Sunmin Lee ScD,MPH

picture of Sunmin  Lee

Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Medicine
School of Medicine

Co-Leader, Cancer Control Program, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sc.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Social Epidemiology
M.P.H., Seoul National University, Health Policy
B.A., Seoul National University, English

Phone: (301) 955-6044

University of California, Irvine

Mail Code: 4061
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Social Epidemiology, Health Disparities, Minority & Immigrant Health, Cancer Prevention and Screening, Sleep Health, Alzheimer's Disease, Community-Based Participatory Research, Mixed-Methods Research, Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)
Research Abstract
Dr. Lee is trained in social epidemiology and her research focuses on reducing health disparities among racial/ethnic minority populations, especially among Asian Americans. She has incorporated both quantitative and qualitative research methods and has conducted both epidemiologic and intervention studies, to comprehensively examine the etiologies of health disparities and design, implement, and evaluate randomized controlled trials that are culturally and linguistically appropriate to reduce health disparities.

Currently, Dr. Lee is conducting the following research projects:
1. An R01 study to investigate longitudinal associations between immigrant stressors and sleep health and its impact on cardiometabolic health of Asian immigrants.

2. An R01 RCT study to increase colorectal cancer screening among Chinese and Korean Americans using shared decision making approach.

3. An R01 Supplement to investigate disparities in cancer screening among people with and without ADRD

4. Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center funded study to examine factors associated with stomach cancer and Helicobacter Pylori testing among Asian Americans.
Short Biography
Dr. Sunmin Lee is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, in the School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine. Dr. Lee is also a Co-Leader of Cancer Control Program, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Before joining to UCI in March 2020, she worked at University of Maryland School of Public Health for 14 years. Dr. Lee also served as a Director for Community Outreach and Engagement at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Lee received her doctoral degree in Social Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health, and completed her post-doctoral training at Channing Laboratory at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Lee currently serves as a standing member at the NIH's Health Promotion in Communities study section.
Morey BN, Valencia C, Lee S. Correlates of Undiagnosed Hypertension among Chinese and Korean American Immigrants. J Comm Health. In Press.
Lee S, Ryu S, Lee GE, Kawachi I, Morey B, Slopen N. Acculturative stress and sleep among Asian Americans. SLEEP. In Press
Ryu S, Slopen N, Ogbenna BT, Lee S. Acculturation and Sleep outcomes in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions – III. Sleep Health. 2021. In Press.
Morey B, Valencia C, Lee S. Acculturation and colorectal cancer screening knowledge and attitude among Asian Americans. J Cancer Edu. 2021. In Press.
Jung MY, Slopen N, He X, Thomas SB, Juon HS, Lee S. Racial Discrimination and Health-Related Quality of Life: An Examination among Asian American Immigrants. J Racial Ethn Health disparities. 2021. In Press.
Morey B, Valencia C*, Park H*, Lee S§. The Central Role of Social Support in the Health of Chinese and Korean American Immigrants. Soc Sci Med. 2021. Jul 14;284:114229. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114229. Online ahead of print.PMID: 34284265
Ogbenna BT, Lee S, Ryu S, Slopen N. Discrimination and Sleep among Asians and Pacific Islanders Adults. SLEEP. 2021. In Press.
Lu XX, He X, Juon HS, Wang MQ, Dallal C, Lee S. A Longitudinal Assessment of Parental Caregiving and Bloor Pressure Trajectories: Findings from the China Health and Nutritional Survey for Women 2000-2011. J Rac Ethn Health Disparities. 8(1): 127-135. 2021. PMID: 32367445.
Tran L, Jung J, Carlin C, Lee S, Zhao C, Feldman R. Use of Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents and Survival among Medicare Beneficiaries with Dementia and Chronic Hepatitis C. J Alzheimers Dis, 2020.
Williams RM, Beck K, Lee S, Knott CL. Lung Cancer Screening Decisional Needs among African American Smokers. Ethn Health. In Press 2020.

Kim Y, Zaitsu M, Tsuno K, Li X, Lee S, Jang S, Kawachi I. Occupational Inequalities in C-Reactive Protein among Working-age Adults in South Korea. J Occup Environ Med. In Press. 2020.

Williams RM, Beck K, Butler, J, Lee S, Wang MQ, Knott CL. Development of Decisional Values Statements for Lung Cancer Screening among African American Smokers. J Cancer Educ, 1-7. 2020.

Lu XX, He X, Juon HS, Wang MQ, Dallal C, Lee S. A Longitudinal Assessment of Parental Caregiving and Blood Pressure Trajectories: Findings from the China Health and Nutrition Survey for women 2000-2011. Soc Sci Med. 240. 2019.

Jung MY, Lee S, Thomas SB, Juon HS. Hypertension Prevalence, Treatment, and Related Behaviors among Asian Americans: An Examination by Method of Measurement and disaggregated Subgroups. J Rac Ethn Health Disparities. 6(3): 584-593. 2019. PMID: 30618006.

Lu XX, Juon HS, Wang MQ, He X, Dallal C, Lee S. The Association between perceived stress and hypertension among Asian Americans: do social support and social network make a difference? J Comm Health. 44(3): 451-462. 2019. PMIDL 30604222.

Tilert T, Paulso-Ram R, Howard D, Butler J, Lee S, Wang MQ. Prevalence and factors associated with self-reported chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults aged 40-79: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2012. EC Pulmonol Respir Med. 7(9):650-662, 2018. PMID: 30294723; PMCID: PMC 6169793.

O'Neill AH, Beck K, Chae HD, Dyer T, He Xin, Lee S. The pathway from childhood maltreatment to adulthood obesity: the role of medicaion by adolescent depressive symptoms and BMI. J Adolescence. 67:22-30, 2018.

Juon HS, Guo J, Kim J, Lee S. Predictors of colorectal cancer screening among Asian Americans aged 50-75 years old. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 5(3):545-552, 2018.

Juon HS, Rimal R, Lee S. Social Norms, Family Communication, and Hepatitis B Screening among Asian Americans. J Health Comm. 22(12):981-989, 2017.

Jung MY, Holt CL, Ng D, Sim H, Lu XX, Le D, Juon HS, Li J, Lee S. Chinese and Korean American immigrant experience: A mixed-methods examination of facilitators and barriers of colorectal cancer screening. Ethn Health. 25:1-20, 2017.

Juon HS, Kim F, Strong C, Park E, Lee S. Hepatitis B virus infection and exposure among non-native Chinese-, Korean-, and Vietnamese Americans in the Baltimore Washington metropolitan area. Hepatitis Monthly. 17(1): e43018, 2017.

Lu X, Juon HS, Lee S. Do recommendations by healthcare providers, family-members, friends, and individual self-efficacy increase uptake of hepatitis B screening? Results of a population-based study of Asian Americans. Int J MCH AIDS. 6(1), 9-18, 2017.

Lu X, Holt CL, Chen JC, Le D, Chen J, Kim G-Y, Li J, Lee S. Is colorectal cancer a Western disease? Role of knowledge and influence of misconception on colorectal cancer screening among Chinese and Korean Americans: A mixed methods study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 17(11): 4885-4892, 2016.

Lu X, Sim HJ, Juon HS, Lee S. Hypertension among Asian Americans: Associations with measures of acculturation. Am J Health Stud. 31(3): 132-142, 2016.

Lee S, Chae DH, Jung MY, Chen L, Juon HS. Health examination is not a priority for less acculturated Asian Americans. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 1-10, 2016.

Jaschek G, Carter-Pokras OD, He X, Lee S, Canino G. Association of types of life events with depressive symptoms among Puerto Rican youth. PLoS ONE. 11(10): e0164852, 2016.

Jaschek G, Carter-Pokras O, He X, Lee S, Canino G. Association of child maltreatment and depressive symptoms among Puerto Rican youth. Child Abuse Negl. 58: 63-71, 2016.

Juon HS, Strong C, Kim F, Park E, Lee S. Lay health worker intervention improved compliance with hepatitis B vaccination in Asian Americans: Randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE. 11(9), e0162683. 2016.

Kim J, Cha S, Kawachi I, Lee S. Does retirement promote healthy behaviors in Korean young elderly? J Behav Health. 5(2): 45-54, 2016.

Young DR, Lee S, Kuo J, Saksvig BI. Co-occurring social and dietary health-promoting behaviors and physical activity among high school girls. Health Behav Policy Rev. 3(1): 3-12, 2016.

Lee S, Zhai S, Zhang G, Ma XS, Lu X, Tan Y, Siu P, Seals B, and Ma GX. Factors associatedwith Hepatitis C knowledge before and after an educational intervention among Vietnamese Americans. Clin Med Insights: Gastroenterol. 29(8):45-53, 2015.

Kanamori M, Carter-Pokras O, Madhavan S, Feldman R, He X, Lee S. Overweight status of the primary caregivers of orphan and vulnerable children in 3 Southern African countries: A cross sectional study. BMC Public Health. 15:757, 2015.

Ma GX, Tan Y, Jung M, Ma XS, Toubbeh J, Ma X. and Lee S. Factors associated with hepatitis C screening behaviors and infection status among Vietnamese Americans. Am J Health Behav. 39(5): 640-51, 2015.

Kanamori M, Carter-Pokras O, Madhavan S, Lee S, He X, Feldman R. Association between orphan and vulnerable child caregiving, household wealth disparities, and women's overweight status in three southern African countries participating in demographic health surveys. Matern Child Health J. 19(8):1662-71, 2015.

Martinez-Garcia G, Atkinson N, Carter-Pokras O, Portnoy B, Lee S. Do Latino youth really want to get pregnant? Assessing pregnancy wantedness among male and female Latino youth. Am J Sex Educ. 9(3):329-346, 2014.

Lee S, Kim D. Acculturation and self-rated health among foreign women in Korea. Health and Social Welfare Review. 34(2): 453-482, 2014

Kanamori M, Carter-Pokras O, Madhavan S, Feldman R, He X, Lee S. Orphan/vulnerable child caregiving moderates the association between women’s autonomy and their BMI in three African countries. AIDS Care. 3:1-10, 2014.

Juon HS, Lee S, Kirk G, Bowie J, Rimal R. Effect of a liver cancer education program on hepatitis B screening among Asian Americans in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, 2009-2010. Prev Chronic Dis. 11:130258, 2014.

Lee S, Chen L, Jung MY, Baezconde-Garbanati L, Juon HS. Acculturation and cancer screening among Asian Americans: Role of health insurance and having a regular physician. J Community Health. 39(2):201-12, 2014.

Young DR, Saksvig BI, Wu TT, Zook K, Li X, Champaloux S, Grieser M, Lee S, Treuth M. Multilevel correlates of physical activity for early, mid, and late adolescent girls. J Phys Act Health. 11(5), 2014.

Ihara ES, Chae DH, Cummings J, Lee S. Correlates of mental health service use and type among Asian Americans. Admin Pol Ment Health. 1-9, 2013.

Lee S, Yoon H, Chen L, Juon HS. Culturally tailored photonovel development for hepatitis B prevention in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese American communities in Maryland. Health Educ Behav. 40(6): 694-703, 2013.

Lee S, O’Neill A, Ihara ES, Chae DH. Change in self-reported health status among immigrants in the United States: Associations with measures of acculturation. PLos ONE. 8(10): e76494, 2013.

Lee S, Chen L, Ma GX, Fang CY, Oh Y, Scully L. Challenges and needs of Chinese and Korean American breast cancer survivors: In-depth interviews. N Am J Med Sci (Boston). 6(1):1-8, 2013.

Lee S, Chen L, He X, Miller MJ, Juon HS. A cluster analytic examination of acculturation and health status among Asian Americans in the Washington DC metropolitan area, United States. Soc Sci Med. 96:17-23, 2013.

O’Neill A, Lee S, Yan A, Voorhees CC. Association between weather and physical activity in Baltimore teens. Environ Behav. 45(1):138-151, 2013.

Clough J, Lee S, Chae DH. Barriers to health care among Asian immigrants in the United States: A traditional review. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 24(1):384-403, 2013.

Tanaka M, Strong C, Lee S, Juon HS. Influence of information sources on hepatitis B screening behavior and relevant psychosocial factors among Asian immigrants. J Immigr Minor Health. 15(4):779-87, 2013.

Lee S, Young DR, Pratt CA, Jobe JB, Chae SE, McMurray RG, Johnson CC, Going SB, Elder JP, Stevens J. Effects of parents' employment status on changes in body mass index and percent body fat in adolescent girls. Child Obes. 8(6):526-32, 2012.

Ma GX, Gao W, Lee S, Wang MQ, Tan Y, Shive SE. Health seeking behavioral analysis associated with breast cancer screening among Asian American women. Int J Women Health. 4:235-243, 2012.

Lee S, Chen L, Ma GX, Fang CY. What is lacking in patient-physician communication: Perspectives from Asian American breast cancer patients and oncologists. J Behav Health. 1(2):102-109, 2012.

Strong C, Lee S, Tanaka M, Juon HS. Ethnic differences in prevalence and barriers to HBV screening and vaccination among Asian Americans. J Community Health . 37(5):1071-80, 2012.

Lee S, O’Neill A, Park J, Scully L, Shenassa ED. Health insurance moderates the association between length of stay and health in legal immigrants. J Immigr Minor Health. 14(2):345-349, 2012.

Chen L, Juon HS, Lee S. Acculturation and BMI among Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese adults. J Community Health. 37(3):539-546, 2012.

Chae DH, Lee S, Lincoln KD, Ihara ES. Discrimination, family relations, and major depression among Asian Americans. J Immigr Minor Health. 14(3):361-70, 2012.

Philbin MM, Erby LAH, Lee S, Joun HS. hepatitis B and liver cancer among three Asian American sub-groups: A focus group inquiry. J Immigr Minor Health. 14(5):858-68, 2012.

Lee S, Ma GX, Juon HS, Martinez G, Hsu CE, Bawa J. Assessing the needs and guiding the future: Findings from the health needs assessment in 13 Asian American communities of Maryland in the United States. J Immigr Minor Health. 13(2):395-401, 2011.

Ma GX, Lee S, Wang M, Tan Y, Gao W, Ma X, Lai P, Toubbeh JI. Role of sociocultural factors in hepatitis B screening among Asian Americans. South Medi J. 104(7):466-72, 2011.

Ayers JW, Juon HS, Lee S, Park E. Hepatitis B vaccination prevalence and its predictors among Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and multiracial groups in NHANES. J Immigr Minor Health. 12(6):847-52, 2010.

Choi KS, Lee S, Park EC, Kwak MS, Spring B, Juon HS. Low rates of breast cancer screening in Korean women compared with Korean American women and White women. J Women Health. 19(6):1089-1096, 2010.

Lee S, Martinez G, Ma GX, Hsu CE, Robinson ES, Bawa J, Juon HS. Access barriers and health care in 13 Asian American communities. Am J Health Behav. 34(1):21-30, 2010.

Lee S, Juon HS, Martinez G, Hsu CE, Robinson ES, Bawa J, Ma GX. Model minority at risk: Expressed needs of mental health by Asian American youth. J Commun Health. (34):144-152, 2009.

Juon HS, Choi KS, Park EC, Kawk MS, Lee S. Hepatitis B vaccinations among Koreans: Results from 2005 Korea National Cancer Screening Survey. BMC Infect Dis. 25(9):185, 2009.

Lee S, Martinez G, Hsu CE, and Maryland Asian American Health Solutions. Asian American Health Priority: Strengths, Needs and Opportunities for Action: A study of Montgomery County, MD, 2008. Asian American Health Initiative, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland. 2008.

Tworoger SS, Lee S, Schernhammer ES, Grodstein F. The association of sleep duration, difficulty sleeping, and snoring with cognitive function in older women. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 20(1):41-48, 2006.

Lee S, Buring JE, Cook NR, Grodstein F. The relation of education and income to cognitive function among professional women. Neuroepidemiology. 26(2):93-101, 2006.

Lee S, Cho E, Grodstein F, Kawachi I, Hu FB, Colditz GA. The effects of marital transition on changes in dietary and other health behaviors. Int J Epidemiol. 34(1):69-78, 2005.

Lee S, Kawachi I, Grodstein F. Does caregiving stress affect cognitive function in older women? J Nerv Ment Dis. 192(1):51-57, 2004.

Lee S, Colditz GA, Berkman LF, Kawachi I. Prospective study of job insecurity and coronary heart disease among US women. Ann Epidemiol. 14(1):24-30, 2004.

Lee S, Colditz GA, Berkman LF, Kawachi I. Prospective study of caregiving to non-ill children and grandchildren and coronary heart disease among US women. Am J Public Health. 93(11):1939-1944, 2003.

Lee S, Kawachi I, Berkman LF, Grodstein F. Education, other socioeconomic indicators, and cognitive function in older women. Am J Epidemiol. 157:712-720, 2003.

Lee S, Colditz GA, Berkman LF, Kawachi I. Prospective study of caregiving and coronary heart disease among US women. Am J Prev Med. 24(2):113-119, 2003.

Lee S, Colditz GA, Berkman LF, Kawachi I. Prospective study of job strain and coronary heart disease among US women. Int J Epidemiol. 31:1147-1153, 2002.
R01MD015186 (NIH): Sleep and health disparities among Asian Americans: roles of stressors and protective factors
R01MD012778 (NIH): Culturally adapted multilevel decision support navigation trial to reduce colorectal cancer disparity among at-risk Asian American primary care patients
R01MD012778-05S1 (NIH): Disparities in cancer screening among people with and without ADRD
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center: Factors associated with Helicobacter Pylori screening and treatment among high-risk Asians in Orange County: Mixed-Methods Study
Research Centers
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
UCI MIND: Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders
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