally Abnormal Cytology: Results from a State-Wide Surveillance Program.
    Gage JC, Hunt WC, Schiffman M, Katki HA, Cheung LC, Cuzick J, Myers O, Castle PE, Wheeler CM; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee.
    Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Jan;25(1):36-42. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0669. PMID: 26518316
  10. Inefficiencies and High-Value Improvements in U.S. Cervical Cancer Screening Practice: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis.
    Kim JJ, Campos NG, Sy S, Burger EA, Cuzick J, Castle PE, Hunt WC, Waxman A, Wheeler CM; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee.
    Ann Intern Med. 2015 Oct 20;163(8):589-97. doi: 10.7326/M15-0420. PMID: 26414147
  11. Efficacy of fewer than three doses of an HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine: combined analysis of data from the Costa Rica Vaccine and PATRICIA Trials.
    Kreimer AR, Struyf F, Del Rosario-Raymundo MR, Hildesheim A, Skinner SR, Wacholder S, Garland SM, Herrero R, David MP, Wheeler CM; Costa Rica Vaccine Trial Study Group Authors., González P, Jiménez S, Lowy DR, Pinto LA, Porras C, Rodriguez AC, Safaeian M, Schiffman M, Schiller JT, Schussler J, Sherman ME; PATRICIA Study Group Authors., Bosch FX, Castellsague X, Chatterjee A, Chow SN, Descamps D, Diaz-Mitoma F, Dubin G, Germar MJ, Harper DM, Lewis DJ, Limson G, Naud P, Peters K, Poppe WA, Ramjattan B, Romanowski B, Salmeron J, Schwarz TF, Teixeira JC, Tjalma WA; HPV PATRICIA Principal Investigators/Co-Principal Investigator Collaborators.; GSK Vaccines Clinical Study Support Group.
    Lancet Oncol. 2015 Jul;16(7):775-86. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00047-9. PMID: 26071347
  12. HPV16 Down-Regulates the Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 to Promote Epithelial Invasion in Organotypic Cultures.Pickard A, McDade SS, McFarland M, McCluggage WG, Wheeler CM, McCance DJ.
    PLoS Pathog. 2015 Jun 24;11(6):e1004988. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004988. PMID: 26107517
  13. Human papillomavirus testing 2007-2012: co-testing and triage utilization and impact on subsequent clinical management.
    Cuzick J, Myers O, Hunt WC, Saslow D, Castle PE, Kinney W, Waxman A, Robertson M, Wheeler CM; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee.
    Int J Cancer. 2015 Jun 15;136(12):2854-63. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29337. PMID: 25447979
  14. The Interpretive Variability of Cervical Biopsies and Its Relationship to HPV Status.
    Stoler MH, Ronnett BM, Joste NE, Hunt WC, Cuzick J, Wheeler CM; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee.
    Am J Surg Pathol. 2015 Jun;39(6):729-36. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000000381. PMID: 25602796
  15. Investigating stakeholder attitudes and opinions on school-based human papillomavirus vaccination programs.
    Nodulman JA, Starling R, Kong AS, Buller DB, Wheeler CM, Woodall WG.
    J Sch Health. 2015 May;85(5):289-98. doi: 10.1111/josh.12253. PMID: 25846308
  16. Primary endpoints for future prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccine trials: towards infection and immunobridging.
    Lowy DR, Herrero R, Hildesheim A; Participants in the IARC/NCI workshop on Primary Endpoints for Prophylactic HPV Vaccine Trials.
    Lancet Oncol. 2015 May;16(5):e226-33. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)70075-6. Review. Erratum in: Lancet Oncol. 2015 Jul;16(7):e313. PMID: 25943067
  17. Human papillomavirus genotype-specific prevalence across the continuum of cervical neoplasia and cancer.
    Joste NE, Ronnett BM, Hunt WC, Pearse A, Langsfeld E, Leete T, Jaramillo M, Stoler MH, Castle PE, Wheeler CM; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee.
    Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Jan;24(1):230-40. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0775. PMID: 25363635
  18. The influence of type-specific human papillomavirus infections on the detection of cervical precancer and cancer: A population-based study of opportunistic cervical screening in the United States.
    Wheeler CM, Hunt WC, Cuzick J, Langsfeld E, Robertson M, Castle PE; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee.
    Int J Cancer. 2014 Aug 1;135(3):624-34. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28605. PMID: 24226935
  19. A population-based evaluation of cervical screening in the United States: 2008-2011.
    Cuzick J, Myers O, Hunt WC, Robertson M, Joste NE, Castle PE, Benard VB, Wheeler CM; New Mexico HPV Pap Registry Steering Committee.
    Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 May;23(5):765-73. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0973. PMID: 24302677