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Margaret Byrne, PhD

Academic Rank: Associate Member


My research efforts are dedicated to developing, evaluating, and implementing tools that help clinicians and patients make informed decisions about complicated medical decisions in full consideration of the ethical, psychosocial, and economic factors impacting the decision.


    • Health Outcomes and Behavior
    • Individualized Cancer Management
    • Health Outcomes & Behavior Program

Education & Training


  • University of Florida, PhD - Economics
  • University of Florida, MS - Zoology
  • National Science Foundation, Fellow - Ethics

My research efforts are dedicated to developing, evaluating, and implementing tools that help clinicians and patients make informed decisions about complicated medical decisions in full consideration of the ethical, psychosocial, and economic factors impacting the decisionResearch Interests: The three main areas of my current research arise from my graduate training in Economics (PhD), and a post-graduate NSF fellowship in ethics. Each of these areas will be briefly described below. Medical Decision MakingAt its core, economics concerns itself with decision making: how people make decisions about activities and allocate resources to yield the greatest utility for themselves and others. My own research interests in the area of decision making current focus on how we can help patients and providers make decisions in preference sensitive situations. That is, when there is no “one right” decision for all patients, and so patients’ preferences and values should be central or at least considered in the decision. The two areas that I am currently most focused on in this type of research are: 1) decisions about participation in a cancer clinical trial; and 2) decisions about screening for lung cancer. In both of these areas, decision making is often compromised by lack of information, non-consideration of patient values, or both. I and colleagues have developed interactive decision aids which aim to help individuals and patients make more informed decisions that align with the patient’s preferences. Other topic areas in my decision making research have included: 1) decisions about eating shell fish and going to the beach during a Florida Red Tide; 2) decisions about pregnancy in HIV infected women; 3) decisions about screening for colorectal cancer; and 4) decisions about medical versus surgical interventions for knee osteoarthritis. Evaluation of Health Care InterventionsAs a health economist, I am interested in the overall issue about where it is most important and useful for us to put resources to improve health care (by whatever measure we chose to use to evaluate improvements in health care). Specifically, in this area I have collaborated on a wide range of health care projects and interventions with the goal of determining the resource utilization (costs) and cost-effectiveness of these interventions. Such information is basic and essential in determining optimal resource all location and improving health care. Examples of specific interventions where I have assessed costs and cost-effectiveness include: 1) provision of diabetic retinopathy screening in a community setting; 2) provision of different forms of cervical and colorectal cancer screening in the community; 3) costs of secondary conditions in women with severe disabilities; 4) provision of diabetic outpatient treatment; and 5) costs and output of Institutional Review Boards in health research, among others. Ethical Issues in ResearchMy background in ethical issues in health research was born from my interest in the use of financial incentives in health care situations. Early on in my career, I and a colleague published a number of economic modeling papers looking at the effect of financial incentives in: 1) End of life treatment; 2) Organ donation; 3) Participation in medical research; and 4) Promotion of prevention health care use. From the specific focus on the use of financial incentives in trials, I completed a 1 year NSF funded fellowship in which I studied ethical foundations broadly, and ethical issues specifically related to health care and use of financial incentives (for example, the possible roles of coercion and exploitation for example). I have been involved with bioethics research directly or indirectly for all of my career after that, with empirical studies including: 1) the effective of financial incentives in substance abuse treatment research; 2) the potential use of financial incentives to reduce the therapeutic misconception in research studies; and a variety of genomic studies which included both ethical concerns and patient decision making aspects.


  • Morgan SE, Peng W, Occa A, Mao B, McFarlane S, Grinfeder G, Millet B, Byrne MM. Tailored Messages About Research Participation: Using an Interactive Information Aid to Improve Study Recruitment. J Cancer Educ. 2020 Jun. Pubmedid: 32533538.
  • Langford A, Studts JL, Byrne MM. Improving knowledge and decision readiness to participate in cancer clinical trials: Effects of a plain language decision aid for minority cancer survivors. Patient Educ Couns. 2020 Jul. Pubmedid: 32660742.
  • Studts JL, Thurer RJ, Brinker K, Lillie SE, Byrne MM. Brief Education and a Conjoint Valuation Survey May Reduce Decisional Conflict Regarding Lung Cancer Screening. MDM Policy Pract. 2020 Jan.5(1). Pubmedid: 31976372. Pmcid: PMC6956606.
  • Medina-Ramirez P, Calixte-Civil P, Meltzer LR, Brandon KO, Martinez U, Sutton SK, Meade CD, Byrne MM, Brandon TH, Simmons VN. Comparing Methods of Recruiting Spanish-Preferring Smokers in the United States: Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res. 2020 Aug.22(8):e19389. Pubmedid: 32795986. Pmcid: PMC7455877.
  • Mao B, Morgan SE, Peng W, McFarlane SJ, Occa A, Grinfeder G, Byrne MM. What Motivates You to Share? The Effect of Interactive Tailored Information Aids on Information Sharing about Clinical Trials. Health Commun. 2020 Apr.1-9. Pubmedid: 32345059.
  • Mao B, Morgan SE, Peng W, McFarlane SJ, Occa A, Grinfeder G, Byrne MM. What Motivates You to Share? The Effect of Interactive Tailored Information Aids on Information Sharing about Clinical Trials. Health Commun. 2020 Apr.1-9. Pubmedid: 32345059.
  • Byrne MM, Thurer RJ, Studts JL. Individual decision making about lung cancer screening: A conjoint analysis of perspectives among a high-risk national sample. Cancer Med. 2019 Sep.8(12):5779-5786. Pubmedid: 31385463. Pmcid: PMC6745859.
  • Medina-Ramírez P, Sutton SK, Martínez Ú, Meade CD, Byrne MM, Brandon KO, Meltzer LR, Gonzales FM, Brandon TH, Simmons VN. A randomized controlled trial of a smoking cessation self-help intervention for Spanish-speaking Hispanic/Latinx smokers: Study design and baseline characteristics. Contemp Clin Trials. 2019 Oct.85:105836. Pubmedid: 31473331. Pmcid: PMC6815731.
  • Peng W, Morgan SE, Mao B, McFarlane SJ, Occa A, Grinfeder G, Byrne MM. Ready to Make A Decision: A Model of Informational Aids to Improve Informed Participation in Clinical Trial Research. J Health Commun. 2019 Oct.24(12):865-877. Pubmedid: 31663824.
  • Wang K, Lombard J, Rundek T, Dong C, Gutierrez CM, Byrne MM, Toro M, Nardi MI, Kardys J, Yi L, Szapocznik J, Brown SC. Relationship of Neighborhood Greenness to Heart Disease in 249 405 US Medicare Beneficiaries. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Mar.8(6):e010258. Pubmedid: 30835593. Pmcid: PMC6475064.
  • Byrne MM, Lillie SE, Studts JL. Lung cancer screening in a community setting: Characteristics, motivations, and attitudes of individuals being screened. Health Psychol Open. 2019 Jan.6(1). Pubmedid: 30643640. Pmcid: PMC6322099.
  • Langford AT, Hawley ST, Stableford S, Studts JL, Byrne MM. Development of a Plain Language Decision Support Tool for Cancer Clinical Trials: Blending Health Literacy, Academic Research, and Minority Patient Perspectives. J Cancer Educ. 2019 Feb.35(3):454-461. Pubmedid: 30739270.
  • Perrino T, Lombard J, Rundek T, Wang K, Dong C, Gutierrez CM, Toro M, Byrne MM, Nardi MI, Kardys J, Szapocznik J, Brown SC. Neighbourhood greenness and depression among older adults. Br J Psychiatry. 2019 Aug.215(2):476-480. Pubmedid: 31190652.
  • Asfar T, Arheart KL, Koru-Sengul T, Byrne MM, Dietz NA, Chen CJ, Lee DJ. National estimates and correlates of secondhand smoke exposure in US cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2017 Aug.11(4):469-476. Pubmedid: 28224453.
  • Shneyderman Y, Rutten LJ, Arheart KL, Byrne MM, Kornfeld J, Schwartz SJ. Health Information Seeking and Cancer Screening Adherence Rates. J Cancer Educ. 2016 Mar.31(1):75-83. Pubmedid: 25619195.
  • Bacon S, Kyithar MP, Rizvi SR, Donnelly E, McCarthy A, Burke M, Colclough K, Ellard S, Byrne MM. Successful maintenance on sulphonylurea therapy and low diabetes complication rates in a HNF1A-MODY cohort. Diabet Med. 2016 Jul.33(7):976-984. Pubmedid: 26479152.
  • Bacon S, Kyithar MP, Condron EM, Vizzard N, Burke M, Byrne MM. Prolonged episodes of hypoglycaemia in HNF4A-MODY mutation carriers with IGT. Evidence of persistent hyperinsulinism into early adulthood. Acta Diabetol. 2016 Dec.53(6):965-972. Pubmedid: 27552834.
  • Politi MC, Kuzemchak MD, Kaphingst KA, Perkins H, Liu J, Byrne MM. Decision Aids Can Support Cancer Clinical Trials Decisions: Results of a Randomized Trial. Oncologist. 2016 Dec.21(12):1461-1470. Pubmedid: 27511904. Pmcid: PMC5153351.
  • Brown SC, Lombard J, Wang K, Byrne MM, Toro M, Plater-Zyberk E, Feaster DJ, Kardys J, Nardi MI, Perez-Gomez G, Pantin HM, Szapocznik J. Neighborhood Greenness and Chronic Health Conditions in Medicare Beneficiaries. Am J Prev Med. 2016 07.51(1):78-89. Pubmedid: 27061891.
  • Dalmaris E, Ramalho CE, Poot P, Veneklaas EJ, Byrne M. A climate change context for the decline of a foundation tree species in south-western Australia: insights from phylogeography and species distribution modelling. Ann Bot (Lond). 2015 Nov.116(6):941-952. Pubmedid: 25851142. Pmcid: PMC4640123.
  • Lechner SC, Pereira L, Reategui E, Gordon C, Byrne M, Hooper MW, Lee DJ, Abouyared M, Franzmann E. Erratum to: Acceptability of a Rinse Screening Test for Diagnosing Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Among Black Americans. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2015 Mar.2(1):68. Pubmedid: 26863243.
  • Messiah A, Dietz NA, Byrne MM, Hooper MW, Fernandez CA, Baker EA, Stevens M, Ocasio M, Sherman RL, Parker DF, Lee DJ. Combining Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) with a Random-Sample Survey to Assess Smoking Prevalence in an Under-Served Community. J Natl Med Assoc. 2015 Jun.107(2):97-101. Pubmedid: 27269496.
  • Bacon S, Engelbrecht B, Schmid J, Pfeiffer S, Gallagher R, McCarthy A, Burke M, Concannon C, Prehn JH, Byrne MM. MicroRNA-224 is Readily Detectable in Urine of Individuals with Diabetes Mellitus and is a Potential Indicator of Beta-Cell Demise. Genes (Basel). 2015 Jun.6(2):399-416. Pubmedid: 26110317. Pmcid: PMC4488671.
  • Yakoub D, Avisar E, Koru-Sengul T, Miao F, Tannenbaum SL, Byrne MM, Moffat F, Livingstone A, Franceschi D. Factors associated with contralateral preventive mastectomy. Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press). 2015 Jan.7:1-8. Pubmedid: 25609997. Pmcid: PMC4293214.
  • Al-Azhri J, Koru-Sengul T, Miao F, Saclarides C, Byrne MM, Avisar E. Predictors of Surgery Types after Neoadjuvant Therapy for Advanced Stage Breast Cancer: Analysis from Florida Population-Based Cancer Registry (1996-2009). Breast Cancer (Auckl). 2015 Dec.9:99-108. Pubmedid: 26691964. Pmcid: PMC4677798.
  • Byrne MM, Parker DF, Tannenbaum SL, Ocasio MA, Lam BL, Zimmer-Galler I, Lee DJ. Cost of a community-based diabetic retinopathy screening program. Diabetes Care. 2014 Nov.37(11):e236-e237. Pubmedid: 25342836.
  • Carrasquillo O, McCann S, Amofah A, Pierre L, Rodriguez B, Alonzo Y, Ilangovan K, Gonzalez M, Trevil D, Byrne MM, Koru-Sengul T, Kobetz E. Rationale and design of the research project of the South Florida Center for the Reduction of Cancer Health Disparities (SUCCESS): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2014 Jul.15:299. Pubmedid: 25056208. Pmcid: PMC4127186.
  • Byrne MM, Tannenbaum SL, Glück S, Hurley J, Antoni M. Participation in cancer clinical trials: why are patients not participating?. Med Decis Making. 2014 Jan.34(1):116-126. Pubmedid: 23897588.
  • Kirkpatrick B, Kohler K, Byrne MM, Studts J. Florida Red Tide Knowledge and Risk Perception: Is there a need for tailored messaging?. Harmful Algae. 2014 Feb.32:27-32. Pubmedid: 24563634. Pmcid: PMC3927915.
  • Tannenbaum SL, Koru-Sengul T, Miao F, Byrne MM. Disparities in survival after female breast cancer diagnosis: a population-based study. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Sep.24(9):1705-1715. Pubmedid: 23775026.
  • Kornfeld J, Byrne MM, Vanderpool R, Shin S, Kobetz E. HPV knowledge and vaccine acceptability among Hispanic fathers. J Prim Prev. 2013 Apr.34(1-2):59-69. Pubmedid: 23377881. Pmcid: PMC3801294.
  • Tannenbaum SL, Zhao W, Koru-Sengul T, Miao F, Lee D, Byrne MM. Marital status and its effect on lung cancer survival. Springerplus. 2013.2:504. Pubmedid: 25674396. Pmcid: PMC4320128.
  • Finney Rutten LJ, Hesse BW, Moser RP, Ortiz Martinez AP, Kornfeld J, Vanderpool RC, Byrne M, Tortolero Luna G. Socioeconomic and geographic disparities in health information seeking and Internet use in Puerto Rico. J Med Internet Res. 2012 Jul.14(4):e104. Pubmedid: 22849971. Pmcid: PMC3409614.
  • Byrne MM, Kornfeld J, Vanderpool R, Belanger M. Discussions of cancer clinical trials with the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service. J Health Commun. 2012 Jul.17(3):319-337. Pubmedid: 22150169. Pmcid: PMC4753796.
  • Byrne MM, Croft JR, French MT, Dugosh KL, Festinger DS. Development and preliminary results of the Financial Incentive Coercion Assessment questionnaire. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2012 Jul.43(1):86-93. Pubmedid: 22116011. Pmcid: PMC3701294.
  • Koniaris LG, Levi DM, Pedroso FE, Franceschi D, Tzakis AG, Santamaria-Barria JA, Tang J, Anderson M, Misra S, Solomon NL, Jin X, DiPasco PJ, Byrne MM, Zimmers TA. Is surgical resection superior to transplantation in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma?. Ann Surg. 2011 Sep.254(3):527-537. Pubmedid: 21865950. Pmcid: PMC4425302.
  • Yang R, Cheung MC, Pedroso FE, Byrne MM, Koniaris LG, Zimmers TA. Obesity and weight loss at presentation of lung cancer are associated with opposite effects on survival. J Surg Res. 2011 Sep.170(1):e75-e83. Pubmedid: 21704331. Pmcid: PMC3154461.
  • Vanderpool RC, Kornfeld J, Mills L, Byrne MM. Rural-urban differences in discussions of cancer treatment clinical trials. Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Nov.85(2):e69-e74. Pubmedid: 21458194. Pmcid: PMC3162073.
  • Grossman RA, Pedroso FE, Byrne MM, Koniaris LG, Misra S. Does surgery or radiation therapy impact survival for patients with extrapulmonary small cell cancers?. J Surg Oncol. 2011 Nov.104(6):604-612. Pubmedid: 21618245.
  • Fleming LE, Kirkpatrick B, Backer LC, Walsh CJ, Nierenberg K, Clark J, Reich A, Hollenbeck J, Benson J, Cheng YS, Naar J, Pierce R, Bourdelais AJ, Abraham WM, Kirkpatrick G, Zaias J, Wanner A, Mendes E, Shalat S, Hoagland P, Stephan W, Bean J, Watkins S, Clarke T, Byrne M, Baden DG. Review of Florida Red Tide and Human Health Effects. Harmful Algae. 2011 Jan.10(2):224-233. Pubmedid: 21218152. Pmcid: PMC3014608.
  • Caban-Martinez AJ, Davila EP, Zhao W, Arheart K, Hooper MW, Byrne M, Messiah A, Dietz N, Huang Y, Fleming LE, Lee DJ. Disparities in hypertension control advice according to smoking status. Prev Med. 2011 Jan.51(3-4):302-306. Pubmedid: 20600258. Pmcid: PMC2939289.
  • Hooper MW, Zhao W, Byrne MM, Davila E, Caban-Martinez A, Dietz NA, Parker DF, Huang Y, Messiah A, Lee DJ. Menthol cigarette smoking and health, Florida 2007 BRFSS. Am J Health Behav. 2011 Jan.35(1):3-14. Pubmedid: 20950154.
  • Nierenberg K, Byrne M, Fleming LE, Stephan W, Reich A, Backer LC, Tanga E, Dalpra DR, Kirkpatrick B. Florida Red Tide Perception: Residents versus Tourists. Harmful Algae. 2010 Sep.9(6):600-606. Pubmedid: 20824108. Pmcid: PMC2932630.
  • Byrne MM, Koru-Sengul T, Zhao W, Weissfeld JL, Roberts MS. Healthcare use after screening for lung cancer. Cancer. 2010 Oct.116(20):4793-4799. Pubmedid: 20597136. Pmcid: PMC3062436.
  • Petersen LA, Byrne MM, Daw CN, Hasche J, Reis B, Pietz K. Relationship between clinical conditions and use of Veterans Affairs health care among Medicare-enrolled veterans. Health Serv Res. 2010 Jun.45(3):762-791. Pubmedid: 20403056. Pmcid: PMC2875759.
  • Davila EP, Zhao W, Byrne M, Webb M, Huang Y, Arheart K, Dietz N, Caban-Martinez A, Parker D, Lee DJ. Correlates of smoking quit attempts: Florida Tobacco Callback Survey, 2007. Tob Induc Dis. 2009 Jun.5:10. Pubmedid: 19563642. Pmcid: PMC2717923.
  • Byrne MM, Daw CN, Nelson HA, Urech TH, Pietz K, Petersen LA. Method to develop health care peer groups for quality and financial comparisons across hospitals. Health Serv Res. 2009 Apr.44(2 Pt 1):577-592. Pubmedid: 19178585. Pmcid: PMC2677055.
  • Suarez-Almazor ME, Souchek J, Kelly PA, O'Malley K, Byrne M, Richardson M, Pak C. Ethnic variation in knee replacement: patient preferences or uninformed disparity?. Arch Intern Med. 2005 May.165(10):1117-1124. Pubmedid: 15911724.
  • Byrne MM, Thompson P. Screening and preventable illness. J Health Econ. 2001 Nov.20(6):1077-1088. Pubmedid: 11758049.
  • Giesler RB, Ashton CM, Brody B, Byrne MM, Cook K, Geraci JM, Hanita M, Souchek J, Wray NP. Assessing the performance of utility techniques in the absence of a gold standard. Med Care. 1999 Jun.37(6):580-588. Pubmedid: 10386570.