The Cancer Control Program welcomes Dr. Nynikka Palmer who joined the UCSF faculty in 2013 as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Urology, and Radiation Oncology and as an Associate member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Palmer graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in health education from Morgan State University.
She obtained her master’s degree in public health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and subsequently worked at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia collaborating with community organizations on cancer education and early detection in minority and underserved communities. Dr. Palmer earned a doctorate in public health, in behavioral sciences and health promotion from the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston where she was a pre-doctoral fellow in an NCI-sponsored cancer prevention and control training program. She extended her training in cancer with a focus on cancer survivorship and health disparities as a postdoctoral fellow on an NCI-sponsored training award at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Her area of research is on cancer disparities, with a focus on prostate cancer in African American men.
The goal of the Cancer Control Program is to foster and sustain an integrated transdisciplinary environment for dedicated multi-level and multi-ethnic cancer control research. The scope includes studies of mechanisms of cancer etiology at a population level, interventions from prevention through survivorship, and the application of health services research methods to understanding health care system issues. The Program’s research encompasses biological, behavioral, and social factors as well as healthcare delivery services affecting cancer prevention and cancer care, particularly for people living in the geographic area of Northern California served by the Cancer Center. This diverse population includes large proportions of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos as well as those who have limited English proficiency or are otherwise disadvantaged in receiving high quality prevention and clinical care for cancer.
Because of the communities we serve, the Program's focus is on how to conduct cancer control in diverse populations. Based on a shared understanding of the multi-level nature of cancer control research in diverse populations the Program themes are:
The Program is led by Dr. Robert Hiatt, whose career has been dedicated to conducting social and behavioral research in cancer disparities among multi-ethnic populations, and to training a diverse cadre of cancer disparities population scientists; and Dr. Tung Nguyen, a clinician researcher with scientific expertise in Asian American cancer disparities and community-based participatory research.
The Program adds value to the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center by bringing expertise in epidemiological, behavioral, economic, and social and cultural aspects of cancer to clinical programs; by connecting community members, cancer scientists and clinicians; by fostering the intra-programmatic and inter-programmatic collaborations that advance knowledge in cancer control; and by conducting significant and successful training programs to increase the number of researchers who are from under-represented minority communities. Future directions include expansion of the Program via new and continuing multi-component grants, addition of members through recruitment and advancement of junior faculty, and increased collaboration with basic and clinical science programs.