Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1986 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Biography

Dr. Bernstein is a 1981 graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
(USUHS). She trained in internal medicine and hematology oncology at Walter Reed Army
Medical Center receiving board certification in Internal Medicine (1984), Hematology (1986)
and Oncology (1987). Dr. Bernstein served 28 years in the U.S. Army, during which time she
held a variety of clinical positions at Fort Bragg at Womack Community Hospital and the
Presidio of San Francisco at Letterman Army Medical Center. She returned to Bethesda for post-
doctoral training in molecular genetics with Esther Chang, PhD, Department of Pathology,
USUHS, and subsequently joined the US Military HIV Research Program at Walter Reed Army
Institute of Research. Her work there culminated the development and execution of two adoptive
immunotherapy studies under the sponsorship of Carl June, MD and in collaboration with Naomi
Aronson, MD. One of those trials, using a chimeric antigen receptor in persons living with HIV,
was the Army’s first gene therapy project. After leaving the military in 2005, Dr. Bernstein took
a position with the AIDS Malignancy Branch at the NCI, doing clinical research on Kaposi
Sarcoma and HHV-8 induced Castleman Disease. In 2010, she returned to the National Naval
Medical Center, Bethesda as a staff physician in the Navy-NCI Oncology Branch and chaired the
hospital wide scientific review committee following the merger of Walter Reed and Bethesda
Naval Hospital. After retiring from government service in 2017, Dr. Bernstein became a Red
Cross Volunteer Physician for the hematology oncology clinic. She was recruited to participate in
the the ASPREE Trial (Aspirin in Reducing Events in Elderly), conducted at Monash University,
Melbourne, Australia as a hematology oncology end point adjudicator. The National Academy of
Sciences Engineering and Mathematics invited her to serve on the committee performing the
final review of adverse health outcomes in Viet Nam veterans exposed to Agent Orange. In 2019,
she and LtCol Christin DeStefano, MC USAF, received funding from the Aplastic Anemia,
Myelodysplastic Syndrome International Foundation to study clonal hematopoiesis in Gulf War
Veterans. Currently Dr. Bernstein serves a credentialed Red Cross volunteer provider, teaches in
the basic science curriculum for the medical school, Tropical Medicine, Military Tropical
Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing. She continues to work on the ASPREE trial, and
along with Dr. Naomi Aronson is finalizing data analysis and preparing the manuscript for the
long term follow up of the gene therapy trial participants. She and Dr. DeStefano are preparing
the manuscript for the clonal hematopoiesis project. In 2023, Dr. Bernstein became an
uncompensated medical consultant to TriCan Health, a small start-up company using artificial
intelligence to develop a more efficient way to search for pancreatic cancer clinical trials. She
and her colleagues at TriCan Health recently submitted a Small Business Innovation Research
Grant and are awaiting the results.

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