Dr. Yingxi (Cimo) Chen earned her medical degree in 2011 from Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, and an M.P.H. and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Australian National University, Canberra, in 2013 and 2017, respectively. She joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch as a Cancer Research Training Award postdoctoral fellow in 2017. In 2020, she transitioned to a staff scientist in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch. She has received several awards, including the NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, NCI Director's Award, NIH Summer Research Mentor Awards, 2022 Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Service to America, and 2023 NCI Director's Innovation Career Development Award.
Currently, she serves as a commissioner at the Montgomery County Commission on Health where she works with underserved communities facing health vulnerabilities.
Dr. Chen is a clinical epidemiologist who uses innovative descriptive methods and longitudinal approaches to investigate factors contributing to health disparities. Leveraging macro-level data and geographic information, Dr. Chen’s descriptive work aims to identify high-risk populations and explore macro-level factors contributing to population-level disparities. Guided by descriptive evidence, Chen uses well-powered longitudinal studies to investigate factors driving the observed disparities, focusing on the role of social determinants of health. Her research goal is to identify at-risk populations and individuals and provide evidence for tailored interventions to advance health equity.
Social Determinants of Health
Dr. Chen’s research has shown how social determinants and geographic inequalities play key roles in health disparities among diverse racial and ethnic populations. These results lead to questions about how social determinants influence health outcomes directly and indirectly, both at individual and population levels. Leveraging open-source data and well-powered longitudinal studies, Dr. Chen aims to investigate the effects of social determinants on cancer susceptibility and disease risk factors, considering the interplay between genetic background, biological vulnerabilities, environment, lifestyle and behavior factors, and geolocation.