Population Sciences Program

About Population Sciences

The Population Sciences Program conducts research on cancer etiology, control and prevention with the intent of improving public health in the Greater San Francisco Bay area and beyond. It makes use of the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry and other datasets to determine patterns and trends of cancer incidence and mortality within the ten-county SCI catchment area, carries out epidemiologic studies to identify additional risk factors for cancer. 

The program establishes collaborations among basic and clinical scientists at Stanford, as well as at the national and international levels.

The ultimate goal of this research is to have a translational impact on clinical or public health practice.

To achieve this goal, we focus on three major areas of investigation: 

  • Innovative uses of cancer registry and surveillance data to identify and understand patterns and trends of cancer incidence and mortality in our catchment area and beyond 
  • Epidemiology approaches to identify and better characterize genetic and non-genetic risk factors in cancer etiology and progression 
  • Prevention research, primarily intervention trials, focused on the major known causes of cancer – tobacco use, diet, obesity and (relative lack of) physical activity


The cross-cutting themes of the program include studies in multiple racial/ethnic groups and studies in high risk populations. The program brings together population-based researchers with basic and clinical scientists and with many external collaborators to carry out its trans-disciplinary research objectives.

Program Directors

Professor (Research) of Medicine (Stanford Prevention Research Center) and of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Robert Haile, Dr.P.H.


Ann Hsing, Ph.D.