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Angela Sy, DrPH

Angela Sy, DrPH
  • Associate Member
    Populations Sciences in the Pacific Program (Cancer Prevention in the Pacific section)
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Researcher
    John A. Burns School of Medicine
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Assistant Professor
    Undergraduate Honors Program
    University of Hawaii at Manoa


  • DrPH (Public Health)
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • MPH (Public Health)
    University of Hawaii at Manoa

Research Focus

Angela Sy conducts research on cancer disparities among Asian and Pacific Islander communities with a focus on colorectal cancer prevention, community engaged research and program evaluation. She works with communities represented by the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands: Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Republic of Palau. She examines the socio-cultural barriers to and facilitators of participating in cancer prevention programs, and to adapt prevention interventions to be innovatively and culturally relevant to Asian and Pacific Islander communities. She conducts community engaged research using socio ecological frameworks to impact change at individual social, and policy, systems and environment levels, often requiring multi-disciplinary collaborations. She also focuses on the extent policy, systems, and environmental approaches to promote healthy behaviors, e.g., healthy nutrition policies, smoking bans, may be feasible in USAPI communities. She has a particular interest in examining social channels to deliver prevention messaging, such as lay health workers, social networks, and social media. She recenlty completed a NCI funded Asian American Network of Cancer Research, Awareness, and Training (AANCART) with University of California Davis and San Francisco (PIs-Moon Chen, PhD,Tung Nguyen, MD, Edward Chow, MD) randomized controlled trial to investigate lay health workers in promoting colorectal screening among Filipino, Hmong, and Korean Americans.

Selected Publications

  • Sy,A, Hernandez, BY, Tareg, A, Reichhardt, M, Buenconsejo-Lum, Lee. Acceptability and Feasibility of a Community Based Participatory Research Project Comparing Cytology and Urine HPV DNA Testing for Cervical Cancer Screening in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. Cancer Epidemiology; In press.
  • Jo A, Nguyen T, Stewart S, Sung M, Gildengorin G, Tsoh J, Tong E, Lo P, Cuaresma C, Sy A, Lam H, Wong C, Jeong M, Chen M, Kagawa-Singer M. (2016). Lay Health Educators and Print Materials for the Promotion of Colorectal Cancer Screening among Korean Americans: A Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Study. Cancer, Dec. DOI:10.1002/cncr.30568.
  • Tong E, Nguyen T, Lo P, Stewart S, Gildengorin G, Tsoh J, Jo A, Kagawa-Singer, M, Sy A, Cuaresma C, Lam H, Wong C, Tran M, Chen M. (2016). Lay Health Educator Education Increases Colorectal Cancer Screening among Hmong Americans: a Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial. Cancer; 123(1):98-106.
  • Fagan P, Moolchan ET, Pokhrel P, Herzog T, Cassel KD, Pagano I, Franke AA, Kaholokula JK, Sy A, Alexander LA, Trinidad DR, Sakuma KL, Johnson CA, Antonio, A, Jorgensen D, Lynch T, Kawamoto C, Clanton MS. (2015). Biomarkers of Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Racial/Ethnic Groups at High Risk for Lung Cancer. A J Public Health; 105(6):1237-1245.
  • Sy A, Glanz K. (2008). Factors Influencing Teachers' Implementation of an Innovative Tobacco Prevention Curriculum for Multiethnic Youth: Project SPLASH. J School Health; 78(5):264-273.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • A. Sy, Co-Investigator; Victor Tofaeono, MD (PI)
    NIH #U24MD011202-01, American Samoa Indigenous Partnership to Initiate Research
    Excellence in Colorectal Cancer Health Literacy American Samoan Cancer Coalition
    The goal of this project is to increase research capacity in American Samoa and to conduct a pilot research project ton colorectal cancer screening literacy
    7/1/16 – 6/30/21
  • A. Sy, Evaluator; Ric Yanagihara, MD (PI)
    NIH # 1P30GM114737-01,
    Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Department of Pediatrics, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa
    The goal of this project is to evaluate Phase III of the Centers of Biomedical Research
    Excellence for emerging infectious diseases which aims to enhance the conditions that accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, heighten research productivity and increase competitiveness for extramural funding.
    7/1/15 – 6/30/20
  • A. Sy, Evaluator; Neal Palafox, MD (PI)
    CDC# 1U58DP005810-01
    USAPI Community Health Interventions Project
    Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii
    The goal of this project is to create policy, systems, and environmental change interventions to further develop or enhance practice/evidence based programs to decrease tobacco use and promote good nutrition in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands
    9/30/14 – 9/29/18
  • A. Sy, Project Lead, RCMI Translational Research Network; Timothy Dye, MD (PI)
    CDC #3U48D005026-01S1,
    Prevention Research Center: Global and Territorial Health Research Network Coordinating Center
    University of Rochester
    The goal of this project is to bring together a large active network of collaborating researchers collaborating and seeking funding to support novel translational and community research.
    9/30/14 – 9/29/18