Nynikka Palmer, DrPH, MPH

Associate Professor in Res

Dr. Palmer is an Associate Professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Urology and Radiation Oncology. She has a long history and commitment to health equity research. Her research focuses on unraveling the mechanisms of cancer disparities in high-quality cancer care and health outcomes among African Americans, with a depth of knowledge in cultural influence, patient-centered care and communication, and strategies that enhance delivery of high-quality cancer care. Community engagement is the foundation of her work and she strongly believes in the adage, “nothing about me without me,” as patients’ and communities’ perspectives are essential to advance research and optimize health care.

Dr. Palmer currently has a National Cancer Institute-funded career development award to bridge the divide between low-income African American men and equal prostate cancer (PCa) treatment by anchoring the evidence-based intervention of peer navigation in the relational concept of African American brotherhood as a means to foster trust and empowerment, and optimize patient-centered communication and quality of care. She has led and collaborated on various research projects on PCa and patient-provider communication, including a scoping review to characterize the growing body of literature on postoperative patient-initiated communication after hospital discharge. She is co-leader of the Prostate Cancer Task Force of the San Francisco Cancer Initiative (SF CAN), which aims to eliminate PCa disparities among African American men through community and healthcare system engagement to advance education, ensure early detection and appropriate follow-up of aggressive disease, implement navigation and support services, and engage in multiple institutional partnerships that ensure high-quality care throughout the city and county of San Francisco. To promote PCa survivorship, empowerment and patient engagement, she established and oversees two support groups in the San Francisco Bay Area for African American men facing PCa – one that has been thriving since September 2014 and another that was launched January 2020. Several group participants also serve as advisors to her ongoing research program.



Journal of Urology

James Nie, Nynikka R. Palmer, Rena J. Pasick, Maria Byron, Claire M. de la Calle, Samuel L. Washington, Coleen Kivlahan, Michael B. Potter, Matthew Cooperberg

Engaging communities to inform the development of a diverse cohort of cancer survivors: formative research for the eat move sleep study (EMOVES).

Research involvement and engagement

Andemeskel G, Palmer NR, Pasick R, Van Blarigan EL, Kenfield SA, Graff RE, Shaw M, Yu W, Sanchez M, Hernandez R, Washington SL, Shariff-Marco S, Rhoads KF, Chan JM

Ten-year work burden after prostate cancer treatment.

Cancer medicine

Washington SL, Lonergan PE, Cowan JE, Zhao S, Broering JM, Palmer NR, Hicks C, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR

The Impact of Patient-Physician Racial and Gender Concordance on Patient Satisfaction with Outpatient Clinic Visits.

Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities

Shaw NM, Hills N, Holler J, Fernandez A, Davis D, Palmer NR, Sliwka D, Breyer BN

Best Current Practice and Research Priorities in Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer-A Report of a Movember International Consensus Meeting.

European urology oncology

Moore CM, King LE, Withington J, Amin MB, Andrews M, Briers E, Chen RC, Chinegwundoh FI, Cooperberg MR, Crowe J, Finelli A, Fitch MI, Frydenberg M, Giganti F, Haider MA, Freeman J, Gallo J, Gibbs S, Henry A, James N, Kinsella N, Lam TBL, Lichty M, Loeb S, Mahal BA, Mastris K, Mitra AV, Merriel SWD, van der Kwast T, Van Hemelrijck M, Palmer NR, Paterson CC, Roobol MJ, Segal P, Schraidt JA, Short CE, Siddiqui MM, Tempany CMC, Villers A, Wolinsky H, MacLennan S

Opportunities and challenges in discussing racism during primary care visits.

Health services research

Borowsky HM, Willis A, Bullock JL, Fuentes-Afflick E, Palmer NRA

Navigation programs relevant for African American men with prostate cancer: a scoping review protocol.

Systematic reviews

Palmer NR, Smith AN, Campbell BA, Andemeskel G, Tahir P, Felder TM, Cicerelli B

Addressing the challenges of conducting community-engaged research during COVID-19: Rapid development and evaluation of a COVID-19 Research Patient and Community Advisory Board (PCAB).

Journal of clinical and translational science

Harrison JD, Palmer NRA, Cabrera A, Fleisher P, Wong E, LeSarre M, Grumbach K, Banta J, Tealer L, Reynolds A, Wassmann A, Rose T, Nguyen T


Investigative Urology

Samuel Washington, Peter Lonergan, Janet Cowan, Shoujun Zhao, Scott Greenberg, Jenny Broering, Nynikka Palmer, Robert Parker, Alexander Bell, Matthew Cooperberg, Peter Carroll

Mobile Clinical Trial Matching Technology in Medical Oncology Clinic: A Pilot Feasibility Study.

JCO clinical cancer informatics

Borno HT, Zhang L, Zhang S, Kaplan C, Palmer NR, Bell A, Bakke B, Lin A, Aggarwal R, Small EJ

From Cancer Epidemiology to Policy and Practice: the Role of a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Current epidemiology reports

Hiatt RA, Sibley A, Venkatesh B, Cheng J, Dixit N, Fox R, Ling P, Nguyen T, Oh D, Palmer NR, Pasick RJ, Potter MB, Somsouk M, Vargas RA, Vijayaraghavan M, Ashworth A

Evaluating the impact of financial toxicity among cancer clinical trial participants.

International Journal of Cancer Care and Delivery

Hala T. Borno, Sylvia Zhang, Tracy Kuo Lin, Li Zhang, Nynikka R. Palmer, Christopher Nguyen, Celia Kaplan, Charles J. Ryan


Investigative Urology

Samuel Washington, Peter Lonergan, Janet Cowan, Shoujun Zhao, Scott Greenberg, Jeanette Broering, Nynikka Palmer, Robert Parker, Alexander Bell, Matthew Cooperberg, Peter Carroll

A cross-sectional analysis of barriers associated with non-attendance at a urology telehealth clinic in a safety-net hospital.


Bell A, Lonergan PE, Escobar D, Fakunle M, Chu CE, Berdy S, Palmer NR, Breyer BN, Washington SL

Abstract 686: Longitudinal analysis of the indirect burden of prostate cancer management on paid and unpaid work: Data from CaPSURE database.

Cancer research

Samuel L. Washington, Peter E. Lonergan, Janet E. Cowan, Shoujun Zhao, Scott Greenberg, Jeanette M. Broering, Nynikka R. Palmer, Matthew R. Cooperberg, Peter R. Carroll

Prostate cancer patients' self-reported participation in research: an examination of racial/ethnic disparities.

Cancer causes & control : CCC

Palmer NR, Borno HT, Gregorich SE, Livaudais-Toman J, Kaplan CP

Earning the Trust of African American Communities to Increase Representation in Dementia Research.

Innovation in aging

Elena Portacolone, Nynikka Palmer, Peter Lichtenberg, Catherine Waters, Carl Hill, Sahru Keiser, Julene K Johnson

Earning the Trust of African American Communities to Increase Representation in Dementia Research.

Ethnicity & disease

Portacolone E, Palmer NR, Lichtenberg P, Waters CM, Hill CV, Keiser S, Vest L, Maloof M, Tran T, Martinez P, Guerrero J, Johnson JK

"Can you hear me now?": postoperative patient-initiated communication with providers.

The American journal of managed care

Balakrishnan AS, Palmer NR, Odisho AY

Cancer health disparities in racial/ethnic minorities in the United States.

British journal of cancer

Zavala VA, Bracci PM, Carethers JM, Carvajal-Carmona L, Coggins NB, Cruz-Correa MR, Davis M, de Smith AJ, Dutil J, Figueiredo JC, Fox R, Graves KD, Gomez SL, Llera A, Neuhausen SL, Newman L, Nguyen T, Palmer JR, Palmer NR, Pérez-Stable EJ, Piawah S, Rodriquez EJ, Sanabria-Salas MC, Schmit SL, Serrano-Gomez SJ, Stern MC, Weitzel J, Yang JJ, Zabaleta J, Ziv E, Fejerman L

Abstract A047: An ethnographic study of African American men's prostate cancer treatment decision-making.

Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention

Nynikka R. Palmer, Richard L. Street, Dean Schillinger, Janet K. Shim, Sarah D. Blaschko, Benjamin N. Breyer, Rena J. Pasick

Rural cancer survivors' health information needs post-treatment.

Patient education and counseling

Palmer NR, Avis NE, Fino NF, Tooze JA, Weaver KE

Minority Recruitment Trends in Phase III Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials (2003 to 2014): Progress and Critical Areas for Improvement.

The Journal of urology

Balakrishnan AS, Palmer NR, Fergus KB, Gaither TW, Baradaran N, Ndoye M, Breyer BN

A bilingual, Internet-based, targeted advertising campaign for prostate cancer clinical trials: Assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a novel recruitment strategy.

Contemporary clinical trials communications

Kaplan CP, Siegel A, Leykin Y, Palmer NR, Borno H, Bielenberg J, Livaudais-Toman J, Ryan C, Small EJ

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Prostate Cancer Survivors' Perceived Engagement in Treatment Decision-Making.

Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities

Palmer NR, Gregorich SE, Livaudais-Toman J, Jih J, Kaplan CP

The San Francisco Cancer Initiative: A Community Effort To Reduce The Population Burden Of Cancer.

Health affairs (Project Hope)

Hiatt RA, Sibley A, Fejerman L, Glantz S, Nguyen T, Pasick R, Palmer N, Perkins A, Potter MB, Somsouk M, Vargas RA, van 't Veer LJ, Ashworth A

Family history of prostate and colorectal cancer and risk of colorectal cancer in the Women's health initiative.

BMC cancer

Beebe-Dimmer JL, Yee C, Paskett E, Schwartz AG, Lane D, Palmer NRA, Bock CH, Nassir R, Simon MS

Outcomes of men on active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer at a safety-net hospital.

Urologic oncology

Osterberg EC, Palmer NRA, Harris CR, Murphy GP, Blaschko SD, Chu C, Allen IE, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR, Breyer BN

Disparities in barriers to follow-up care between African American and White breast cancer survivors.

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer

Palmer NR, Weaver KE, Hauser SP, Lawrence JA, Talton J, Case LD, Geiger AM

Familial clustering of breast and prostate cancer and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in the Women's Health Initiative Study.


Beebe-Dimmer JL, Yee C, Cote ML, Petrucelli N, Palmer N, Bock C, Lane D, Agalliu I, Stefanick ML, Simon MS

Racial and ethnic disparities in patient-provider communication, quality-of-care ratings, and patient activation among long-term cancer survivors.

Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Palmer NR, Kent EE, Forsythe LP, Arora NK, Rowland JH, Aziz NM, Blanch-Hartigan D, Oakley-Girvan I, Hamilton AS, Weaver KE

Impact of rural residence on forgoing healthcare after cancer because of cost.

Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology

Palmer NR, Geiger AM, Lu L, Case LD, Weaver KE

Racial/Ethnic disparities in health care receipt among male cancer survivors.

American journal of public health

Palmer NR, Geiger AM, Felder TM, Lu L, Case LD, Weaver KE

Rural-urban differences in health behaviors and implications for health status among US cancer survivors.

Cancer causes & control : CCC

Weaver KE, Palmer N, Lu L, Case LD, Geiger AM

Transitioning from active treatment: colorectal cancer survivors' health promotion goals.

Palliative & supportive care

Palmer NR, Bartholomew LK, McCurdy SA, Basen-Engquist KM, Naik AD

African American prostate cancer survivors' treatment decision-making and quality of life.

Patient education and counseling

Palmer NR, Tooze JA, Turner AR, Xu J, Avis NE

Comparative effectiveness of goal setting in diabetes mellitus group clinics: randomized clinical trial.

Archives of internal medicine

Naik AD, Palmer N, Petersen NJ, Street RL, Rao R, Suarez-Almazor M, Haidet P

What is the evidence for pharmaceutical patient assistance programs? A systematic review.

Journal of health care for the poor and underserved

Felder TM, Palmer NR, Lal LS, Mullen PD