Research Summary

My research examines the socio-cultural and institutional dimensions of inequities in cancer care and translational genomics. As an anthropologist, I specialize in ethnographic approaches, but use a range of mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, community-based participatory research and stakeholder engagement. My research program has primarily focused on: 1) clinical translation of genetics and genomics to historically underrepresented populations and under resourced settings; 2) the participation of historically underrepresented populations in clinical research and 3) ethical and social implications (ELSI) of genomics.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2021 - December 31, 2022 - Patient and Physician Perspectives on Value, Utility and Implications of Recording Geographic Ancestry from Genomic Sequencing in the Electronic Health Record , MPI . Sponsor: Marcus Program ELSI in Precision Medicine Award, Sponsor Award ID:
  • January 12, 2017 - December 31, 2021 - Precision Genomics in the WISDOM Pragmatic Clinical Trial: An Embedded ELSI Study of Risk-based Breast Cancer Screening , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA211999
  • June 14, 2013 - May 31, 2021 - Exome sequencing in Diverse Populations in Colorado & Oregon , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: U01HG007292
  • April 12, 2016 - March 31, 2021 - Comparison of 3 Modes of Genetic Counseling in High-Risk Public Hospital Patients , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA197784


Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, B.A., 1988, Anthropology
University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A., 1993, Cultural Anthropology
University of California, Santa Cruz, Ph.D., 1999, Cultural Anthropology
Yale University, Center for International & Area Studies, Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2001, Migration, Globalization, & Citizenship

Honors & Awards

  • 1992
    Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention, National Science Foundation
  • 1994
    Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Dissertation Research Fellowship
  • 1998
    Spencer Foundation Dissertation Writing Fellowship
  • 1999
    Advanced Studies Fellowship, Anthropology and Education Institute, Spencer Foundation
  • 2010
    Best Published Paper Award Nomination, Asian/PI Caucus, American Public Health Association
  • 2012
    Best Abstract, first-time presenter at Genomics Forum, American Public Health Association
  • 2013
    Mentored Community-Academic Team, Community-Based Participatory Research for Health Equity Institute, NIMHHD (Grant # 1R13MD007620-01), San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • 2015
    UCSF CORO Leadership Training Institute
  • 2016
    National Society for Genetic Counselors Best Abstract Award: “Adapting Evidenced Based Strategies for Effective Communication in Cancer Genetic Counseling"
  • 2018
    National Society for Genetic Counselors Best Trainee Paper Award for mentee Daniella Karmara, Journal of Genetic Counseling "Cancer counseling of low-income limited English proficient Latina women using medical interpreters: Implications for shared decision making"

Selected Publications

  1. Lowe C, Erby L, Joseph G, Biesecker B, Roter DL. Acceptability of an online communication training intervention for genetic counseling students. J Genet Couns. 2023 Oct 05.  View on PubMed
  2. Duenas DM, Riddle L, Guerra C, Caruncho M, Lewis H, Porter KM, Kraft SA, Anderson KP, Biesecker B, Gilmore MJ, Zepp JM, Leo MC, Wilfond BS, Joseph G. Refining a multifaceted model of perceived utility of genomic sequencing results. Public Health Genomics. 2023 Aug 22.  View on PubMed
  3. Hunter JE, Riddle L, Joseph G, Amendola LM, Gilmore MJ, Zepp JM, Shuster E, Bulkley JE, Muessig KR, Anderson KP, Goddard KAB, Wilfond BS, Leo MC, CHARM study team. Most people share genetic test results with relatives even if the findings are normal: Family communication in a diverse population. Genet Med. 2023 Jul 05; 25(11):100923.  View on PubMed
  4. Riddle L, Joseph G, Caruncho M, Koenig BA, James JE. The role of polygenic risk scores in breast cancer risk perception and decision-making. J Community Genet. 2023 Jun 13.  View on PubMed
  5. Lowe C, Erby L, Biesecker B, Beach MC, Joseph G, Hundert R, Roter DL. Efficacy of an online communication skill training intervention on genetic counseling students' performance during standardized patient sessions. Patient Educ Couns. 2023 09; 114:107835.  View on PubMed
  6. Beck AL, Mora R, Joseph G, Perrin E, Cabana M, Schickedanz A, Fernandez A. A Multimethod Evaluation of the Futuros Fuertes Intervention to Promote Healthy Feeding, Screen Time, and Sleep Practices. Acad Pediatr. 2023 May 19.  View on PubMed
  7. Joseph G, Lindberg NM, Guerra C, Hernandez C, Karliner LS, Gilmore MJ, Zepp J, Rolf BA, Caruncho M, Riddle L, Kauffman TL, Leo MC, Wilfond BS. Medical interpreter-mediated genetic counseling for Spanish preferring adults at risk for a hereditary cancer syndrome. J Genet Couns. 2023 08; 32(4):870-886.  View on PubMed
  8. James JE, Joseph G. "It's personalized, but it's still bucket based": The promise of personalized medicine vs. the reality of genomic risk stratification in a breast cancer screening trial. New Genet Soc. 2022; 41(3):228-253.  View on PubMed
  9. Joseph G, Leo MC, Riddle L, Guerra C, Amendola LM, Gilmore MJ, Rolf BA, Dorschner MO, Zepp J, Biesecker BB, Caruncho M, Hunter JE, Keast E, Lewis HS, Duenas D, Kauffman T, Bulkley JE, Anderson KP, Jarvik GP, Goddard KAB, Wilfond BS, CHARM Study Team. An accessible, relational, inclusive, and actionable (ARIA) model of genetic counseling compared with usual care: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Genet Med. 2022 11; 24(11):2228-2239.  View on PubMed
  10. James JE, Riddle L, Caruncho M, Koenig BA, Joseph G. A qualitative study of unaffected ATM and CHEK2 carriers: How participants make meaning of 'moderate risk' genetic results in a population breast cancer screening trial. J Genet Couns. 2022 Dec; 31(6):1421-1433.  View on PubMed
  11. Mittendorf KF, Lewis HS, Duenas DM, Eubanks DJ, Gilmore MJ, Goddard KAB, Joseph G, Kauffman TL, Kraft SA, Lindberg NM, Reyes AA, Shuster E, Syngal S, Ukaegbu C, Zepp JM, Wilfond BS, Porter KM. Literacy-adapted, electronic family history assessment for genetics referral in primary care: patient user insights from qualitative interviews. Hered Cancer Clin Pract. 2022 Jun 10; 20(1):22.  View on PubMed
  12. Niharika Dixit, Ana I. Velazquez Manana, Kelly Gordon, Ivan C. Leung, Terence W. Friedlander, Miya Frick, Evelin Trejo, Kendall Levine, Rebecca Jane DeBoer, Robin Lee, Judy M. Cheng, Paul Couey, Chia-Ching Jackie Wang, Galen Joseph. Implementation of a “genetic testing station” in a safety net hospital to optimize access and increase equity. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2022 Jun 1; 40(16_suppl):e18565-e18565.  View on PubMed
  13. Ding L, Szymczak JE, Evans E, Canepa E, Martin AE, Contractor F, Aplenc R, Joseph G, Winestone LE. Factors that contribute to disparities in time to acute leukemia diagnosis in young people: an in depth qualitative interview study. BMC Cancer. 2022 May 12; 22(1):531.  View on PubMed
  14. Amendola LM, Shuster E, Leo MC, Dorschner MO, Rolf BA, Shirts BH, Gilmore MJ, Okuyama S, Zepp JM, Kauffman TL, Mittendorf KF, Bellcross C, Jenkins CL, Joseph G, Riddle L, Syngal S, Ukaegbu C, Goddard KAB, Wilfond BS, Jarvik GP, CHARM Study. Laboratory-related outcomes from integrating an accessible delivery model for hereditary cancer risk assessment and genetic testing in populations with barriers to access. Genet Med. 2022 06; 24(6):1196-1205.  View on PubMed
  15. O'Daniel JM, Ackerman S, Desrosiers LR, Rego S, Knight SJ, Mollison L, Byfield G, Anderson KP, Danila MI, Horowitz CR, Joseph G, Lamoure G, Lindberg NM, McMullen CK, Mittendorf KF, Ramos MA, Robinson M, Sillari C, Madden EB, CSER Stakeholder and Engagement Work Group. Integration of stakeholder engagement from development to dissemination in genomic medicine research: Approaches and outcomes from the CSER Consortium. Genet Med. 2022 05; 24(5):1108-1119.  View on PubMed
  16. Riddle L, Karliner LS, Livaudais-Toman J, Guerra C, Roat CE, Rope AF, Wade A, Caruncho M, Zepp JM, Giang J, Wilfond BS, Joseph G. Development and evaluation of an exome sequencing training course for medical interpreters. Per Med. 2022 03; 19(2):125-138.  View on PubMed
  17. Chan H, Van Loon K, Kenfield SA, Chan JM, Mitchell E, Zhang L, Paciorek A, Joseph G, Laffan A, Atreya C, Fukuoka Y, Miaskowski C, Meyerhardt JA, Venook AP, Van Blarigan EL. Quality of life of colorectal cancer survivors participating in a pilot randomized controlled trial of physical activity trackers and daily text messages. Support Care Cancer. 2022 May; 30(5):4557-4564.  View on PubMed
  18. Mittendorf KF, Kauffman TL, Amendola LM, Anderson KP, Biesecker BB, Dorschner MO, Duenas DM, Eubanks DJ, Feigelson HS, Gilmore MJ, Hunter JE, Joseph G, Kraft SA, Lee SSJ, Leo MC, Liles EG, Lindberg NM, Muessig KR, Okuyama S, Porter KM, Riddle LS, Rolf BA, Rope AF, Zepp JM, Jarvik GP, Wilfond BS, Goddard KAB, CHARM study team. Corrigendum to "Cancer Health Assessments Reaching Many (CHARM): A clinical trial assessing a multimodal cancer genetics services delivery program and its impact on diverse populations" [Contemporary Clinical Trials 106 (2021) 106432]. Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 Mar; 114:106682.  View on PubMed
  19. Rena J. Pasick, Claudia Guerra, Selina R. Flores, Galen Joseph. Abstract PO-051: Blending research paradigms and methods to compare 3 modes of cancer genetic counseling with diverse public hospital patients: Insights from case studies. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 2022 Jan 1; 31(1_Supplement):po-051-po-051.  View on PubMed
  20. Mittendorf KF, Knerr S, Kauffman TL, Lindberg NM, Anderson KP, Feigelson HS, Gilmore MJ, Hunter JE, Joseph G, Kraft SA, Zepp JM, Syngal S, Wilfond BS, Goddard KAB. Systemic Barriers to Risk-Reducing Interventions for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes: Implications for Health Care Inequities. JCO Precis Oncol. 2021; 5.  View on PubMed

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