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, 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. 2021 Aug 04.  View on PubMed
  2. 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. 2021 Jul 22.  View on PubMed
  3. 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 Aug 15; 81(16):4360-4369.  View on PubMed
  4. 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 Aug; 30(8):1506-1516.  View on PubMed
  5. 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. 2021 Apr 12.  View on PubMed
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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. 2020 Mar 28; 1-12.  View on PubMed
  12. 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. Cancer. 2020 06 15; 126(12):2849-2858.  View on PubMed
  13. 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. J Perinatol. 2021 03; 41(3):404-412.  View on PubMed
  14. 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. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2020 Oct; 26(4):460-471.  View on PubMed
  15. 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. JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2020 Apr; 4(2):pkz107.  View on PubMed
  16. 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. SSM Popul Health. 2020 Apr; 10:100532.  View on PubMed
  17. 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. J Pediatr. 2020 03; 218:49-56.e3.  View on PubMed
  18. 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. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 01; 29(1):79-87.  View on PubMed
  19. 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. J Cancer Surviv. 2019 Dec; 13(6):968-980.  View on PubMed
  20. Harmon B, Shariff-Marco S, Yang Y, Zhang H, Johnson KC, Martin MY. Unpacking our limitations: The complexity of multilevel influences on behaviour. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2019 05; 28(3):e13041.  View on PubMed

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