Margaret S. Pichardo, MPH

Margaret S. Pichardo, MPH

MD/PhD Candidate
Howard College of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health
Washington, DC and New Haven, Connecticut 

I’m an MD student at Howard College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and a PhD candidate at the Yale School of Public Health. My research extends across the cancer continuum, from cancer prevention to survivorship, and incorporates multidisciplinary research approaches in medicine, epidemiology and the social sciences.

I study the link between energy balance (i.e. diet, physical activity, and obesity) and obesity-related cancers and how structural inequities influence this relationship among people of color. I’m interested in how structural racism, measured by economic and residential segregation, affect individual’s ability to achieve healthy lifestyle behaviors and consequently, impacts the risk for cancer development, progression and mortality. My ultimate goal is to engage in translational public health research where population-level and qualitative data can be used to identify structural and interpersonal modifiable risk factors to inform interventions that improve cancer outcomes both in the clinic and community settings. Through this lens, my goal is to shift the perspective from a model that places the onus on the individual to adopt healthy lifestyles to a model that identifies upstream factors responsible for individuals’ inability to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles.