Parisa Tehranifar

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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 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. She is also working on integration of mammographic density in clinical risk assessment. Dr. Tehranifar's current research is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. She is the Director of the Executive MS in Epidemiology Program and teaches a course on applied epidemiologic research methods within this program.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Epidemiology at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Director, Executive MS program in epidemiology

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MPH, 1996 Hunter College, City University of New York
  • DrPH, 2004 Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Fellowship: 2009 Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health


Selected Publications

  1. Pacsi-Sepulveda AL, Shelton RC, Rodriguez CB, Coq AT, Tehranifar P. "You probably can't feel as safe as normal women": Hispanic women's reactions to breast density notification. Cancer. 2019 Jun 15;125(12):2049-2056. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32002. PMID: 30768781
  2. Tehranifar P. Rodriguez CB, April-Sanders A, Schmitt K, Desperito E. Migration history, language acculturation and mammographic breast Density. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarker Prevention. 2018 Feb 23. pii: cebp.0885.2017. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0885
  3. 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 Oct;26(10):1393-403. doi: 10.1007/s10552-015-0630-4. PMID: 26169301
  4. 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. doi: 10.1007/s10552-016-0729-2. PMID: 26970741
  5. 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. 2009 Oct;18(10):2701-8. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0305. PMID: 19789367