Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My work focuses on the health of low-income, ethnic minority, and other medically underserved populations. A number of grants from NIH and other Federal and State agencies have supported my work which has a broad public health focus. A central feature of my work has been the combination of theoretical and scientific input with practical input from the community to understand behavioral, social, cultural, and economic determinants of health behaviors that are amenable to change. My work covers: cancer and cardiovascular disease health behaviors, risk factors, and outcomes (smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, obesity, diabetes, hypertension); health status of ethnic minority and low socioeconomic groups; community-based intervention studies; and neighborhood influences on health. I have had a long term working partnership with the Monterey County Health Department. For the last 20 years I have had a research partnership with Drs. Jan and Kristina Sundquist at Lund University in Sweden where we have been funded by numerous NIH RO1 grants to conduct population-based clinical epidemiologic research.
My research is congruent with a number of public service activities, including the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, an organization that I co-founded in 1988 that prepares high school students historically underrepresented in higher education for science and health careers. In 2011, this program received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government for mentoring in these fields.