October 11, 2013
Dr. Sunmin Lee and co-principal investigator Dr. Cheryl L. Holt received a CDC grant to understand colorectal cancer screening behaviors among Chinese and Korean Americans.
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September 19, 2013
Dr. Sunmin Lee was awarded a NIH research grant to improve quality of life among Korean women with breast cancer.
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May 24, 2013
Our photonovels were featured in Public Health Perspectives, a Public Library of Science blog that focuses on pressing public health issues.
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September 4, 2012
Dr. Sunmin Lee has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure for her exceptional teaching, research, and service.
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July 31, 2012
Dr. Sunmin Lee was recognized as an outstanding poster winner at the 2012 NCI/CRCHD Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings.

May 30, 2012
Dr. Sunmin Lee gave an Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Lecture at the National Library of Medicine.
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July 19, 2011
Dr. Sunmin Lee received an outstanding poster award at the 2011 Cancer Health Disparities Program Meeting sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
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December 14, 2010
Dr. Sunmin Lee was invited to participate in the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Research and Data Convening.
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July 28, 2010
Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC) awarded a seed grant to Dr. Sunmin Lee to conduct a pilot study to interview Chinese and Korean American breast cancer survivors, their caregivers, and oncologists to collect data on various issues these women face.
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Welcome to Dr. Sunmin Lee's Homepage!

Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of Maryland School of Public Health
2234C SPH Bldg, College Park, MD 20742
Tel: 301-405-7251; Fax: 301-314-9366
Email: sunmin at

ScD, Harvard School of Public Health
MPH, Seoul National University
BA, Seoul National University
Research Interests
Please refer to Maryland Asian American Health Studies for more information on Research Interests.
Health Disparities Studies Focusing on Asian American Health

My research in this area explores various health problems and challenges that Asian Americans face as a minority group, and works to propose potential recommendations that may contribute to reducing health disparities. My current research projects include 'Behavioral Intervention to Reduce Breast Cancer Disparity among Underserved Korean Women' (funded by the National Cancer Institute), 'Understanding Colorectal Cancer Screening among Chinese and Korean Americans' (funded by the CDC), and 'Lay Health Worker Model to Reduce Liver Cancer Disparity' (funded by the National Cancer Institute). All of these projects have been carried out through close partnerships with various Asian American communities in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit Maryland Asian American Health Studies.

Social Determinants of Health
My research focuses on how various social factors influence health. I have examined the effects of job and caregiving stress, marital transitions, and socioeconomic status on cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline in elderly using cohort studies. My recent work focuses on investigating multilevel (individual-, neighborhood-, and school-level) predictors of adolescent obesity trends using longitudinal data.
EPIB 622 Social Determinants of Health (Fall)
EPIB 611 Intermediate Epidemiology (Spring)
For more course information, please visit the department website.
Selected Publication
Juon HS, Lee S, Kirk G, Bowie J, Rimal R. Effect of culturally-tailored liver cancer education program on hepatitis B screening behavior and knowledge in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese: A randomized controlled trial. Prev Chronic Dis. In press.
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 predictors of physical activity for early, mid, and late adolescent girls. J Phys Act Health. 9(8), 2013.
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 E. 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 in Maryland. J Community Health. 37(3):539-546, 2012.
Chae DH, Lee S, Lincoln KD. 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 Med 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 Infectious Diseases. 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.
Under Review
Kim J, Cha S, Kawachi I, Lee S. Does retirement promote healthy behaviors in Korean young elderly? Under Review.
Lee S, Tan Y, Lu X, Ma XS, Bui L, and Ma GX. Factors associated with hepatitis C knowledge before and after an educational intervention among Vietnamese Americans. Under Review.
Ma GX, Tan Y, Jung M, Ma XS, Toubbeh J, Ma X, Lee S. Factors associated with hepatitis C screening behaviors and infection status among Vietnamese Americans. Under Review.
Martinez-Garcia G, Atkinson N, Carter-Pokras O, Lee S, Portnoy B, Sawyer R. Pregnancy wantedness among Latino adolescents. Under Review.
Kanamori M, Carter-Pokras O, Madhavan S, Feldman R, He X, Lee S. Overweight among orphan and vulnerable child caregivers in 3 Southern African countries: An emerging public health concern. Under Review.
Kanamori M, Carter-Pokras O, Madhavan S, Feldman R, He X, Lee S. The intersection among orphan and vulnerable child caregiving, household wealth disparities and women’s overweight status in three Southern African countries: A cross sectional study. Under Review.
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. Under Review.
Current Advisees
Allison O'Neill (PhD)
Xiaoxiao Lu (PhD)
Mary Jung (PhD)
Kelly Verdin (MPH)
Diane Ng (MPH)