Tomi Akinyemiju
Instructor in the Department of Population Health Sciences

Area of Expertise: Epidemiology

Dr. Akinyemiju is a social and molecular cancer epidemiologist with expertise in epidemiologic methods, translational research, health disparities and global health.  Her research interests focus on identifying the impact of social (such as access to healthcare) and biological factors (such as metabolic dysregulation), on cancer related risk, tumor aggressiveness and survival. She has a specific interest in understanding the causes of cancer disparities among women of African descent in the US and sub-Saharan Africa, given their significantly higher risk of aggressive cancer subtypes relative to other racial groups. To achieve these research aims, she utilizes data from population-based cancer registries, administrative claims, and existing cohort studies. Dr. Akinyemiju also leads several primary epidemiologic research studies. She is the PI of a case-control study of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and healthy women in Nigeria designed to elucidate the impact of metabolic dysregulation, highly prevalent due to the epidemiologic transition, on hormone-receptor negative breast cancer subtypes and associated epigenetic mechanisms. In addition, Dr. Akinyemiju leads an R01 study designed to characterize racial differences across multiple healthcare access dimensions among US ovarian cancer patients, and evaluate the impact of differential healthcare on quality of initial and supportive treatment, and quality of life. A parallel line of research focuses on identifying lifestyle intervention strategies to improve metabolic health among breast cancer patients as a mortality prevention strategy. Dr. Akinyemiju is also passionate about promoting inclusion and diversity in research, teaching and service, and serves as the Director for Inclusion and Diversity at the Duke University Department of Population Health Sciences. 

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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