University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Celia P. Kaplan, DrPH

Celia P. Kaplan, DrPH

Professor in Residence, Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine), UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Breast Oncology | Cancer Control

Research Summary

I have over 25 years of research experience conducting studies in health disparities among underserved US minority populations, with a particular emphasis on Latino health. Born and initially educated in Argentina, I obtained advanced degrees in the US in public health. I am currently a professor in the Department of Medicine at UCSF, Director of the Medical Effectiveness Research Center, and a co-director of the Investigator Core of the Center for Aging in Diverse Communities.
From the beginning of my research career, I have focused my efforts on examining health disparities across the cancer-care continuum. I have examined cancer prevention among adolescents; conducted studies in cervical, breast and colorectal cancer screening and follow-up of abnormalities; studied treatment decision making after cancer diagnosis among Latina women; and looked at recruitment barriers, facilitators, and strategies for improving minority participation in cancer-related research.
My research has included epidemiological studies and assessing barriers to and facilitators of health behaviors, as well as the development, implementation, and evaluation of health interventions to improve health outcomes. Participants in my studies have different language preferences and are of diverse ethnic backgrounds, age groups, levels of education, occupations, and socioeconomic and health statuses. I have used a variety of venues and methods for recruiting minorities and people of lower socioeconomic status, including clinic panels, population registries, random-digit dialing, and direct contact.
I have a long history of utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methods with health care organization representatives, health providers and patients. My research has been funded by federal and state agencies and private foundations, and my publications represent diverse areas of research.


University of Buenos Aires-Argentina, B.A., 1979, Sociology
University of California, Los Angeles, M.P.H., 1982, Public Health
University of California, Los Angeles, M.A., 1983, Latin Am. Studies
University of California, Los Angeles, Dr.P.H., 1990, Public Health

Professional Experience

  • 1987-1996
    Researcher in Cancer Control, School of Public Health, Department of Health Services, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 1996-1998
    Assistant Researcher in Public Health, University of California San Francisco, Department of Medicine Division of General Internal Medicine
  • 1998-2001
    Assistant Professor, University of California San Francisco, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine
  • 2001-2010
    Associate Professor, University of California San Francisco, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine.
  • 2010-present
    Professor in Residence, University of California San Francisco, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine.

Selected Publications

  • (Selected from 60 peer-reviewed publications)
  • Kaplan CP, Crane LA, Stewart S, Juarez-Reyes M. Factors Affecting Follow-up among Low-Income Women with Breast Abnormalities. Journal of Women’s Health (Larchmt) 2004; March 13(2):195-206.
  • Haas JS, Kaplan CP, Gregorich SE, Pérez-Stable EJ, Des Jarlais G. Do Physicians Tailor their Recommendations for Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Based on Patient Risk? Journal of General Internal Medicine 2004; Apr 19(4):302-309.
  • Kaplan CP, Eisenberg M, Erickson PI, Crane LA, Duffey S. Barriers to Breast Abnormality Follow-up: Minority, Low-Income Patients’ and their Providers’ View. Ethnicity and Disease 2005; Autumn 15 (4):720-726.
  • Juarbe TC, Kaplan CP, Somkin CP, Pasick R, Gildengorin G, Pérez-Stable EJ. Are Risk Factors for Breast Cancer Associated with Follow-up Procedures in Diverse Women with Abnormal Mammography? Cancer Causes and Control 2005; Apr 16(3):245-253.
  • Kaplan CP, Haas JS, Pérez-Stable EJ, Des Jarlais G, Gregorich SE. Factors Affecting Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Practices among California Physicians. Preventive Medicine 2005; Jul 41 (1):7-15.
  • Kaplan CP, Haas JS, Pérez-Stable EJ, Gregorich SE, Somkin C, Des Jarlais G, Kerlikowske K. Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Options: Awareness, Discussion, and Use among Women from Four Ethnic Groups. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 2006; Jan 15(1): 162-166.
  • Karliner LS, Nápoles -Springer A, Kerlikowske K, Haas J, Kaplan CP. Missed Opportunities: Family History and Behavioral Risk Factors in Breast Cancer Risk Assessment among a Multiethnic Group of Women. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20 January 2007; 308-314.
  • Livaudais JC, Nápoles-Springer A, Stewart S, Kaplan CP. Understanding Latino Adolescent Risk Behaviors: Parental and Peer Influences. Ethnicity and Disease 2007; 17:298-304.
  • Nápoles-Springer A, Livaudais JC, Bloom J, Hwang S, Kaplan CP. Information Exchange and Decision Making in the Treatment of Latina and White Women with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. J of Psychosocial Oncology 2007; 25:4:19-37.
  • Joseph G, Kaplan CP, Pasick R. Recruiting Low-Income Healthy Women to Research: An Exploratory Study. Ethnicity and Health. 2007.11 (5) 497-519.
  • Kim S, Pérez-Stable EJ, Wong S, Gregorich SE, Sawaya G, Walsh J, Kaplan CP. Association Between Cancer Risk Perception and Screening Behavior Among Diverse Women. Arch Internal Medicine. 2008; 168(7):728-734.
  • Huang, A. Pérez -Stable EJ, Kim, S, Wong S. Kaplan CP, Walsh, J, Iwaoka-Scott, Y, Sawaya GF. Preferences for Human Papilloma Virus Testing with Routine Cervical Cancer Screening in Diverse Older Women. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2008; 23(9):1324-1330. PMCID: PMC2518007
  • Bowen DJ, Kreuter M, Spring B, Cofta-Woerpel L, Linnan L, Weiner D, Bakken S, Kaplan CP, Squiers L, Fabrizio C, Fernandez M. How we design feasibility studies. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 2009; 36(5): 452-457. PMCID: PMC2859314
  • Walsh J, Salazar R, Kaplan CP. Nguyen L, Hwang J, Pasick R. Healthy Colon, Healthy Life (Colon Sano, Vida Sana): Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Latinos in Santa Clara, California. Journal of Cancer Education. 2010; 25(1): 36-42. PMCID: PMC2848346.
  • Kaplan CP, Napoles A, Hwang E, Bloom J, Stewart S, Nickleach D, Karliner L. Selection of Treatment among Latina and Non-Latina Whites with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. Journal of Women’s Health. 2011; 20(2): 215-223.