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Jessica Islam, PhD, MPH

Program: Cancer Epidemiology

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Dr. Islam's research focuses on describing and intervening on cancer care disparities across the continuum, at the intersection of infections and cancer.  Through her research program, Dr. Islam aims to improve cancer outcomes among vulnerable populations, including racial/ethnic minorities and people living with HIV, using multi-level approaches, epidemiological methods, and an equity-focused lens.


    • Cancer Epidemiology
    • Cancer Epidemiology Program

Education & Training


  • Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina - PhD - Epidemiology
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine - MPH - Global Health


  • UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center-T32 cancer Care Quality Training Program (CCQTP), -

Jessica Y. Islam, PhD, MPH is a cancer epidemiologist and health services researcher focused on evaluating and intervening on cancer care disparities across the continuum, at the intersection of infections and cancer. Her research interests include the prevention of cancers caused by infection, disparities of treatment and outcomes among metastatic cancer patients, and disparities in cancer care of people living with HIV in the US and globally. Her research focuses on cervical cancer prevention through evaluating trends in guideline-adherent screening nationally, improving HPV vaccination uptake, and evaluating disparities in trends of HPV vaccination provider recommendation in the US. Dr. Islam’s research program also focuses on evaluating cancer care outcomes among people living with HIV (PLWH) in the US using multi-payer health insurance claims and large cancer-focused databases. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of cancer among PLWH and evaluating disparities by race/ethnicity and HIV serostatus in curative and palliative cancer treatment receipt. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Islam has developed research projects to evaluate the behavioral, mental health, and social impact of the pandemic on cancer survivors and adults with chronic diseases broadly.


  • Lund JL, Duberstein PR, Loh KP, Gilmore N, Plumb S, Lei L, Keil AP, Islam JY, Hanson LC, Giguere JK, Vogel VG, Burnette BL, Mohile SG. Life expectancy in older adults with advanced cancer: Evaluation of a geriatric assessment-based prognostic model. Geriatr Oncol. 2022 Mar.13(2):176-181. Pubmedid: 34483079. Pmcid: PMC8882125.
  • Kocarnik JM, Compton K, Dean FE, Fu W, Gaw BL, Harvey JD, Henrikson HJ, Lu D, Pennini A, Xu R, Ababneh E, Abbasi-Kangevari M, Abbastabar H, Abd-Elsalam SM, Abdoli A, Abedi A, Abidi H, Abolhassani H, Adedeji IA, Adnani QES, Advani SM, Afzal MS, Aghaali M, Ahinkorah BO, Ahmad S, Ahmad T, Ahmadi A, Ahmadi S, Ahmed Rashid T, Ahmed Salih Y, Akalu GT, Aklilu A, Akram T, Akunna CJ, Al Hamad H, Alahdab F, Al-Aly Z, Ali S, Alimohamadi Y, Alipour V, Aljunid SM, Alkhayyat M, Almasi-Hashiani A, Almasri NA, Al-Maweri SAA, Almustanyir S, Alonso N, Alvis-Guzman N, Amu H, Anbesu EW, Ancuceanu R, Ansari F, Ansari-Moghaddam A, Antwi MH, Anvari D, Anyasodor AE, Aqeel M, Arabloo J, Arab-Zozani M, Aremu O, Ariffin H, Aripov T, Arshad M, Artaman A, Arulappan J, Asemi Z, Asghari Jafarabadi M, Ashraf T, Atorkey P, Aujayeb A, Ausloos M, Awedew AF, Ayala Quintanilla BP, Ayenew T, Azab MA, Azadnajafabad S, Azari Jafari A, Azarian G, Azzam AY, Badiye AD, Bahadory S, Baig AA, Baker JL, Balakrishnan S, Banach M, Bärnighausen TW, Barone-Adesi F, Barra F, Barrow A, Behzadifar M, Belgaumi UI, Bezabhe WMM, Bezabih YM, Bhagat DS, Bhagavathula AS, Bhardwaj N, Bhardwaj P, Bhaskar S, Bhattacharyya K, Bhojaraja VS, Bibi S, Bijani A, Biondi A, Bisignano C, Bjørge T, Bleyer A, Blyuss O, Bolarinwa OA, Bolla SR, Braithwaite D, Brar A, Brenner H, Bustamante-Teixeira MT, Butt NS, Butt ZA, Caetano Dos Santos FL, Cao Y, Carreras G, Catalá-López F, Cembranel F, Cerin E, Cernigliaro A, Chakinala RC, Chattu SK, Chattu V ...
  • Giuliano AR, Pilon-Thomas S, Schell MJ, Abrahamsen M, Islam JY, Isaacs-Soriano K, Kennedy K, Dukes CW, Whiting J, Rathwell J, Hensel JA, Mangual LN, Schonbrunn E, Bikowitz M, Grassie D, Yang Y. SARS-CoV-2 Period Seroprevalence and Related Factors, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA, October 2020-March 2021. Emerg Infect Dis. 2022 Mar.28(3):556-563. Pubmedid: 35081021. Pmcid: PMC8888241.
  • Hanna K, Arredondo BL, Chavez MN, Geiss C, Hume E, Szalacha L, Christy SM, Vadaparampil S, Menon U, Islam J, Hong YR, Alishahi Tabriz A, Kue J, Turner K. Cancer Screening Among Rural and Urban Clinics During COVID-19: A Multistate Qualitative Study. JCO Oncol Pract. 2022 Mar.OP2100658. Pubmedid: 35254884.
  • Rodriguez DL, Vidot DC, Camacho-Rivera M, Islam JY. Mental Health Symptoms during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Cancer Survivors Who Endorse Cannabis: Results from the COVID-19 Cannabis Health Study. Curr Oncol. 2022 Mar.29(3):2106-2118. Pubmedid: 35323370. Pmcid: PMC8947502.
  • Turner K, Brownstein NC, Thompson Z, El Naqa I, Luo Y, Jim HSL, Rollison DE, Howard R, Zeng D, Rosenberg SA, Perez B, Saltos A, Oswald LB, Gonzalez BD, Islam JY, Alishahi Tabriz A, Zhang W, Dilling TJ. Longitudinal patient-reported outcomes and survival among early-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients receiving stereotactic body radiotherapy. Radiother Oncol. 2022 Feb.167:116-121. Pubmedid: 34953934. Pmcid: PMC8934278.
  • Islam JY, Hoppin J, Mora AM, Soto-Martinez ME, Gamboa LC, Castañeda JEP, Reich B, Lindh C, van Wendel de Joode B. Respiratory and allergic outcomes among 5-year-old children exposed to pesticides. Thorax. 2022 Feb. Pubmedid: 35210357.
  • Grabert BK, Islam JY, Mutua M, Kabare E, Manguro G, Waweru W, Mandaliya K, Shafi J, McClelland RS, Smith JS. High-Risk HPV mRNA Testing using Urine, Cervico-vaginal Self-Collected and Provider-Collected Cervical Samples among Women in Mombasa, Kenya. Sex Transm Dis. 2022 Feb. Pubmedid: 35195617.
  • Brooks E, Islam JY, Perdue DG, Petersen E, Camacho-Rivera M, Kennedy C, Rogers CR. The Black Panther, Masculinity Barriers to Medical Care, and Colorectal Cancer Screening Intention Among Unscreened American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, and White Men. Front Public Health. 2022 Apr.10:814596. Pubmedid: 35462819. Pmcid: PMC9019156.
  • Islam JY, Vidot DC, Camacho-Rivera M. Evaluating Mental Health-Related Symptoms Among Cancer Survivors During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of the COVID Impact Survey. JCO Oncol Pract. 2021 Sep.17(9):e1258-e1269. Pubmedid: 33492984. Pmcid: PMC8457802.
  • Wei L, Islam JY, Mascareno EA, Rivera A, Vidot DC, Camacho-Rivera M. Physical and Mental Health Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic among US Adults with Chronic Respiratory Conditions. J Clin Med. 2021 Sep.10(17). Pubmedid: 34501426. Pmcid: PMC8432199.
  • Grabert BK, Islam JY, Kabare E, Vielot NA, Waweru W, Mandaliya K, Shafi J, Adala L, McClelland RS, Smith JS. Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infection using Wet and Dry Self-Collected Brush Samples among Women in Mombasa, Kenya. Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Oct. Pubmedid: 34694274. Pmcid: PMC9023596.
  • Yang X, Sun J, Patel RC, Zhang J, Guo S, Zheng Q, Olex AL, Olatosi B, Weissman SB, Islam JY, Chute CG, Haendel M, Kirk GD, Li X. Associations between HIV infection and clinical spectrum of COVID-19: a population level analysis based on US National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) data. Lancet HIV. 2021 Nov.8(11):e690-e700. Pubmedid: 34655550. Pmcid: PMC8514200.
  • Cardona S, Calixte R, Rivera A, Islam JY, Vidot DC, Camacho-Rivera M. Perceptions and Patterns of Cigarette and E-Cigarette Use among Hispanics: A Heterogeneity Analysis of the 2017-2019 Health Information National Trends Survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jun.18(12). Pubmedid: 34204687. Pmcid: PMC8296202.
  • Islam JY, Saraiya V, Previs RA, Akinyemiju T. Health Care Access Measures and Palliative Care Use by Race/Ethnicity among Metastatic Gynecological Cancer Patients in the United States. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jun.18(11). Pubmedid: 34199732. Pmcid: PMC8200023.
  • Camacho-Rivera M, Islam JY, Rodriguez DL, Vidot DC. Cannabis Use among Cancer Survivors amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results from the COVID-19 Cannabis Health Study. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jul.13(14). Pubmedid: 34298708. Pmcid: PMC8303109.
  • Sun J, Patel RC, Zheng Q, Madhira V, Olex AL, Islam JY, French E, Chiang TP, Akselrod H, Moffitt R, Alexander GC, Andersen KM, Vinson AJ, Brown TT, Chute CG, Crandall KA, Franceschini N, Mannon RB, Kirk GD. COVID-19 Disease Severity among People with HIV Infection or Solid Organ Transplant in the United States: A Nationally-representative, Multicenter, Observational Cohort Study. medRxiv. 2021 Jul. Pubmedid: 34341798. Pmcid: PMC8328066.
  • Wheldon CW, Maness SB, Islam JY, Deshmukh AA, Nyitray AG. Gay and Bisexual Men in the US Lack Basic Information About Anal Cancer. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2021 Jan.25(1):48-52. Pubmedid: 32947485. Pmcid: PMC9101414.
  • Vidot DC, Islam JY, Marlene Camacho-Rivera, Harrell MB, Rao DR, Chavez JV, Lucas G Ochoa, Hlaing WM, Weiner M, Messiah SE. The COVID-19 cannabis health study: Results from an epidemiologic assessment of adults who use cannabis for medicinal reasons in the United States. J Addict Dis. 2021 Jan.39(1):26-36. Pubmedid: 32933383.
  • Camacho-Rivera M, Islam JY, Vidot DC, Jariwala S. Prevalence and Risk Factors of COVID-19 Symptoms among U.S. Adults with Allergies. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb.18(5). Pubmedid: 33668246. Pmcid: PMC7967666.
  • Islam JY, Vidot DC, Camacho-Rivera M. Determinants of COVID-19 preventive behaviours among adults with chronic diseases in the USA: an analysis of the nationally representative COVID-19 impact survey. BMJ Open. 2021 Feb.11(2):e044600. Pubmedid: 33563624. Pmcid: PMC7874902.
  • Islam JY, Deveaux A, Previs RA, Akinyemiju T. Racial disparities in palliative care utilization among metastatic gynecological cancer patients living at last follow-up: An analysis of the National Cancer Data Base. Data Brief. 2021 Feb.34:106705. Pubmedid: 33473361. Pmcid: PMC7803651.
  • Islam JY, Deveaux A, Previs RA, Akinyemiju T. Racial and ethnic disparities in palliative care utilization among gynecological cancer patients. Gynecol Oncol. 2021 Feb.160(2):469-476. Pubmedid: 33276985. Pmcid: PMC8221248.
  • Islam JY, Spees L, Camacho-Rivera M, Vidot DC, Yarosh R, Wheldon CW. Disparities in Awareness of Hepatitis C Virus Among US Adults: An Analysis of the 2019 Health Information National Trends Survey. Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Dec.48(12):981-985. Pubmedid: 34030156.
  • Islam JY, Vidot DC, Havanur A, Camacho-Rivera M. Preventive Behaviors and Mental Health-Related Symptoms Among Immunocompromised Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of the COVID Impact Survey. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2021 Apr.37(4):304-313. Pubmedid: 33626959. Pmcid: PMC8035912.
  • Islam JY, Zaman MM, Ahmed JU, Choudhury SR, Khan H, Zissan T. Sex differences in prevalence and determinants of hypertension among adults: a cross-sectional survey of one rural village in Bangladesh. BMJ Open. 2020 Sep.10(9):e037546. Pubmedid: 32873676. Pmcid: PMC7467534.
  • Olwanda EE, Kahn JG, Choi Y, Islam JY, Huchko M. Comparison of the costs of HPV testing through community health campaigns versus home-based testing in rural Western Kenya: a microcosting study. BMJ Open. 2020 Oct.10(10):e033979. Pubmedid: 33109637. Pmcid: PMC7592277.
  • Islam JY, Zaman MM, Moniruzzaman M, Ara Shakoor S, Hossain AHME. Estimation of total cardiovascular risk using the 2019 WHO CVD prediction charts and comparison of population-level costs based on alternative drug therapy guidelines: a population-based study of adults in Bangladesh. BMJ Open. 2020 Jul.10(7):e035842. Pubmedid: 32690512. Pmcid: PMC7371224.
  • Islam JY, Mutua MM, Kabare E, Manguro G, Hudgens MG, Poole C, Olshan AF, Wheeler SB, McClelland RS, Smith JS. High-risk Human Papillomavirus Messenger RNA Testing in Wet and Dry Self-collected Specimens for High-grade Cervical Lesion Detection in Mombasa, Kenya. Sex Transm Dis. 2020 Jul.47(7):464-472. Pubmedid: 32168174. Pmcid: PMC7837412.
  • Kotlarz N, McCord J, Collier D, Lea CS, Strynar M, Lindstrom AB, Wilkie AA, Islam JY, Matney K, Tarte P, Polera ME, Burdette K, DeWitt J, May K, Smart RC, Knappe DRU, Hoppin JA. Measurement of Novel, Drinking Water-Associated PFAS in Blood from Adults and Children in Wilmington, North Carolina. Environ Health Persp. 2020 Jul.128(7):77005. Pubmedid: 32697103. Pmcid: PMC7375159.
  • Camacho-Rivera M, Islam JY, Rivera A, Vidot DC. Attitudes Toward Using COVID-19 mHealth Tools Among Adults With Chronic Health Conditions: Secondary Data Analysis of the COVID-19 Impact Survey. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2020 Dec.8(12):e24693. Pubmedid: 33301415. Pmcid: PMC7748389.
  • Islam JY, Camacho-Rivera M, Vidot DC. Examining COVID-19 Preventive Behaviors among Cancer Survivors in the United States: An Analysis of the COVID-19 Impact Survey. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 Dec.29(12):2583-2590. Pubmedid: 32978173. Pmcid: PMC7871461.
  • Vielot NA, Islam JY, Sanusi B, Myers J, Smith S, Meadows B, Brewer NT, Smith JS. Overcoming barriers to adolescent vaccination: perspectives from vaccine providers in North Carolina. Women Health. 2020 Aug.60(10):1129-1140. Pubmedid: 32772834. Pmcid: PMC7556355.
  • Kotlarz N, McCord J, Collier D, Lea CS, Strynar M, Lindstrom AB, Wilkie AA, Islam JY, Matney K, Tarte P, Polera ME, Burdette K, DeWitt J, May K, Smart RC, Knappe DRU, Hoppin JA. Erratum: "Measurement of Novel, Drinking Water-Associated PFAS in Blood from Adults and Children in Wilmington, North Carolina". Environ Health Persp. 2020 Aug.128(8):89002. Pubmedid: 32812829. Pmcid: PMC7437447.
  • Camacho-Rivera M, Islam JY, Vidot DC. Associations Between Chronic Health Conditions and COVID-19 Preventive Behaviors Among a Nationally Representative Sample of U.S. Adults: An Analysis of the COVID Impact Survey. Health Equity. 2020 Aug.4(1):336-344. Pubmedid: 32783017. Pmcid: PMC7415873.
  • Islam JY, Zaman MM, Bhuiyan MR, Haq SA, Ahmed S, Al-Qadir AZ. Prevalence and determinants of hyperglycaemia among adults in Bangladesh: results from a population-based national survey. BMJ Open. 2019 Jul.9(7):e029674. Pubmedid: 31345979. Pmcid: PMC6661587.
  • Islam JY, Gruber JF, Kepka D, Kunwar M, Smith SB, Rothholz MC, Brewer NT, Smith JS. Pharmacist insights into adolescent human papillomavirus vaccination provision in the United States. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2019 Feb.15(7-8):1839-1850. Pubmedid: 30550369. Pmcid: PMC6746488.
  • Islam JY, Zaman MM, Haq SA, Ahmed S, Al-Quadir Z. Epidemiology of hypertension among Bangladeshi adults using the 2017 ACC/AHA Hypertension Clinical Practice Guidelines and Joint National Committee 7 Guidelines. J Hum Hypertens. 2018 Oct.32(10):668-680. Pubmedid: 30026561. Pmcid: PMC6207562.
  • Islam JY, Hoyt AM, Ramos S, Morgan K, Kim CJ, de Sanjose S, Butera N, Senkomago V, Richter KL, McDonald MA, Vielot NA, Smith JS. Acceptability of two- versus three-dose human papillomavirus vaccination schedule among providers and mothers of adolescent girls: a mixed-methods study in five countries. Cancer Causes Control. 2018 Nov.29(11):1115-1130. Pubmedid: 30284670. Pmcid: PMC6589352.
  • Rahman M, Zaman MM, Islam JY, Chowdhury J, Ahsan HN, Rahman R, Hassan M, Hossain Z, Alam B, Yasmin R. Prevalence, treatment patterns, and risk factors of hypertension and pre-hypertension among Bangladeshi adults. J Hum Hypertens. 2018 May.32(5):334-348. Pubmedid: 29230005. Pmcid: PMC5860750.
  • Bhuiyan A, Sultana F, Islam JY, Chowdhury MAK, Nahar Q. Knowledge and Acceptance of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine for Cervical Cancer Prevention Among Urban Professional Women in Bangladesh: A Mixed Method Study. Biores Open Access. 2018 May.7(1):63-72. Pubmedid: 29844948. Pmcid: PMC5970545.
  • Shiels MS, Islam JY, Rosenberg PS, Hall HI, Jacobson E, Engels EA. Projected Cancer Incidence Rates and Burden of Incident Cancer Cases in HIV-Infected Adults in the United States Through 2030. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Jun.168(12):866-873. Pubmedid: 29801099. Pmcid: PMC6329294.
  • Brown AM, Chipps TM, Gebretsadik T, Ware LB, Islam JY, Finck LR, Barnett J, Hartert TV. Training the next generation of physician researchers - Vanderbilt Medical Scholars Program. BMC Med Educ. 2018 Jan.18(1):5. Pubmedid: 29301521. Pmcid: PMC5753449.
  • Islam JY, Khatun F, Alam A, Sultana F, Bhuiyan A, Alam N, Reichenbach L, Marions L, Rahman M, Nahar Q. Knowledge of cervical cancer and HPV vaccine in Bangladeshi women: a population based, cross-sectional study. BMC Womens Health. 2018 Jan.18(1):15. Pubmedid: 29325530. Pmcid: PMC5765714.
  • Anderson C, Islam JY, Elizabeth Hodgson M, Sabatino SA, Rodriguez JL, Lee CN, Sandler DP, Nichols HB. Long-Term Satisfaction and Body Image After Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy. Ann Surg Oncol. 2017 Jun.24(6):1499-1506. Pubmedid: 28058563. Pmcid: PMC5472420.
  • Islam JY, Gruber JF, Lockhart A, Kunwar M, Wilson S, Smith SB, Brewer NT, Smith JS. Opportunities and Challenges of Adolescent and Adult Vaccination Administration Within Pharmacies in the United States. Biomed Inform Insights. 2017 Feb.9. Pubmedid: 28469431. Pmcid: PMC5345946.
  • Islam JY, Zaman MM, Bhuiyan MR, Hasan MM, Ahsan HN, Rahman MM, Rahman MR, Jalil Chowdhury MA. Alcohol consumption among adults in Bangladesh: Results from STEPS 2010. WHO South East Asia J Public Health. 2017 Apr.6(1):67-74. Pubmedid: 28597862. Pmcid: PMC6349140.
  • Nichols HB, Bowles EJ, Islam J, Madziwa L, Stürmer T, Tran DT, Buist DS. Tamoxifen Initiation After Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. Oncologist. 2016 Feb.21(2):134-140. Pubmedid: 26768485. Pmcid: PMC4746086.
  • Wu P, Larkin EK, Reiss SS, Carroll KN, Summar ML, Minton PA, Woodward KB, Liu Z, Islam JY, Hartert TV, Moore PE. β2-Adrenergic receptor promoter haplotype influences the severity of acute viral respiratory tract infection during infancy: a prospective cohort study. BMC Med Genet. 2015 Sep.16:82. Pubmedid: 26369942. Pmcid: PMC4570703.
  • Islam JY, Keller RL, Aschner JL, Hartert TV, Moore PE. Understanding the Short- and Long-Term Respiratory Outcomes of Prematurity and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Jul.192(2):134-156. Pubmedid: 26038806. Pmcid: PMC4532824.
  • Nahar Q, Sultana F, Alam A, Islam JY, Rahman M, Khatun F, Alam N, Dasgupta SK, Marions L, Ashrafunnessa, Kamal M, Cravioto A, Reichenbach L. Genital human papillomavirus infection among women in Bangladesh: findings from a population-based survey. PLoS One. 2014 Oct.9(10):e107675. Pubmedid: 25271836. Pmcid: PMC4182674.


  • Title: Evaluating Disparities in Cancer Care and Treatment Disruptions Among Cancer Patients with COVID-19 in the United States
    Sponsor: Amer Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
    PI: Islam, J.