Research Summary

Dr. Pasick's 30-year career has focused exclusively on cancer inequities and disparities among the low-income and ethnically diverse communities and clinical settings of the San Francisco Bay Area. Trained in Public Health, her early work consisted of multi-ethnic, multi-lingual randomized clinical trial intervention research. The limitations of the theories and methods led her to explore alternative approaches and then to foster broad acceptance of mixed qualitative-quantitative methodologies and blended inductive-deductive paradigms. This work illuminated the role of culture and social context in cancer inequities and disparities, and the development of more real-world interventions.

Frustrated by a lack of diversity among researchers in the population sciences, Dr. Pasick developed and sustained for twenty years an NCI-funded diversity training program to encourage under-represented master's level students and professionals on to the doctorate and careers as leaders in health disparities research. To date, nearly 250 program alumni have entered doctoral programs and 150 have graduated with their doctorates. Many of these individuals are now on faculty all over the US including UCSF.

In addition to her research and training programs, Dr. Pasick served as the Director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center's Office of Community Engagement for 15 years where she established a faith-based health ministries program spanning 4 SF Bay Area counties. She currently co-leads the SF CAN Prostate Cancer Initiative that aims to eliminate the disparity in prostate cancer in the City/County of San Francisco working with community members and across SF health care institutions.

Research Funding

  • August 5, 1999 - May 31, 2023 - Cancer Center Support Grant , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: P30CA082103
  • August 1, 2010 - July 31, 2021 - Exito Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training , Co Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R25CA134301
  • April 12, 2016 - March 31, 2021 - Comparison of 3 Modes of Genetic Counseling in High-Risk Public Hospital Patients , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA197784
  • June 28, 2016 - June 27, 2019 - 2nd Opinion and the Treatment Gradient Among African Americans with Breast Cancer , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: Susan G. Komen, Sponsor Award ID: SAC110049


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.S., Dental Hygiene, 1972
George Washington University, Washington, D.C., M.A., Health Care Administration, 1978
University of California, Berkeley, M.P.H., Health Education, 1980
University of California, Berkeley, Dr. P.H., Health Policy and Administration, 1985

Honors & Awards

  • 2009
    Robert F. Allen Symbol of H.O.P.E. Outstanding contributions to promoting cultural diversity in health promotion-American Journal of Health Promotion
  • 2010-2017
    Susan G. Komen Scholar –Unsolicited. Confers grant of $200,000/year
  • 2012
    The Harvey Lecture, American Association of Cancer Education
  • 2013
    UCSF Faculty Award for Excellence in Community PartnershipsOMB No. 0925-0001 and 0925-0002 (Rev. 10/15 Approved Through 10/31/2018)
  • 2014
    Woman of the Year, Women Health Care Executives
  • 2014
    UCSF Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award for Diversity

Selected Publications

  1. 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
  2. Lee R, Frick M, Joseph G, Guerra C, Stewart S, Kaplan C, Dixit N, Tsoh JY, Flores S, Pasick RJ. Research to reduce inequities in cancer risk services: Insights for remote genetic counseling in a pandemic and beyond. J Genet Couns. 2021 10; 30(5):1292-1297.  View on PubMed
  3. 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. BMJ Open. 2020 08 05; 10(8):e035032.  View on PubMed
  4. Rivadeneira NA, Hoskote M, Le GM, Nguyen TT, Nápoles AM, Pasick RJ, Sarkar U, Hiatt RA. Advancing Cancer Control in San Francisco: Cancer Screening in Under-Represented Populations. Am J Prev Med. 2020 01; 58(1):e1-e9.  View on PubMed
  5. Ramirez AG, Gallion KJ, Perez A, Adeigbe RT, Munoz E, Pasick RJ. Éxito!: Making an Impact in Training Latinos for Doctorates and Cancer Research. J Cancer Educ. 2019 Oct; 34(5):928-937.  View on PubMed
  6. Lyson HC, Le GM, Zhang J, Rivadeneira N, Lyles C, Radcliffe K, Pasick RJ, Sawaya G, Sarkar U, Centola D. Social Media as a Tool to Promote Health Awareness: Results from an Online Cervical Cancer Prevention Study. J Cancer Educ. 2019 Aug; 34(4):819-822.  View on PubMed
  7. Zhang J, Le G, Larochelle D, Pasick R, Sawaya GF, Sarkar U, Centola D. Facts or stories? How to use social media for cervical cancer prevention: A multi-method study of the effects of sender type and content type on increased message sharing. Prev Med. 2019 09; 126:105751.  View on PubMed
  8. Le GM, Radcliffe K, Lyles C, Lyson HC, Wallace B, Sawaya G, Pasick R, Centola D, Sarkar U. Perceptions of cervical cancer prevention on Twitter uncovered by different sampling strategies. PLoS One. 2019; 14(2):e0211931.  View on PubMed
  9. Joseph G, Lee R, Pasick RJ, Guerra C, Schillinger D, Rubin S. Effective communication in the era of precision medicine: A pilot intervention with low health literacy patients to improve genetic counseling communication. Eur J Med Genet. 2019 May; 62(5):357-367.  View on PubMed
  10. Jih J, Nguyen MP, Ly I, Tsoh JY, Le GM, Woo K, Chan E, Gildengorin G, Stewart SL, Burke A, Pasick R, McPhee SJ, Nguyen TT. The Role of Physician Recommendation in Colorectal Cancer Screening Receipt Among Immigrant Chinese Americans. J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Dec; 20(6):1483-1489.  View on PubMed
  11. Ozanne E, Karliner LS, Tice JA, Haas JS, Livaudais-Toman J, Pasick RJ, Kaplan CP. An Intervention Tool to Increase Patient-Physician Discussion of Lifestyle Risk Factors for Breast Cancer. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2019 11; 28(11):1468-1475.  View on PubMed
  12. 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. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018 01; 37(1):54-61.  View on PubMed
  13. Cheng JKY, Guerra C, Pasick RJ, Schillinger D, Luce J, Joseph G. Cancer genetic counseling communication with low-income Chinese immigrants. J Community Genet. 2018 Jul; 9(3):263-276.  View on PubMed
  14. Joseph G, Pasick RJ, Schillinger D, Luce J, Guerra C, Cheng JKY. Erratum to: Information Mismatch: Cancer Risk Counseling with Diverse Underserved Patients. J Genet Couns. 2017 10; 26(5):1105.  View on PubMed
  15. Nguyen KH, Pasick RJ, Stewart SL, Kerlikowske K, Karliner LS. Disparities in abnormal mammogram follow-up time for Asian women compared with non-Hispanic white women and between Asian ethnic groups. Cancer. 2017 Sep 15; 123(18):3468-3475.  View on PubMed
  16. Joseph G, Pasick RJ, Schillinger D, Luce J, Guerra C, Cheng JKY. Information Mismatch: Cancer Risk Counseling with Diverse Underserved Patients. J Genet Couns. 2017 Oct; 26(5):1090-1104.  View on PubMed
  17. Nguyen TT, Tsoh JY, Woo K, Stewart SL, Le GM, Burke A, Gildengorin G, Pasick RJ, Wang J, Chan E, Fung LC, Jih J, McPhee SJ. Colorectal Cancer Screening and Chinese Americans: Efficacy of Lay Health Worker Outreach and Print Materials. Am J Prev Med. 2017 Mar; 52(3):e67-e76.  View on PubMed
  18. Stewart SL, Kaplan CP, Lee R, Joseph G, Karliner L, Livaudais-Toman J, Pasick RJ. Validation of an Efficient Screening Tool to Identify Low-Income Women at High Risk for Hereditary Breast Cancer. Public Health Genomics. 2016; 19(6):342-351.  View on PubMed
  19. Pasick RJ, Joseph G, Stewart S, Kaplan C, Lee R, Luce J, Davis S, Marquez T, Nguyen T, Guerra C. Effective Referral of Low-Income Women at Risk for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer to Genetic Counseling: A Randomized Delayed Intervention Control Trial. Am J Public Health. 2016 Oct; 106(10):1842-8.  View on PubMed
  20. Tsoh JY, Sentell T, Gildengorin G, Le GM, Chan E, Fung LC, Pasick RJ, Stewart S, Wong C, Woo K, Burke A, Wang J, McPhee SJ, Nguyen TT. Healthcare Communication Barriers and Self-Rated Health in Older Chinese American Immigrants. J Community Health. 2016 08; 41(4):741-52.  View on PubMed

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