Parisa Tehranifar

Parisa Tehranifar

Parisa Tehranifar

Associate Professor
Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center


722 West 168th Street
New York NY 10032
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Parisa Tehranifar, DrPH has training in sociomedical sciences and cancer epidemiology. Dr. Tehranifar's broad research interests are in cancer health disparities and breast cancer prevention. One area of her work focuses on understanding the contribution of emerging medical interventions as a source of health disparities, and includes an ongoing study that examines the role of breast density disclosure in relation to breast cancer screening disparities. She collaborates on several lifecourse studies of breast cancer, in which she examines the role of social factors in early life play in shaping adult cancer risk and risk factors, focusing on smoking as a behavioral risk factor, mammographic breast density as a biomarker of breast cancer risk, and DNA methylation as an epigenetic mechanism for health disparities. More recently, her research focuses on midlife as a critical lifecourse stage for breast cancer risk, and includes several studies of determinants and distribution of mammographic density in women of racially/ethnically diverse and predominantly immigrant backgrounds. Dr. Tehranifar is also working on integration of mammographic density in clinical risk assessment, which includes a nested case-control study within the Sister Study ( Dr. Tehranifar's current research is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.



Other, 2009, Postdoctoral fellowship (National Cancer Institute), Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia Univ.
DrPH, 2004, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
MPH, 1996, Hunter College

Mailman Affiliations

Member, Center for the Study of Social Inequalities and Health

Editorial Boards

Behavioral Medicine

Columbia Affiliations

Member, Cancer Epidemiology Program, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Other Affiliations

Areas of Expertise

Cancer, Cancer Breast, Cancer Screening, Disparities / Inequalities in Health, Immigrant Health, Social Epidemiology, Social Factors in Health, Underserved Populations, Life-course Approach to Prevention, Risk Factors, Urban Health

Select Urban Health Activities

New York Mammographic Density (NY MaDe) Study: This ongoing study investigates mammographic breast density and breast cancer screening and prevention behaviors in a socially diverse population.
Growing Wiser Project: This study focuses on understanding and addressing the over-use of cancer screening services in older Hispanic women.

Select Global Activities

International Breast Cancer and Nutrition Project: The mission of the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition (IBCN) project is to foster the development of a community of scientists across disciplines and public health experts dedicated to research on the primary prevention of breast cancer. The anticipated outcomes of this program are the development of strategies to diminish breast cancer incidence and/or incidence of aggressive forms of breast cancer based on epidemiological and biological findings related to nutrition and an impact on public policies via information of the public and health authorities.

Select Publications

Tehranifar P, Rodriguez CB, April-Sanders A, Desperito E, Schmitt KM. Migration history, language acculturation and mammographic breast density. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Feb 23
Akinyemiju TF, Genkinger JM, Farhat M, Wilson A. Gary-Webb TL, Tehranifar P. Residential environment and breast cancer incidence and mortality: a systematic review and meta analysis. BMC Cancer. 2015; 28;15:191.
Tehranifar P, Goyal A, Phelan JC, Link BG, Liao Y, Fan X, Desai M, Terry MB. Age at cancer diagnosis, amenability to medical interventions, and racial/ethnic disparities in cancer mortality. Cancer Causes Control. 2016 Apr;27(4):553-60
Tehranifar P, Protacio A, Schmitt K, Desperito E, Oskar S, Potter AJ, Engmann NJ, Terry MB. The metabolic syndrome and mammographic breast density in a racially diverse and predominantly immigrant sample of women. Cancer Causes Control 2015
Tehranifar P, Wu HC, Shriver T, Cloud AJ, Terry MB. Validation of family cancer history data in high-risk families: the influence of cancer site, ethnicity, kinship degree, and multiple family reporters, Am J Epidemiol 2015;181(3):204-12.
Tehranifar P, Wu HC, Fan X, Flom JD, Ferris JS, Cho YH, Gonzalez K, Santella RM, Terry MB. Early life socioeconomic factors and genomic DNA methylation in mid-life. Epigenetics 2013; 8(1):23-7
Tehranifar P, Reynolds D, Flom J, Fulton L, Liao Y, Kudadjie-Gyamfi E, Terry MB. Reproductive and menstrual factors and mammographic density in African American, Caribbean, and white women. Cancer Causes Control Feb 17 2011
Phelan JC, Link BG, Tehranifar P Social conditions as fundamental causes of health inequalities: theory, evidence, and policy implications. J Health Soc Behav 51 Suppl S28-40 2010
Tehranifar P, Neugut AI, Phelan JC, Link GB, Liao Y, Desai M, Terry MB Medical advances and racial/ethnic disparities in cancer survival Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prevention 18 2701-8 2009
Tehranifar P, Liao Y, Flom J, Terry MB Validity of Self-reported Birthweight by Adult Women: Sociodemographic Influences and Implications for Lifecourse Studies Am J Epidemiol 170 910-7 2009

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