Skip to main content English


DDr. Kyriaki Papantoniou, MD MPH PhD

Center for Public Health (Department of Epidemiology)
Position: Associate Professor

ORCID: 0000-0002-0340-9659
T +43 1 40160 34706

Further Information


Biostatistics; Breast Neoplasms; Epidemiologic Studies; Gastrointestinal Neoplasms; Occupational Exposure; Prostate

Research group(s)

Research interests

My main research interests are circadian and sleep epidemiology and specifically circadian disruption as a potential environmental and occupational cause of cancer. I have evaluated the association between night shift work and risk for common tumors such as breast and prostate cancer in a large multi-case-control study in Spain (MCC-Spain). I also have a strong interest in the underlying biological mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis and have described hormonal changes that occur after night work and might explain part of the increased cancer risk among night shift workers. I found that daily hormonal rhythms of melatonin and a wide range of sex steroid biomarkers are disrupted in real-life night workers. I am also interested in individual characteristics such as diurnal preference or chronotype that may modify shift work tolerance and thus the effects of night work on disease risk.  My current research focuses on the effects of light-at-night and circadian disruption on gastrointestinal tumors and other chronic disease outcomes, e.g obesity. I will also be involved in the evaluation of new hypotheses related to the cross-generational effects of shift work and circadian disruption before and during pregnancy on child health.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

All stages of epidemiological research including study design, coordination, collection of primary data, laboratory analyses (radioimmunoassay for 6-sulfatoxymelatonin measurement), data base management, statistical analyses (STATA and SPSS software) and manuscript preparation.

Selected publications

  1. Papantoniou K, Massa J, Devore E, Munger K, Chitnis T, Ascherio A, Schernhammer E. Rotating night shift work and multiple sclerosis in the Nurses’ Health Studies. Occup Environ Med. 2019 Oct;76(10):733-738. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2019-106016. Epub 2019 Aug 12.
  2. Papantoniou K, Devore E, Massa J, Strohmaier S, Vetter C, Yang L, Yan S, Giovanucci E, Speizer F, Schernhammer E. Rotating night shift work and colorectal cancer risk in the Nurses’ Health Studies with 24 years of follow-up. Int J Cancer. 2018 Dec 1;143(11):2709-2717.
  3. Papantoniou K, Castaño-Vinyals G, Espinosa A, Turner MC, Alonso-Aguado MH, Vicente M, Nuria Aragonés N, Pérez-Gómez B, Pozo BM, Gómez-Acebo I, Ardanaz E, Altzibar JM, Peiro R, Tardon A, Lorca JA, Chirlaque MD, García-Palomo A, Jimenez-Moleon JJ, Dierssen T, Ederra M, Amiano P, Marina Pollan M, Moreno V, Kogevinas M. Shift work and colorectal cancer risk in the MCC-Spain case-control study. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2017 May 1;43(3):250-259
  4. Papantoniou K, Pozo OJ, Espinosa A, Marcos J, Castano-Vinyals G, Basagana X, Ribas FC, Mirabent J, Martin J, Carenys G, Martin CR, Middleton B, Skene DJ, Kogevinas M. Circadian variation of melatonin, light exposure, and diurnal preference in day and night shift workers of both sexes. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Jul;23(7):1176-86. 2014 May 8.PMID: 24812038
  5. Papantoniou K, Pozo OJ, Espinosa A, Marcos J, Castano-Vinyals G, Basagana X, Juanola Pages E, Mirabent J, Martin J, Such Faro P, Gasco Aparici A, Middleton B, Skene DJ, Kogevinas M. Increased and mistimed sex hormone production in night shift workers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 May;24(5):854-63. 2015 Mar 3. PMID: 25737330