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Campus Connection

Cancer and Culture

“We are very excited to have Moon Chen join our faculty,” said Marc Schenker, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. “He brings expertise in many important areas relevant to our mission, including disease prevention and specifically cancer prevention, improving the health of underserved populations, and public health in general. I look forward to his making major contributions to UC Davis in these crucial areas.”

Born in Shanghai, raised in Taipei and educated in the United States, Chen is thrilled to be settling in Sacramento. As a public health expert, he is intrigued by the area’s diversity. According to an analysis by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University released in September, Sacramento now ranks as the nation’s most integrated city. “In Sacramento, everyone’s a minority — including whites,” Time magazine reported.

Of Sacramento’s 407,018 residents, 41 percent are non-Hispanic white, 22 percent are Hispanic, 17.5 percent are Asian and Pacific Islander and 15.5 percent are African American. The Asian and Pacific Islander population itself is one of the most diverse in the country, comprised not just of Chinese and Japanese Americans, but Asian Indians, Cambodians, Filipinos, Hmong, Koreans, Laotians, Mien, Thai and Vietnamese.

In addition to its “most-integrated city” status, Sacramento is also a public health mecca. “The California Department of Health Services is one of the largest public health departments in the nation, and with its anti-tobacco efforts has set the standard for the world,” Chen said. He sees tremendous possibilities in having ready access to DHS cancer registry data and other information and expertise as he designs new interventions to reduce cancer risks in specific ethnic populations.


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