Nynikka R. A. Palmer, DrPH, MPH

Helen Diller Family Chair in Community Education and Outreach for Urologic Cancer, UCSF

Assistant Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, Department of Medicine, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Membership

Cancer Control

Research Summary

Dr. Nynikka Palmer received her undergraduate training from Morgan State University, where she obtained a degree in health education with honors. She then earned a master’s degree in public health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and subsequently worked for 3 years 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 then earned a doctorate in public health, in behavioral sciences and health promotion from the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston. During her doctoral program, 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. Dr. Palmer was recruited to join the faculty at UCSF in 2013 to further establish her research in cancer health disparities. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor, with a primary appointment in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFGH) and secondary appointments in Urology and Radiation Oncology. Dr. Palmer is also an Associate member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and an Associate Faculty member of the Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFGH.

Dr. Palmer’s research is grounded in cancer disparities and has progressed over the years to focus on racial/ethnic and geographic disparities (e.g., rural/urban) in cancer, challenges faced by male cancer survivors, prostate cancer in African American men, and quality cancer care. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she examined racial/ethnic disparities in health care receipt among male cancer survivors, rural/urban disparities in cancer survivors forgoing care because of cost, and racial/ethnic disparities in patient-provider communication, quality of care ratings, and patient activation among long-term cancer survivors. Dr. Palmer is particularly interested in prostate cancer among African American men, and has examined African American prostate cancer survivors’ treatment decision-making and their subsequent quality of life. Findings from these studies have directed her research agenda to further understand and examine quality of care and patient-provider communication among African American men with prostate cancer, particularly in low-income communities. Dr. Palmer’s long-term goal is to move beyond identifying cancer disparities to developing, implementing, and disseminating interventions and programs that will ultimately reduce the burden of cancer among vulnerable populations.

Research Funding

  • September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2022 - Constructing a Relational Bridge to Achieve High-Quality Prostate Cancer Care for African Americans, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: K01CA211965
  • October 2, 2018 - October 1, 2020 - Accelerating Systematic Stakeholder, Patient, and Institution Research Engagement (ASPIRE), Program Development and Evaluation. Sponsor: PCORI – Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Sponsor Award ID: 10566-UCSF
  • September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2022 - Constructing a Relational Bridge to Achieve High-Quality Prostate Cancer Care for African Americans, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: K01CA211965
  • October 2, 2018 - October 1, 2020 - Accelerating Systematic Stakeholder, Patient, and Institution Research Engagement (ASPIRE), Program Development and Evaluation. Sponsor: PCORI – Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Sponsor Award ID: 10566-UCSF

Education

Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, BS, 05/00, Community Health Education
Emory University, Atlanta, GA, MPH, 05/02, Behavioral Science Health Education
University of Texas, Houston, TX, DrPH, 08/10, Health Promotion Behavioral Science
Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, Fellowship, 09/13, Cancer Prevention & Control – Cancer Survivorship

Honors & Awards

  • 1997-2000
    Regents Associate Scholarship, Morgan State University
  • 2000
    Golden Key National Honor Society, Morgan State University
  • 2000
    Outstanding Practicum Experience Award, Morgan State University
  • 2001
    Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research Scholar, Northern California Cancer Center
  • 2003
    Doctoral Application Support Award, Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research
  • 2004
    Excellence in Community Outreach – Mission Delivery, American Cancer Society
  • 2010
    Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, University of Texas School of Public Health
  • 2011
    Health Equity Leadership Institute Scholar, Collaborative Center for Health Equity, University of Wisconsin.
  • 2012
    Selected Participant, RWJF New Connections Sixth Annual Symposium
  • 2012
    Selected Participant, RWJF New Connections Sixth Annual Research and Coaching Clinic
  • 2013-2015
    Recipient of the Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program, NIMHD (2 years)
  • 2014
    University of California, San Francisco Academic Affairs Sponsorship: Association of American Medical Colleges Minority Faculty Career Development Seminar
  • 2015
    Distinguished Honoree of the Black Student Health Alliance – 2nd Annual African Heritage Celebration, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2016-present
    Helen Diller Family Chair in Community Education and Outreach for Urologic Cancer (Endowed Chair). University of California San Francisco
  • 2016-2017
    Recipient of the Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program, NIMHD (1-year)
  • 2016-2017
    Recipient of University of California, San Francisco CTSI KL2 Career Development Award
  • 2017-2019
    Putnam Scholar, Academy of Communication in Healthcare, Putnam Scholar Program

Selected Publications

  1. Post-Diagnostic Dietary and Lifestyle Factors and Prostate Cancer Recurrence, Progression, and Mortality.  View on PubMed
  2. Borno HT, Andemeskel G, Palmer NR Redefining Attribution From Patient to Health System-How the Notion of "Mistrust" Places Blame on Black Patients.  View on PubMed
  3. Elena Portacolone, Nynikka Palmer, Peter Lichtenberg, Catherine Waters, Carl Hill, Sahru Keiser, Julene K Johnson Earning the Trust of African American Communities to Increase Representation in Dementia Research.  View on PubMed
  4. Portacolone E, Palmer NR, Lichtenberg P, Waters CM, Hill CV, Keiser S, Vest L, Maloof M, Tran T, Martinez P, Guerrero J, Johnson JK Earning the Trust of African American Communities to Increase Representation in Dementia Research.  View on PubMed
  5. Balakrishnan AS, Palmer NR, Odisho AY "Can you hear me now?": postoperative patient-initiated communication with providers.  View on PubMed
  6. Zavala VA, Bracci PM, Carethers JM, Carvajal-Carmona L, Coggins NB, Cruz-Correa MR, Davis M, de Smith AJ, Dutil J, Figueiredo JC, Fox R, Graves KD, Gomez SL, Llera A, Neuhausen SL, Newman L, Nguyen T, Palmer JR, Palmer NR, Pérez-Stable EJ, Piawah S, Rodriquez EJ, Sanabria-Salas MC, Schmit SL, Serrano-Gomez SJ, Stern MC, Weitzel J, Yang JJ, Zabaleta J, Ziv E, Fejerman L Cancer health disparities in racial/ethnic minorities in the United States.  View on PubMed
  7. Palmer NR, Shim JK, Kaplan CP, Schillinger D, Blaschko SD, Breyer BN, Pasick RJ Ethnographic investigation of patient-provider communication among African American men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer: a study protocol.  View on PubMed
  8. Palmer NR, Avis NE, Fino NF, Tooze JA, Weaver KE Rural cancer survivors' health information needs post-treatment.  View on PubMed
  9. Kith G, Lisker S, Sarkar U, Barr-Walker J, Breyer BN, Palmer NR Defining and Measuring Adherence in Observational Studies Assessing Outcomes of Real-world Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review.  View on PubMed
  10. Balakrishnan AS, Palmer NR, Fergus KB, Gaither TW, Baradaran N, Ndoye M, Breyer BN Minority Recruitment Trends in Phase III Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials (2003 to 2014): Progress and Critical Areas for Improvement.  View on PubMed
  11. Borno HT, Lichtensztajn DY, Gomez SL, Palmer NR, Ryan CJ Differential use of medical versus surgical androgen deprivation therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.  View on PubMed
  12. Kaplan CP, Siegel A, Leykin Y, Palmer NR, Borno H, Bielenberg J, Livaudais-Toman J, Ryan C, Small EJ A bilingual, Internet-based, targeted advertising campaign for prostate cancer clinical trials: Assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a novel recruitment strategy.  View on PubMed
  13. Palmer NR, Gregorich SE, Livaudais-Toman J, Jih J, Kaplan CP Racial and Ethnic Differences in Prostate Cancer Survivors' Perceived Engagement in Treatment Decision-Making.  View on PubMed
  14. Hiatt RA, Sibley A, Fejerman L, Glantz S, Nguyen T, Pasick R, Palmer N, Perkins A, Potter MB, Somsouk M, Vargas RA, van 't Veer LJ, Ashworth A The San Francisco Cancer Initiative: A Community Effort To Reduce The Population Burden Of Cancer.  View on PubMed
  15. Beebe-Dimmer JL, Yee C, Paskett E, Schwartz AG, Lane D, Palmer NRA, Bock CH, Nassir R, Simon MS Family history of prostate and colorectal cancer and risk of colorectal cancer in the Women's health initiative.  View on PubMed
  16. Osterberg EC, Palmer NRA, Harris CR, Murphy GP, Blaschko SD, Chu C, Allen IE, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR, Breyer BN Outcomes of men on active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer at a safety-net hospital.  View on PubMed
  17. E. Charles Osterberg, Nynikka Palmer, Catherine Harris, Gregory Murphy, Sarah Blaschko, Carissa Chu, Matthew Cooperberg, Peter Carroll, Benjamin Breyer MP14-02 THE NATURAL HISTORY OF MEN ON ACTIVE SURVEILLANCE WITH LOW-RISK PROSTATE CANCER AT A SAFETY-NET, COUNTY HOSPITAL.  View on PubMed
  18. Palmer NR, Weaver KE, Hauser SP, Lawrence JA, Talton J, Case LD, Geiger AM Disparities in barriers to follow-up care between African American and White breast cancer survivors.  View on PubMed
  19. Beebe-Dimmer JL, Yee C, Cote ML, Petrucelli N, Palmer N, Bock C, Lane D, Agalliu I, Stefanick ML, Simon MS Familial clustering of breast and prostate cancer and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in the Women's Health Initiative Study.  View on PubMed
  20. Palmer NR, Kent EE, Forsythe LP, Arora NK, Rowland JH, Aziz NM, Blanch-Hartigan D, Oakley-Girvan I, Hamilton AS, Weaver KE Racial and ethnic disparities in patient-provider communication, quality-of-care ratings, and patient activation among long-term cancer survivors.  View on PubMed

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