Research Summary

My research focuses on understanding the role of social determinants of health in shaping and perpetuating cancer health disparities. One main area of focus is on place and health. I have participated as a Co-Investigator on several research projects evaluating how neighborhood characteristics (e.g., social, built, and physical environment attributes) and geographic variation may shape cancer-related health behaviors and outcomes across the cancer continuum. In addition, my research has included efforts to better characterize neighborhoods for population health studies (neighborhood archetypes, virtual audits with Google Street View). Our team is also working on multiple ways to enhance the neighborhood data for existing cohorts to better understand the role of neighborhoods in cancer outcomes, including asking participants about their neighborhoods and whether they utilize the resources as well as constructing residential histories to study impact of neighborhood change. My research has also focused on understanding how factors related to social status (race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and immigration) impact health disparities, particularly applying an intersectional lens. During my post-doc, I led a multidisciplinary team in the development of a discrimination measure for the California Health Interview Survey, where we applied a mixed methods approach to testing and validating the measure. Since then, I have continued to study self-reported experiences of discrimination (across a variety of domains, including medical discrimination) and its impact on health behaviors and outcomes, including quality of life among breast cancer survivors.

Research Funding

  • September 1, 2017 - February 28, 2019 - Impact of Neighborhoods and Navigation on Survivorship, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: California Breast Cancer Research Program, Sponsor Award ID: 23AB-1501
  • February 1, 2016 - January 31, 2018 - Impact of social and built environments on health-related quality of life for cancer survivors, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R03CA202192
  • September 19, 2016 - December 18, 2017 - Patient generated health data (PGHD) to enhance SEER data collection, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: National Cancer Institute, Sponsor Award ID: HHSN26100011
  • May 1, 2016 - August 31, 2017 - Addressing disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes: the role of neighborhoods, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: Stanford Cancer Institute, Sponsor Award ID:


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, B.A., 05/1996, Biological Basis of Behavior
Columbia University, New York, NY, M.P.H., 05/1998, Sociomedical Sciences
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, Ph.D., 05/2007, Social & Behavioral Sciences
National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 03/2010, Cancer Prevention

Honors & Awards

  • 1998-1999
    Community Fellowship Award, Open Society Institute
  • 2002-2006
    Pre-Doctoral Cancer Training Grant, NCI (awarded to Johns Hopkins University)
  • 2005-2006
    Health, Behavior and Society Departmental Dissertation Award, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • 2005-2006
    The Carol Eliasberg Martin Scholarship in Cancer Prevention, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • 2005-2006
    The John C. Hume Doctoral Award, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • 2008
    Director's Award for outstanding leadership in the development of novel methods for the evaluation of data collection instruments used across populations with multiple languages and cultures (group award), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
  • 2009
    Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE), National Institutes of Health
  • 2009
    Cancer Prevention Research Training Merit Award, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
  • 2011
    Travel Award to NIH-supported Training Program in Advanced Spatial Analysis, MultilevelModeling workshop, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2012-2014
    Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health
  • 2015-2017
    Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program (renewal), National Institutes of Health
  • 2016-2017
    Quick Start Training Program, California Breast Cancer Research Program

Selected Publications

  1. DeRouen MC, Thompson CA, Canchola AJ, Jin A, Nie S, Wong C, Jain J, Lichtensztajn DY, Li Y, Allen L, Patel MI, Daida YG, Luft HS, Shariff-Marco S, Reynolds P, Wakelee HA, Liang SY, Waitzfelder BE, Cheng I, Gomez SL Integrating electronic health record, cancer registry, and geospatial data to study lung cancer in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander ethnic groups.  View on PubMed
  2. Morey BN, Gee GC, Wang MC, von Ehrenstein OS, Shariff-Marco S, Canchola AJ, Yang J, Lee SS, Bautista R, Tseng W, Chang P, Gomez SL Neighborhood Contexts and Breast Cancer Among Asian American Women.  View on PubMed
  3. Shariff-Marco S, DeRouen MC, Yang J, Jain J, Nelson DO, Weden MM, Gomez SL Neighborhood archetypes and breast cancer survival in California.  View on PubMed
  4. John EM, McGuire V, Kurian AW, Koo J, Shariff-Marco S, Gomez SLL, Cheng I, Keegan THM, Kwan ML, Bernstein L, Vigen C, Wu AH Racial/ethnic disparities in survival after breast cancer diagnosis by estrogen and progesterone receptor status: A pooled analysis.  View on PubMed
  5. Shariff-Marco S, Ellis L, Yang J, Koo J, John EM, Keegan THM, Cheng I, Monroe KR, Vigen C, Kwan ML, Lu Y, Bernstein L, Wu AH, Gomez SL, Kurian AW Hospital Characteristics and Breast Cancer Survival in the California Breast Cancer Survivorship Consortium.  View on PubMed
  6. Kroenke CH, Le GM, Conroy SM, Canchola AJ, Shariff-Marco S, Gomez SL Egocentric social networks, lifestyle behaviors, and body size in the Asian Community Health Initiative (CHI) cohort.  View on PubMed
  7. Catherine E. Harnois, João L. Bastos, Salma Shariff-Marco Intersectionality, Contextual Specificity, and Everyday Discrimination: Assessing the Difficulty Associated With Identifying a Main Reason for Discrimination Among Racial/Ethnic Minority Respondents.  View on PubMed
  8. Aghaee S, Allen A, Ramirez J, Shariff-Marco S, Allen L, DeRouen M, Elmofty M, Marquez-Magana L, Gomez SL Everyday discrimination and telomere length in a multiethnic cohort of breast cancer survivors.  View on PubMed
  9. Shariff-Marco S, Gomez SL, Canchola AJ, Fullington H, Hughes AE, Zhu H, Pruitt SL Nativity, ethnic enclave residence, and breast cancer survival among Latinas: Variations between California and Texas.  View on PubMed
  10. Padula AM, Shariff-Marco S, Yang J, Jain J, Liu J, Conroy SM, Carmichael SL, Gomez SL, Phibbs C, Oehlert J, Gould JB, Profit J Multilevel social factors and NICU quality of care in California.  View on PubMed
  11. Morey BN, Gee GC, Shariff-Marco S, Yang J, Allen L, Gomez SL Ethnic enclaves, discrimination, and stress among Asian American women: Differences by nativity and time in the United States.  View on PubMed
  12. Wu AH, Wu J, Tseng C, Yang J, Shariff-Marco S, Fruin S, Larson T, Setiawan VW, Masri S, Porcel J, Jain J, Chen TC, Stram DO, Marchand LL, Ritz B, Cheng I Association Between Outdoor Air Pollution and Risk of Malignant and Benign Brain Tumors: The Multiethnic Cohort Study.  View on PubMed
  13. Shvetsov YB, Shariff-Marco S, Yang J, Conroy SM, Canchola AJ, Albright CL, Park SY, Monroe KR, Le Marchand L, Gomez SL, Wilkens LR, Cheng I Association of change in the neighborhood obesogenic environment with colorectal cancer risk: The Multiethnic Cohort Study.  View on PubMed
  14. Liu J, Parker MG, Lu T, Conroy SM, Oehlert J, Lee HC, Gomez SL, Shariff-Marco S, Profit J Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Human Milk Intake at Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Discharge among Very Low Birth Weight Infants in California.  View on PubMed
  15. Sangaramoorthy M, Yang J, DeRouen MC, Ho C, Somsouk M, Tana MM, Thompson CA, Gibbons J, Gomez SL, Shariff-Marco S Disparities in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Incidence in California: An Update.  View on PubMed
  16. Gonzales FA, Sangaramoorthy M, Dwyer LA, Shariff-Marco S, Allen AM, Kurian AW, Yang J, Langer MM, Allen L, Reeve BB, Taplin SH, Gomez SL Patient-clinician interactions and disparities in breast cancer care: the equality in breast cancer care study.  View on PubMed
  17. Harmon B, Shariff-Marco S, Yang Y, Zhang H, Johnson KC, Martin MY Unpacking our limitations: The complexity of multilevel influences on behaviour.  View on PubMed
  18. Cheng I, Tseng C, Wu J, Yang J, Conroy SM, Shariff-Marco S, Li L, Hertz A, Gomez SL, Le Marchand L, Whittemore AS, Stram DO, Ritz B, Wu AH Association between ambient air pollution and breast cancer risk: The multiethnic cohort study.  View on PubMed
  19. Morey BN, Gee GC, von Ehrenstein OS, Shariff-Marco S, Canchola AJ, Yang J, Allen L, Lee SS, Bautista R, La Chica T, Tseng W, Chang P, Gomez SL Higher Breast Cancer Risk Among Immigrant Asian American Women Than Among US-Born Asian American Women.  View on PubMed
  20. Mindy C. DeRouen, Margaret M. Weden, Juan Yang, Jennifer Jain, Scarlett Lin Gomez, Salma Shariff-Marco Neighborhoods and Breast Cancer Survival: The Case for an Archetype Approach.  View on PubMed

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