Stephanie C. Melkonian, PhD
Stephanie C. Melkonian, PhD, is an epidemiologist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch. She joined CDC in the fall of 2017 in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, field office. Her work focuses on cancer surveillance, using the most up-to-date and accurate cancer incidence and mortality data to describe cancer burden and disparities in American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
Dr. Melkonian’s work has focused on regional variation in rates of cancers that disproportionately affect American Indian and Alaska Native populations. These cancers include liver, gastric, and colorectal cancers, as well as cancers associated with human papillomavirus. Dr. Melkonian’s research interests include cancer disparities, improving the quality of surveillance data for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, and the effect of social determinants of health on cancer burden.
Dr. Melkonian is a principal investigator of a project linking CDC’s National Death Index to Indian Health Service records. She leads the Cancer Prevention Across the Lifespan: American Indian and Alaska Native workgroup. She has authored more than 35 peer-reviewed publications, and her work has been nominated for CDC’s Shepard Science Award. Dr. Melkonian is a mentor and supervisor for CDC’s Metcalf Fellowship program through the University of Chicago and has served as a subject matter expert in seminars, workshops, and conferences focused on health disparities.
Dr. Melkonian received her PhD training in Cancer and Genetic Epidemiology from the University of Chicago, Department of Public Health Sciences, where she gained experience in genome-wide association studies of cancer etiology and evaluation of environmental exposures in international populations. Before joining CDC, Dr. Melkonian was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she was the recipient the R25T Cancer Prevention Research Training Program Fellowship (NCI/MD Anderson Cancer Center) and conducted several studies focused on nutritional and genetic epidemiology.
Selected first-authored publications include—
- 2023 Incidence of stomach, liver, and colorectal cancers by geography and social vulnerability among American Indian and Alaska Native populations, 2010–2019.
- 2023 Incidence of selected cancers in non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native adolescent and young adult populations, 1999–2019.
- 2022 Social determinants of cancer risk among American Indian and Alaska Native populations: An evidence review and map.
- 2022 Cancer disparities among non-Hispanic urban American Indian and Alaska Native populations in the United States, 1999–2017.
- 2021 Incidence of and trends in leading cancers with elevated incidence among American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
- 2020 Cancers associated with human papillomavirus in American Indian and Alaska Native populations—United States, 2013–2017.
- 2020 Gastric cancer among American Indian and Alaska Native populations in the United States, 2005–2016.
- 2020 Disparities in cancer incidence and trends among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States, 2010–2015.
- 2018 Incidence of primary liver cancer in American Indians and Alaska Natives, US, 1999–2009.