Jasmin A. Tiro, PhD, MPH, has joined the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center as the new Associate Director of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. Dr. Tiro was formerly Professor of Population and Data Sciences at Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. She also served as Associate Director for Community Outreach, Engagement, and Equity. Dr. Tiro succeeds Habibul Ahsan, MBBS, MMedSc, Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Health Studies, Medicine, and Human Genetics, who has served in the role since December 2006 and is stepping down to focus his efforts as Director of the University of Chicago Institute for Population and Precision Health, which he founded in 2018.
Jasmin A. Tiro, PhD, MPH
Habibul Ahsan, MBBS, MMedSc
As a behavioral scientist focused on cancer care delivery research, Dr. Tiro identifies multilevel determinants of cancer prevention and early detection behaviors and develops, tests, and implements interventions that improve health outcomes for underserved patients seen by urban safety-net health-care systems. She will expand the program’s strengths beyond environmental and genetic epidemiology to design and implement health behavior interventions that address well-documented disparities on the South Side of Chicago. Specifically, she is focused on developing and testing interventions to increase uptake of the human papillomavirus vaccine among adolescents.
Fighting Vaccine Hesitancy
More recently, Dr. Tiro has expanded her research program to study the spread of misinformation and to promote effective community-engaged strategies to build trust with populations suspicious of new medical technologies. Vaccine hesitancy and the resulting poor uptake of vaccines were named one of the top 10 global health threats in 2019, and the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted this growing problem.
Another research focus is on cervical cancer screening, through a grant from the National Cancer Institute Population-Based Research to Optimize the Screening Process (PROSPR) Consortium. Together with collaborators at Mass General, Brigham, and Kaiser Permanente Washington, Dr. Tiro is exploring how the complex risk-based guidelines are implemented in diverse clinical settings.