Nynikka Palmer, DrPH, MPH

Assistant Professor

Dr. Nynikka Palmer received her undergraduate training from Morgan State University, where she obtained a degree in health education with honors. She then earned a master’s degree in public health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and subsequently worked for 3 years at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia collaborating with community organizations on cancer education and early detection in minority and underserved communities. Dr. Palmer then earned a doctorate in public health, in behavioral sciences and health promotion from the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston. During her doctoral program, she was a pre-doctoral fellow in an NCI-sponsored cancer prevention and control training program. She extended her training in cancer with a focus on cancer survivorship and health disparities as a postdoctoral fellow on an NCI-sponsored training award at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Dr. Palmer was recruited to join the faculty at UCSF in 2013 to further establish her research in cancer health disparities. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor, with a primary appointment in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFGH) and secondary appointments in Urology and Radiation Oncology. Dr. Palmer is also an Associate member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and an Associate Faculty member of the Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFGH.

Dr. Palmer’s research is grounded in cancer disparities and has progressed over the years to focus on racial/ethnic and geographic disparities (e.g., rural/urban) in cancer, challenges faced by male cancer survivors, prostate cancer in African American men, and quality cancer care. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she examined racial/ethnic disparities in health care receipt among male cancer survivors, rural/urban disparities in cancer survivors forgoing care because of cost, and racial/ethnic disparities in patient-provider communication, quality of care ratings, and patient activation among long-term cancer survivors. Dr. Palmer is particularly interested in prostate cancer among African American men, and has examined African American prostate cancer survivors’ treatment decision-making and their subsequent quality of life. Findings from these studies have directed her research agenda to further understand and examine quality of care and patient-provider communication among African American men with prostate cancer, particularly in low-income communities. Dr. Palmer’s long-term goal is to move beyond identifying cancer disparities to developing, implementing, and disseminating interventions and programs that will ultimately reduce the burden of cancer among vulnerable populations.
Education
DrPH, 2010 - School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center
MPH, 2002 - Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
BS, 2000 - , Morgan State University
Honors and Awards
  • School of Medicine Inaugural Class of Dean’s Population Health and Healthy Equity (PHHE) Scholars, University of California San Francisco, 2018
  • Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health – National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 2016-2017
  • CTSI KL2 Scholar Award, University of California San Francisco, 2016-2017
  • Helen Diller Family Chair in Community Education and Outreach for Urologic Cancer, University of California San Francisco, 2016
  • Center for Aging in Diverse Communities Scholar Award, University of California San Francisco, 2015-2016
  • Distinguished Honoree of the Black Student Health Alliance - 2nd Annual African Heritage Celebration, University of California San Francisco, 2015
  • Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities - National Institutes of Health, 2013-2015
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, 2010
  • Excellence in Community Outreach, American Cancer Society, 2004
  • Doctoral Application Support Award, Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research, Northern California Cancer Center, 2003
Publications
  1. Zavala VA, Bracci PM, Carethers JM, Carvajal-Carmona L, Coggins NB, Cruz-Correa MR, Davis M, de Smith AJ, Dutil J, Figueiredo JC, Fox R, Graves KD, Gomez SL, Llera A, Neuhausen SL, Newman L, Nguyen T, Palmer JR, Palmer NR, Pérez-Stable EJ, Piawah S, Rodriquez EJ, Sanabria-Salas MC, Schmit SL, Serrano-Gomez SJ, Stern MC, Weitzel J, Yang JJ, Zabaleta J, Ziv E, Fejerman L. Cancer health disparities in racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. 2020. PMID: 32901135


  2. Palmer NR, Shim JK, Kaplan CP, Schillinger D, Blaschko SD, Breyer BN, Pasick RJ. Ethnographic investigation of patient-provider communication among African American men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer: a study protocol. 2020. PMID: 32759241


  3. Palmer NR, Avis NE, Fino NF, Tooze JA, Weaver KE. Rural cancer survivors' health information needs post-treatment. 2020. PMID: 32147307


  4. Balakrishnan AS, Palmer NR, Fergus KB, Gaither TW, Baradaran N, Ndoye M, Breyer BN. Minority Recruitment Trends in Phase III Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials (2003 to 2014): Progress and Critical Areas for Improvement. 2019. PMID: 30218761


  5. Borno HT, Lichtensztajn DY, Gomez SL, Palmer NR, Ryan CJ. Differential use of medical versus surgical androgen deprivation therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. 2018. PMID: 30444526


  6. Kaplan CP, Siegel A, Leykin Y, Palmer NR, Borno H, Bielenberg J, Livaudais-Toman J, Ryan C, Small EJ. A bilingual, Internet-based, targeted advertising campaign for prostate cancer clinical trials: Assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a novel recruitment strategy. 2018. PMID: 30272035


  7. Palmer NR, Gregorich SE, Livaudais-Toman J, Jih J, Kaplan CP. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Prostate Cancer Survivors' Perceived Engagement in Treatment Decision-Making. 2018. PMID: 29516434


  8. Hiatt RA, Sibley A, Fejerman L, Glantz S, Nguyen T, Pasick R, Palmer N, Perkins A, Potter MB, Somsouk M, Vargas RA, van 't Veer LJ, Ashworth A. The San Francisco Cancer Initiative: A Community Effort To Reduce The Population Burden Of Cancer. Volume 37 of Issue 1. 2018. PMID: 29309234


  9. Beebe-Dimmer JL, Yee C, Paskett E, Schwartz AG, Lane D, Palmer NRA, Bock CH, Nassir R, Simon MS. Family history of prostate and colorectal cancer and risk of colorectal cancer in the Women's health initiative. 2017. PMID: 29237415


  10. Osterberg EC, Palmer NRA, Harris CR, Murphy GP, Blaschko SD, Chu C, Allen IE, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR, Breyer BN. Outcomes of men on active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer at a safety-net hospital. 2017. PMID: 28826701


  11. E. Charles Osterberg, Nynikka Palmer, Catherine Harris, Gregory Murphy, Sarah Blaschko, Carissa Chu, Matthew Cooperberg, Peter Carroll, Benjamin Breyer. MP14-02 THE NATURAL HISTORY OF MEN ON ACTIVE SURVEILLANCE WITH LOW-RISK PROSTATE CANCER AT A SAFETY-NET, COUNTY HOSPITAL. 2017. PMID:


  12. Palmer NR, Weaver KE, Hauser SP, Lawrence JA, Talton J, Case LD, Geiger AM. Disparities in barriers to follow-up care between African American and White breast cancer survivors. 2015. PMID: 25821145


  13. Beebe-Dimmer JL, Yee C, Cote ML, Petrucelli N, Palmer N, Bock C, Lane D, Agalliu I, Stefanick ML, Simon MS. Familial clustering of breast and prostate cancer and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in the Women's Health Initiative Study. 2015. PMID: 25754547


  14. Palmer NR, Kent EE, Forsythe LP, Arora NK, Rowland JH, Aziz NM, Blanch-Hartigan D, Oakley-Girvan I, Hamilton AS, Weaver KE. Racial and ethnic disparities in patient-provider communication, quality-of-care ratings, and patient activation among long-term cancer survivors. 2014. PMID: 25403220


  15. Palmer NR, Geiger AM, Lu L, Case LD, Weaver KE. Impact of rural residence on forgoing healthcare after cancer because of cost. 2013. PMID: 24097196


  16. Palmer NR, Geiger AM, Felder TM, Lu L, Case LD, Weaver KE. Racial/Ethnic disparities in health care receipt among male cancer survivors. 2013. PMID: 23678936


  17. Weaver KE, Palmer N, Lu L, Case LD, Geiger AM. Rural-urban differences in health behaviors and implications for health status among US cancer survivors. 2013. PMID: 23677333


  18. Palmer NR, Bartholomew LK, McCurdy SA, Basen-Engquist KM, Naik AD. Transitioning from active treatment: colorectal cancer survivors' health promotion goals. 2012. PMID: 23089464


  19. Palmer NR, Tooze JA, Turner AR, Xu J, Avis NE. African American prostate cancer survivors' treatment decision-making and quality of life. 2012. PMID: 22940374


  20. Naik AD, Palmer N, Petersen NJ, Street RL, Rao R, Suarez-Almazor M, Haidet P. Comparative effectiveness of goal setting in diabetes mellitus group clinics: randomized clinical trial. 2011. PMID: 21403042


  21. Felder TM, Palmer NR, Lal LS, Mullen PD. What is the evidence for pharmaceutical patient assistance programs? A systematic review. 2011. PMID: 21317504