In This Section

Grace X. Ma, PhD

Associate Dean, Health Disparities
Director, Center for Asian Health
Laura H. Carnell Professor
Professor, Clinical Sciences

Grace Ma
Contact Information

Contact Information



About Me

Research Interests

  • Behavioral Health Intervention Trials
  • Health Disparities Research  
  • Cancer Prevention and Control
  • Tobacco Control and Lung Cancer
  • Chronic Disease Intervention (Diabetes and Hypertension)
  • Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Perception, Risk and Protective Factors of Health Behaviors
  • Global or International Health (China, Vietnam, South Korea)
  • Translational Research


Grace X. Ma, PhD is Associate Dean for Health Disparities, Founding Director of Center for Asian Health, Laura H. Carnell Professor and Professor in Clinical Sciences at Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University. Dr. Ma is a nationally recognized behavioral health scientist and leader in health disparities research. Her community-based participatory research (CBPR) and patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) focus on early detection, patient navigation, cancer prevention and control (Hepatitis liver cancer, cervical, breast, lung and colorectal cancers), chronic diseases (Hypertension and Diabetes), smoking cessation, and access/quality of healthcare in underserved Asian Pacific American, African American and other diverse health disparity populations.

In 2000, Dr. Ma established Temple University Center for Asian Health (CAH), one of the first in the nation dedicated to reducing cancer and health disparities among underserved Asian Americans funded by NIH National Cancer Institute. Dr. Ma in partnership with community leaders co-founded the first Asian Community Cancer Coalition and Cancer Health Disparity Network in the U.S. Eastern Region, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City, Delaware and DC/Maryland. 

Over the past 24 years, Dr. Ma has received continuous funding awards from the National Institutes of Health. As the Principal Investigator of NIH/NCI-funded Cancer Health Disparity Center grants (U54s, U01s) since 2000, Dr. Ma has led regional networks of cancer health disparity research, education/training and community engagement. Dr. Ma established an innovative model for reducing health disparities and advancing health equity in underserved populations. She has directed more than 95 intervention or observational longitudinal research studies, including large-scale randomized intervention trials, implementation and dissemination studies at worksites, community health centers, primary care clinics, community-based organizations and churches (NIH-funded R01s, R24s). She was also PI for CDC-funded project, Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)” and PI for PCORI funded A Comparative Trial of Improving Care for Underserved Asian Americans Infected with HBV. Dr. Ma is the MPI for Unpacking Mechanisms of Disparities for HIV-related Hypertension in African Am and Asian Pacific Am MSM (RO1, NIH). Dr. Ma also conducted a number of studies focusing on multilevel risk factors and viral related diseases, evidence-based interventions for improving screening, vaccination, disease management, medication adherence, quality of life and continuum of care in underserved Asian Pacific Americans and African American populations.

She is an author of 5 books, over 180 peer-reviewed publications and delivered over 630 professional presentations at regional, national and international conferences. She has trained and mentored over 200 minority trainees, that created a pipeline of diverse researchers and health professionals to conduct health disparity research in underserved ethnic populations and communities.

Dr. Ma has served on numerous scientific advisory boards and NIH study sections, and NIMHD-NIH national Health Disparity Science Vision Advisory Panel. She serves on national and state health disparity advisory boards and an active member of American Public Health Association, American Association for Cancer Research, and journal editorial boards. Dr. Ma, a recognized visionary leader, has received numerous distinguished awards from NIH, academic institutions, scientific associations, and community organizations.

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • PhD, Medical Anthropology (Ethnic Community Health), University of Oklahoma
  • MS, Mental Health, University of Oklahoma
  • BA, Xian International Studies University

Honors & Awards

  • Named a Trailblazer in Philly’s Healthcare Revolution – Philadelphia Magazine, May 2020
  • President’s Award for Public Impact Research, Temple University 2020
  • Yamasaki Prize Medal for Visionary Leadership, College of William & Mary, 2019
  • Designated History Maker in Minority Health and Health Disparity Research, NIH National Institute of Minority Health and Disparities, 2019
  • Partnership Award by Nanjing Cancer Survivors Association, China, 2010
  • Outstanding Scientific Publication Award, National Cancer Institute-CRCHD, NIH, 2009 
  • Outstanding Health Leadership Award, Chinese Community Center, Inc. NYC, 2009 
  • Distinguished Asian Health Leader Award, Penn Asian Senior Services, 2008 
  • Martin Luther King Award in Reducing Health Disparities Award, National Institutes of Health (NIH), 2005 
  • Community Healthcare Leadership Award, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 2004           
  • National Cancer Institute’s Atlantic Region Cancer Information Service award, 2001

Digital Bibliography

View PubMed Publications

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