About Dr. Llanos

Adana A.M. Llanos, PhD, MPH (she/her) is a cancer and molecular epidemiologist and health equity scholar, whose multidisciplinary research program focuses on understanding the molecular and sociobiologic underpinnings of cancer outcomes inequities. As an independent investigator, her research portfolio – largely funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) – is based on strong multidisciplinary collaborations. Dr. Llanos brings unique training and expertise to the Department of Epidemiology.

She received a BS in Biology and PhD in Genetics, completed 2-year postdoctoral fellowships, which provided interdisciplinary training in molecular epidemiology, population health and cancer disparities, and community-based participatory research, and later received an MPH in Epidemiology. Dr. Llanos is driven by an immense desire to understand the causes of poorer cancer outcomes among vulnerable populations and to identify effective strategies to address those poorer outcomes that will move the needle towards greater health equity, locally, nationally, and globally.

Over the past 10+ years, Dr. Llanos has established a multidisciplinary research program that has three broad objectives:

  1. Understanding molecular and sociobiologic mechanisms that contribute to cancer inequities
  2. Improving cancer survival among populations with a disproportionately high cancer burden
  3. Advancing the evidence linking chemical exposures in personal care products with hormone-related cancer risk and outcomes.

In recognition of her impactful, innovative research, Dr. Llanos has received numerous awards and honors, including a Buckeyes under 40 Award (2016, The Ohio State University Black Alumni Society), Minority Faculty Scholar Award (2018, American Association for Cancer Research), Excellence in Research Award (2018, New Jersey Health Foundation), a nomination to the National Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the Life Sciences Category (2020), and an Emerging Scholar Award (2021, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education).

In addition to her academic research, scholarship, teaching, and mentoring, Dr. Llanos is actively involved in service to the field and to society at large. She proactively engages with various non-profit organizations with missions include providing timely public health advocacy, education and outreach, and cancer survivorship support, particularly organizations serving racial and ethnic minority and medically underserved communities.