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Jonine Figueroa, senior investigator, ITEB

Jonine Figueroa, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Senior Investigator

NCI Shady Grove | Room 7E202


Jonine Figueroa received a B.S. in genetics and developmental biology from the Pennsylvania State University, State College, a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and microbiology from Stony Brook University,  and an M.P.H. from Columbia University, both in New York. Most recently, Dr. Figueroa was tenured Professor and Chair of Molecular Epidemiology and Global Cancer Prevention at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, where she is an Honorary Fellow. She completed her postdoctoral training in DCEG as an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow and was promoted to a tenure-track investigator position before leaving for the United Kingdom.  

Dr. Figueroa is the first researcher selected through the DCEG pilot of the Multi-Principal Investigator Search (MPIS). She has also been selected for the NIH Distinguished Scholars Program.   

Research Interests

Dr. Figueroa is an internationally recognized expert in breast cancer epidemiology. As a leader of integrative molecular epidemiologic research with a focus on global health, she investigates risk factors associated with breast cancer incidence and mortality in diverse populations.  

Health Equity: DCEG's Commitment to Research to Improve Cancer Health Outcomes for All

Breast Cancer in Africa

At DCEG, she was co-principal investigator of the Ghana Breast Health Study, leading the fieldwork, mentoring international colleagues, and building capacity for biospecimen collection to conduct molecular epidemiology studies in low-resource settings. The landmark study is identifying risk factors for different subtypes of breast cancer and will help inform public health strategies for prevention in Africa and African ancestry populations.

Molecular Epidemiology of Breast Cancer

To improve outcomes and address cancer inequities, Dr. Figueroa’s research aims to understand the interplay of biological, environmental, and socioeconomic determinants in cancer epidemiology studies. In Scotland, she investigated whether inequities exist in breast cancer incidence and survival, based on a deprivation index that integrated socioeconomic measures including income, healthcare access, crime, and education. This research showed that incidence of screen-detected, hormone-driven breast cancers was lower in groups with lower socioeconomic status than those with higher socioeconomic status. She also showed that deprivation had different magnitudes of association with survival depending on the molecular subtype of breast cancer.

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