Dr. Sunmin Lee's photo
Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Director of Community Outreach and Engagement within the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center
Other Affiliations: UMB Epidemiology and Public Health
Campus: UMD | Building: School of Public Health | Room: 2234C
Phone: (301) 405-7251 |
Maryland Asian American Health Studies
Office Hours: 

Office hours by appointment.


Dr. Sunmin Lee is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, in the University of Maryland School of Public Health and Director of the Maryland Asian American Health Studies Lab.  She is a member of University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center and serves as Director of the Community Outreach and Engagement. Dr. Lee holds a secondary appointment  in the Department or Epidemiology and Public Health at University of Maryland, School of Medicine.   

Dr. Lee is a social epidemiologist with a main research interest in 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 and implement randomized controlled trials that are culturally and linguistically appropriate to reduce heath disparities. Dr. Lee has conducted epidemiologic studies examining effect of acculturation on immigrants’ health and led or participated in multiple NIH- and CDC-funded studies to increase colorectal cancer screening, hepatitis B screening and vaccination, and improve breast cancer survivorship among Asian Americans. 

Currently, Dr. Lee leads an NIH-funded R01 study to increase colorectal cancer screening among Chinese and Korean Americans using shared decision making approach. More details on current and past projects can be found here.


Education and Training

ScD, Social Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health

MPH, Health Policy, Seoul National University

BA, English Literature, Seoul National University


EPIB 622: Social Determinants of Health (Syllabus)


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. 2018. In Press.

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. 2018. In Press.

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.