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

  • April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2025 - Ethnicity and Nativity in Cancer - Latino & Asian Enclaves: The ENCLAVE Study , Multiple Principal Investigator (Contact) . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA237540
  • August 16, 2019 - July 31, 2024 - Understanding the Multilevel Drivers of Liver Cancer Disparities , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA225478
  • 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


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. Cheng I, Yang J, Tseng C, Wu J, Shariff-Marco S, Park SL, Conroy SM, Inamdar PP, Fruin S, Larson T, Setiawan VW, DeRouen MC, Gomez SL, Wilkens LR, Le Marchand L, Stram DO, Samet J, Ritz B, Wu AH. Traffic-related Air Pollution and Lung Cancer Incidence: The California Multiethnic Cohort Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2022 Oct 15; 206(8):1008-1018.  View on PubMed
  2. Gomez SL, Shariff-Marco S, Cheng I. The Unrelenting Impact of Poverty on Cancer: Structural Inequities Call for Research and Solutions on Structural Determinants. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 06 13; 114(6):783-784.  View on PubMed
  3. DeRouen MC, Tao L, Shariff-Marco S, Yang J, Shvetsov YB, Park SY, Albright CL, Monroe KR, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR, Gomez SL, Cheng I. Neighborhood Obesogenic Environment and Risk of Prostate Cancer: The Multiethnic Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 05 04; 31(5):972-981.  View on PubMed
  4. Sangaramoorthy M, Shariff-Marco S, Conroy SM, Yang J, Inamdar PP, Wu AH, Haiman CA, Wilkens LR, Gomez SL, Le Marchand L, Cheng I. Joint Associations of Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status With Mortality in the Multiethnic Cohort Study. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 04 01; 5(4):e226370.  View on PubMed
  5. Michaels EK, Canchola AJ, Beyer KMM, Zhou Y, Shariff-Marco S, Gomez SL. Home mortgage discrimination and incidence of triple-negative and Luminal A breast cancer among non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White females in California, 2006-2015. Cancer Causes Control. 2022 May; 33(5):727-735.  View on PubMed
  6. Cheng I, Yang J, Tseng C, Wu J, Conroy SM, Shariff-Marco S, Lin Gomez S, Whittemore AS, Stram DO, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR, Ritz B, Wu AH. Outdoor ambient air pollution and breast cancer survival among California participants of the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Environ Int. 2022 03; 161:107088.  View on PubMed
  7. DeRouen MC, Canchola AJ, Thompson CA, Jin A, Nie S, Wong C, Lichtensztajn D, Allen L, Patel MI, Daida YG, Luft HS, Shariff-Marco S, Reynolds P, Wakelee HA, Liang SY, Waitzfelder BE, Cheng I, Gomez SL. Incidence of Lung Cancer Among Never-Smoking Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Females. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 01 11; 114(1):78-86.  View on PubMed
  8. Sangaramoorthy M, Yang J, Guan A, DeRouen MC, Tana MM, Somsouk M, Thompson CA, Gibbons J, Ho C, Chu JN, Cheng I, Gomez SL, Shariff-Marco S. Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic Ethnic Enclaves, Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status, and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Incidence in California: An Update. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 02; 31(2):382-392.  View on PubMed
  9. Press DJ, Shariff-Marco S, Lichtensztajn DY, Lauderdale D, Murphy AB, Inamdar PP, DeRouen MC, Hamilton AS, Yang J, Lin K, Hedeker D, Haiman CA, Cheng I, Gomez SL. Contributions of Social Factors to Disparities in Prostate Cancer Risk Profiles among Black Men and Non-Hispanic White Men with Prostate Cancer in California. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 02; 31(2):404-412.  View on PubMed
  10. Chu JN, Canchola AJ, Keegan THM, Nickell A, Oakley-Girvan I, Hamilton AS, Yu RL, Gomez SL, Shariff-Marco S. Evaluating the Impact of Social and Built Environments on Health-Related Quality of Life among Cancer Survivors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 01; 31(1):161-174.  View on PubMed
  11. DeRouen MC, Yang J, Jain J, Weden MM, Gomez SL, Shariff-Marco S. Disparities in Prostate Cancer Survival According to Neighborhood Archetypes, A Population-Based Study. Urology. 2022 May; 163:138-147.  View on PubMed
  12. Wu AH, Fruin S, Larson TV, Tseng CC, Wu J, Yang J, Jain J, Shariff-Marco S, Inamdar PP, Setiawan VW, Porcel J, Stram DO, Le Marchand L, Ritz B, Cheng I. Association between Airport-Related Ultrafine Particles and Risk of Malignant Brain Cancer: A Multiethnic Cohort Study. Cancer Res. 2021 08 15; 81(16):4360-4369.  View on PubMed
  13. 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. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 08; 30(8):1506-1516.  View on PubMed
  14. 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. J Immigr Minor Health. 2022 Apr; 24(2):445-454.  View on PubMed
  15. Shariff-Marco S, DeRouen MC, Yang J, Jain J, Nelson DO, Weden MM, Gomez SL. Neighborhood archetypes and breast cancer survival in California. Ann Epidemiol. 2021 05; 57:22-29.  View on PubMed
  16. John EM, McGuire V, Kurian AW, Koo J, Shariff-Marco S, Gomez SL, 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. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 02; 30(2):351-363.  View on PubMed
  17. 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. JCO Oncol Pract. 2020 06; 16(6):e517-e528.  View on PubMed
  18. 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. PLoS One. 2020; 15(5):e0232239.  View on PubMed
  19. 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. Sociological Methods & Research. 2020 Mar 30; 004912412091492.  View on PubMed
  20. 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. Ethn Health. 2022 04; 27(3):542-553.  View on PubMed

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