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National Minority Health Month Spotlight: PACHE Researcher Ming-Chin Yeh, PhD

, by CRCHD Staff

Dr. Ming-Chin Yeh

Ming-Chin Yeh, PhD

For National Minority Health Month, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) will feature CRCHD-supported researchers working in cancer and cancer health disparities research. This spotlight is a conversation with Ming-Chin Yeh, PhD, Associate Professor, Nutrition Program, Hunter College. Dr. Yeh’s research is supported by a CRCHD Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE) U54 partnership between Hunter College and Temple University/Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Expanding His Nutrition Research to Study and Blunt Cancer Disparities

What inspired your interest in cancer research?

Eating healthy and being active are keys to prevent many cancers. However, I was often surprised to see that information on mundane topics such as nutrition food labels and how to read them were foreign to Chinese American community residents. The desire to blunt the effect of health disparities sparked my interest in cancer research.

Would you briefly describe your current research?

My most recent research is NCI CRCHD-funded U54 cancer health disparities research with colleagues at Temple University/Fox Chase Cancer Center. I am a Co-Leader of the partnership’s Community Outreach Core. The main goal of the Community Outreach Core is to strengthen community engagement in outreach, research and cancer control through effective community cancer education initiatives and outreach activities to reduce cancer disparities among underserved African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Hispanic populations in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-New York City region.

I hope my research combining nutrition, lifestyle interventions and community engagement and collaboration will help alleviate cancer health disparities in the future. —Dr. Yeh
What has your experience been like participating in CRCHD’s Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE) program?

I was trained as a nutritionist in the areas of nutrition education and public health nutrition. Participating in CRCHD’s PACHE program allows me to expand my research to cancer health disparities in minority populations. In addition, the opportunity to collaborate with renowned researchers in different aspects of cancer research—from lab/basic science to population-based research—is phenomenal. I am very grateful for this wonderful experience.

Is there anything that you would like to share about your research or career path with underrepresented students and trainees?

Doing research can be unglamorous or frustrating at times. You will just keep going at it. But when the opportunity knocks, be sure you are ready for it.

Is there any overlap between your research and this year’s theme for National Minority Health Month—Active & Healthy?

In addition to cancer-related research, one of my main research interests is in obesity and diabetes prevention and management among multi-ethnic populations. Specifically, building on the success of a prior NIH R34 pilot project exploring the translation of diabetes prevention program (DPP) for Chinese immigrants, I am currently the PI of an NIH-funded project that investigates an online DPP curriculum for diabetes prevention in Chinese Americans.

Is there anything else you would like to share or you think would be helpful to know about you or your career path?

I hope my research combining nutrition, lifestyle interventions and community engagement and collaboration will help alleviate cancer health disparities in the future.

Visit the PACHE webpage to learn more about the program.

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