Research Summary

My cancer-related research focuses on the prevention of tobacco-related cancer. Tobacco is responsible for 35% of cancer deaths, and my work aims to understand the strategies used to promote tobacco uptake and continued use by the tobacco industry, and how to counter-engineer these strategies to improve tobacco control and cancer prevention programs and policies. I am recognized internationally as an expert in tobacco marketing strategies targeting specific audiences, particularly young adults and women, and the use of social culture in tobacco marketing and counter-marketing campaigns. I am the Principal Investigator of two major grants funded by the National Cancer Institute: a U01 project evaluating novel interventions to prevent tobacco use among young adults in bars and nightclubs, and an R01 study of smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarette marketing and counter-messaging. I am also the Co-investigator on the UCSF FDA Tobacco Center of Excellence on Regulatory Science (TCORS) with Dr. Stanton A Glantz and Dr. Neal Benowitz. I am also the Director of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education since 2005. I have supervised over 56 postdoctoral fellows as director (19 as primary or secondary mentor), 20 predoctoral students and 4 junior academic faculty. I have over a decade of experience as a mentor in a wide variety of disciplines including social and behavioral science, communication, anthropology, history, economics, clinical medicine, sociology, and health education, and I have been repeatedly nominated for teaching and mentoring awards.

Research Funding

  • September 19, 2013 - August 31, 2023 - Integrated Health, Behavioral and Economic Research on Current and Emerging Tobacco Products , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: U54HL147127
  • September 1, 2009 - July 31, 2021 - Understanding Smokeless Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Marketing , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA141661
  • July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2021 - Postdoctoral training in tobacco control , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: T32CA113710
  • August 27, 2012 - February 28, 2019 - Addressing disparities in chronic disease with a teen and young adult focus , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: P60MD006902


Harvard & Radcliffe Colleges, A.B., 1990, History and Science
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, M.D., 1996, Medicine
University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, M.P.H., 2000, Interdisciplinary Public Health
University of California San Francisco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1999-2002, media interventions, social marketing

Honors & Awards

  • 1986
    National Merit Scholar
  • 1987
    Detur Prize, Harvard University
  • 1986-1990
    John Harvard Scholarship, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Scholar, Harvard University
  • 1990
    Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, Harvard University
  • 1991-1996
    Regent's Scholar, University of California San Francisco
  • 2004
    Stewart Trust Research Award, Univ of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2005
    Most important and influential papers in Tobacco Control. Three papers voted by peers into the top ten in youth and tobacco advertising categories
  • 2005
    Outstanding Mentorship Award. Nominee. Postdoctoral Scholar's Association, University of California San Francisco
  • 2007
    Robert H. Crede Awards. Nominated both for excellence in Research and Clinical Care
  • 2008
    Robert H. Crede Awards. Nominated both for excellence in Research and Teaching
  • 2008
    Best Young Clinician-Investigator Award. Society for General Internal Medicine California/Hawaii Region
  • 2009
    Robert H. Crede Awards. Nominated both for excellence in Research and Clinical Care

Selected Publications

  1. Caleb Alexander G, Mix LA, Choudhury S, Taketa R, Tomori C, Mooghali M, Fan A, Mars S, Ciccarone D, Patton M, Apollonio DE, Schmidt L, Steinman MA, Greene J, Ling PM, Seymour AK, Glantz S, Tasker K. The Opioid Industry Documents Archive: A Living Digital Repository. Am J Public Health. 2022 08; 112(8):1126-1129.  View on PubMed
  2. Lee A, Chang AA, Lyu JC, Ling PM, Hsia SL. Characterizing Participant Perceptions about Smoking-Cessation Pharmacotherapy and E-Cigarettes from Facebook Smoking-Cessation Support Groups. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 06 14; 19(12).  View on PubMed
  3. Hoeper S, Crosbie E, Holmes LM, Godoy L, DeFrank V, Hoang C, Ling PM. "The Perfect Formula:" Evaluating Health Claims, Products and Pricing on Cannabis Dispensary Websites in Two Recently Legalized States. Subst Use Misuse. 2022; 57(8):1207-1214.  View on PubMed
  4. Watkins SL, Pieper F, Chaffee BW, Yerger VB, Ling PM, Max W. Flavored Tobacco Product Use Among Young Adults by Race and Ethnicity: Evidence From the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. J Adolesc Health. 2022 08; 71(2):226-232.  View on PubMed
  5. Harvanko A, Koester KA, Helen GS, Olson S, Kim HC, Ling PM. A Mixed-Methods Study on Use of Different Tobacco Products among Younger and Older Adults with Lower and Higher Levels of Nicotine Exposure in California in 2019-2020. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 05 03; 19(9).  View on PubMed
  6. Nguyen N, Keyhani S, Ling PM, Hoggatt KJ, Hasin D, Cohen BE. Self-reported Changes in Cannabis Use Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic among US Adults. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2022 Mar 31; 1-5.  View on PubMed
  7. Hiatt RA, Sibley A, Venkatesh B, Cheng J, Dixit N, Fox R, Ling P, Nguyen T, Oh D, Palmer NR, Pasick RJ, Potter MB, Somsouk M, Vargas RA, Vijayaraghavan M, Ashworth A. From Cancer Epidemiology to Policy and Practice: the Role of a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2022; 9(1):10-21.  View on PubMed
  8. Holmes LM, Lempert LK, Ling PM. Flavored Tobacco Sales Restrictions Reduce Tobacco Product Availability and Retailer Advertising. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 03 15; 19(6).  View on PubMed
  9. Lyu JC, Huang P, Ling PM. Electronic cigarette related topics with conflicting arguments in Chinese newspapers. Tob Induc Dis. 2022; 20:25.  View on PubMed
  10. Ling PM, Kim M, Egbe CO, Patanavanich R, Pinho M, Hendlin Y. Moving targets: how the rapidly changing tobacco and nicotine landscape creates advertising and promotion policy challenges. Tob Control. 2022 03; 31(2):222-228.  View on PubMed
  11. Cohen JE, Krishnan-Sarin S, Eissenberg T, Gould TJ, Berman ML, Bhatnagar A, Barnett TE, Soule E, Popova L, Tan ASL, Blank MD, Ling PM, O'Connor R. Balancing Risks and Benefits of E-Cigarettes in the Real World. Am J Public Health. 2022 02; 112(2):e1-e2.  View on PubMed
  12. Lyu JC, Wang D, Mao Z, Ling PM. Evolution of media frames about e-cigarettes from 2004 to 2019: a content analysis of newspapers in China. Health Educ Res. 2022 01 22; 36(4):456-466.  View on PubMed
  13. Ling PM, Crosbie E, Holmes LM, Hoang C, Hoeper S. Cannabis dispensary online marketing practices in response to COVID-19 lockdowns. Subst Abus. 2022; 43(1):1116-1119.  View on PubMed
  14. Hrywna M, Lewis MJ, Ling PM. Nicotine Pouch Unit Sales in the US From 2016 to 2020. JAMA. 2021 12 14; 326(22):2330-2331.  View on PubMed
  15. Lyu JC, Luli GK, Ling PM. Vaping discussion in the COVID-19 pandemic: An observational study using Twitter data. PLoS One. 2021; 16(12):e0260290.  View on PubMed
  16. Holmes LM, McQuoid J, Shah A, Cruz T, Akom A, Ling PM. Piloting a spatial mixed method for understanding neighborhood tobacco use disparities. Soc Sci Med. 2021 12; 291:114460.  View on PubMed
  17. Nguyen N, Neilands TB, Lisha NE, Lyu JC, Olson SS, Ling PM. Longitudinal Associations Between Use of Tobacco and Cannabis Among People Who Smoke Cigarettes in Real-world Smoking Cessation Treatment. J Addict Med. 2022 Jul-Aug 01; 16(4):413-419.  View on PubMed
  18. Hendlin YH, Small S, Ling PM. 'No-Barriers' tobacco product? Selling smokeless tobacco to women, people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community in the USA. Tob Control. 2021 Oct 01.  View on PubMed
  19. McQuoid J, Thrul J, Lopez-Paguyo K, Ling PM. Exploring multiple drug use by integrating mobile health and qualitative mapping methods - An individual case study. Int J Drug Policy. 2021 11; 97:103325.  View on PubMed
  20. Julia McQuoid, Helen Keane, Pamela M. Ling. Purposeful play: exploring a bar-based, anti-tobacco intervention for young adults. Drugs Education Prevention and Policy. 2021 Jun 7; 1-14.  View on PubMed

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