Research Summary

Dr. Burke is an affiliated Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine. She is also a member of the Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center and Co-Director of the UC-Cuba Academic Initiative. In 2015 she became Chair of Public Health at the University of California, Merced. She has conducted research in Cuba and the U.S. on social and cultural processes associated with chronic disease management, clinical trials recruitment and participation, and disparities in cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship. Her research program addresses subjectivity, bioethics, and culture. Over the last eight years she has worked in partnership with the Pilipino Senior Resource Center on studies of Filipina breast cancer support disparities and peer navigation. She is currently principal investigator of a study of complex care management clinics in safety net hospitals.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2018 - June 1, 2023 - Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center , Co-Investigator/Community Core Lead . Sponsor: TRDRP Tobacco Policy Disparity Center, Sponsor Award ID:
  • December 1, 2020 - November 30, 2022 - Getting Asian Americans INFORMED to Facilitate COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination , . Sponsor: NIH/NIDA RADxUP, Sponsor Award ID:
  • September 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021 - Share, Trust, Organize, Partner: The COVID-19 California Alliance (STOP COVID-19 CA) , Site PI . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID:
  • October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2020 - Soc-Net: A Social Network Analysis of Poverty and Healthcare Utilization , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NSF, Sponsor Award ID:


University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, B.A., 1990
English Literature, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, M.A., 1995
Cultural Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, Ph.D., 2001, Ethnology

Honors & Awards

  • 1990
    Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society
  • 1994
    Graduate Teaching Fellowship, University of Oregon
  • 1996-1999
    Latin American Institute Ph.D. Fellowship, University of New Mexico
  • 2001-2002
    Qualitative Data Analysis Consultant, SPORE (Special Projects of Research Excellence), University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • 2001-2002
    Qualitative Data Analysis Consultant, The Hope Heart Institute, Organ Donation/Transplantation Project
  • 2002
    Behavioral Sciences Committee G Member, Institutional Review Board for Research Concerning Human Subjects, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 2003
    Latino Studies Research and Dissertation Award, Latin American Studies Association, Honorable Mention
  • 2003
    Fellow, NCI-funded Cancer, Culture, and Literacy Institute, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, January 4-9
  • 2004-present
    National Institutes of Health, Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program
  • 2005
    Advanced Training Institute on Health Behavior Theory, National Cancer Institute, Madison, Wisconsin, June 19-26
  • 1998-2000
    Member of the BOD, Latin American Association for Development, Albuquerque, NM
  • 2000
    Advisory Board Member, Communities Count Social and Health Indicators Initiative Data Collection Partnerships: Perspective from Under-Represented Groups, King County Public Health, Seattle, WA
  • 2000-2002
    Member of the BOD, Cambodian Women's Association, Seattle, WA
  • 2006-present
    Member, Filipino Community Cancer Collaborative
  • 2012
    Zero Breast Cancer Honor Thy Healer Community Researcher Award

Selected Publications

  1. Evelin Trejo, Ana I. Velazquez, Elizabeth Castillo, Barbara Cicerelli, Robin McBride, Nancy J. Burke, Niharika Dixit. Abstract P4-11-19: Utilization of the RE-AIM frameworkfor evaluating the implementation of group medical visit for low-income breast cancer survivors. Cancer Research. 2022 Feb 15; 82(4_Supplement):p4-11-19-p4-11-19.  View on PubMed
  2. Nancy J. Burke. Precarity in the Time of COVID-19: Aging Housing and Aging Population in Cuba. Global Perspectives. 2021 Nov 11; 2(1).  View on PubMed
  3. MARK D. FLEMING, JANET K. SHIM, IRENE YEN, LESLIE DUBBIN, ARIANA THOMPSON-LASTAD, CHRISTOPH HANSSMANN, NANCY J. BURKE. Managing the “hot spots”. American Ethnologist. 2021 Nov 1.  View on PubMed
  4. Kenny JD, Tsoh JY, Nguyen BH, Le K, Burke NJ. Keeping Each Other Accountable: Social Strategies for Smoking Cessation and Healthy Living in Vietnamese American Men. Fam Community Health. 2021 Jul-Sep 01; 44(3):215-224.  View on PubMed
  5. Guan A, Kim-Mozeleski JE, Vyas P, Stewart SL, Gildengorin G, Burke NJ, Ma K, Pham AT, Tan J, Lu Q, McPhee SJ, Tsoh JY. Neighborhood Ethnic Composition and Self-rated Health Among Chinese and Vietnamese American Immigrants. J Immigr Minor Health. 2021 Jun; 23(3):574-582.  View on PubMed
  6. Joan A. Daniel, Jin E. Kim-Mozeleski, Krishna C. Poudel, Angela Sun, Nancy J. Burke, Janice Y. Tsoh. Family Support and Readiness to Consider Smoking Cessation among Chinese and Vietnamese American Male Smokers. The Journal of Smoking Cessation. 2021 May 7; 2021:1-6.  View on PubMed
  7. Fleming MD, Shim JK, Yen I, Thompson-Lastad A, Burke NJ. Patient Engagement, Chronic Illness, and the Subject of Health Care Reform. Med Anthropol. 2021 04; 40(3):214-227.  View on PubMed
  8. Kenny JD, Karliner LS, Kerlikowske K, Kaplan CP, Fernandez-Lamothe A, Burke NJ. Organization Communication Factors and Abnormal Mammogram Follow-up: a Qualitative Study Among Ethnically Diverse Women Across Three Healthcare Systems. J Gen Intern Med. 2020 10; 35(10):3000-3006.  View on PubMed
  9. Niharika Dixit, Barbara Cicerelli, Roy Cherian, Nancy Burke. Abstract P2-13-18: Catalyzing navigation for breast cancer survivors (CaNBCS). Cancer Research. 2020 Feb 15; 80(4_Supplement):p2-13-18-p2-13-18.  View on PubMed
  10. Vyas P, Tsoh JY, Gildengorin G, Stewart SL, Yu E, Guan A, Pham A, Burke NJ, McPhee SJ. Disentangling individual and neighborhood differences in the intention to quit smoking in Asian American male smokers. Prev Med Rep. 2020 Jun; 18:101064.  View on PubMed
  11. Dixit N, Burke N, Rodriguez G, Sarkar U, Cicerelli B, DeVore JD, Nápoles AM. Knowledge and self-efficacy for caring for breast and colon cancer survivors among safety net primary care providers. Support Care Cancer. 2020 Oct; 28(10):4923-4931.  View on PubMed
  12. Burke NJ, Phung K, Yu F, Wong C, Le K, Nguyen I, Nguyen L, Guan A, Nguyen TT, Tsoh JY. Unpacking the 'black box' of lay health worker processes in a US-based intervention. Health Promot Int. 2020 02 01; 35(1):173.  View on PubMed
  13. Nancy J. Burke. Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border. Ieva Jusionyte. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2018. 285 pp. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 2019 Dec 1; 24(4):988-990.  View on PubMed
  14. Lowenstein M, Vijayaraghavan M, Burke NJ, Karliner L, Wang S, Peters M, Lozano A, Kaplan CP. Real-world lung cancer screening decision-making: Barriers and facilitators. Lung Cancer. 2019 07; 133:32-37.  View on PubMed
  15. Nickell A, Stewart SL, Burke NJ, Guerra C, Cohen E, Lawlor C, Colen S, Cheng J, Joseph G. Engaging limited English proficient and ethnically diverse low-income women in health research: A randomized trial of a patient navigator intervention. Patient Educ Couns. 2019 07; 102(7):1313-1323.  View on PubMed
  16. Burke NJ, Armin J, Eichelberger L. Introduction: Framing Cancer and Structural Vulnerability. In Armin J, Burke NJ, and Eichelberger L, Eds. Negotiating Structural Vulnerability in Cancer Control: Contemporary Challenges for Applied Anthropology. 2019.  View on PubMed
  17. Armin J, Burke NJ, Eichelberger L. Negotiating Structural Vulnerability in Cancer Control: Contemporary Challenges for Applied Anthropology. 2019.  View on PubMed
  18. Stuck in the Middle: Patient navigation and clinical trials recruitment in the safety net. Armin J, Burke NJ, and Eichelberger L, Eds. Negotiating Structural Vulnerability in Cancer Control: Contemporary Challenges for Applied Anthropology. 2019.  View on PubMed
  19. Chia Thao, Nancy Burke, Sandie Ha, Andrea Joyce. Pesticide Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Among Small-Scale Hmong Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 2019 Jan 1; 10(1).  View on PubMed
  20. Rubin S, Burke N, Van Natta M, Yen I, Shim JK. Like a Fish out of Water: Managing Chronic Pain in the Urban Safety Net. J Health Soc Behav. 2018 Dec; 59(4):486.  View on PubMed

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