Isabel C. Scarinci, PhD MPH

Associate Director for Faculty Development and Education
Division of Preventive Medicine

Contact Information:

Medical Towers 609
1717 11th Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
Phone: (205) 975-7177
Fax: (205) 934-7959


Research Interests

  • Sociocultural factors associated cancer prevention and screening among minority women, particularly Latinos and African Americans.
  • Development of culturally relevant interventions in cancer prevention and control
  • Tobacco control among women in the United States and Brazil.
  • Community-based participatory research


Educational Background

  • 1998, Pre-doctoral Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA
  • 1998, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • 1996, Masters in Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • 1993, Masters in Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
  • 1984, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, State University of Londrina, Londrina, Paraná, Brazil


Professional Activities

  • Grant Reviewer, NIH Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention (PRDP) Study Section (2007-2011)
  • Grant Reviewer, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Disparities in Breast Cancer Outcomes Scientific Peer Review Section (2011)
  • Senior Scientist, UAB Center for Aging, , UAB Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (COERE), UAB Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics of Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Associate Scientist, UAB Minority Health and Research Center, UAB Center for the Study of Community Health, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Control & Population Sciences Program, UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health
  • Advisory Boards, UAB Center for Research in Women's Health (2005-present), UAB Pediatric Pulmonary Center (2004-present)
  • University Committees: Department of Medicine Research Development Group (RDG), Department of Medicine Mentoring Committee, Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program (CPCTP) Advisory Committee, Minority Health and Research Center Steering Committee, Department of Medicine Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee (APTC)
  • Co-Founder/Co-Leader, Manos Juntas (a mentoring program for UAB Latino/Hispanic undergraduate students)
  • Editorial Board (Scientific Journal): Ethnicity and Disease

Selected Recent Publications

  • McGuire, A. A., Garces-Palacio, I. C., Scarinci, I.C. (2012) A successful guide in understanding Latino immigrant patients: An aid for health care professionals. Family & Community Health, 35(1):76-84. PMID: 22143490
  • Agne, A.A., Daubert, R., Munoz, M., Scarinci, I.C., Cherrington, A.L. (2011) The cultural context of obesity: Exploring perceptions of obesity and weight loss among Latina immigrants in the Southeast. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (Epub ahead of print, DOI 10.1007/s10903-011-9557-3). PMID: 22130571
  • Scarinci, I.C., Bandura, L., Hidalgo, B., Cherrington, A. (2011) Development of a Theory-Based, Culturally-Relevant Intervention on Cervical Cancer Prevention among Latina Immigrants Using Intervention Mapping. Health Promotion Practice. (Epub ahead of print, DOI:10.1177/1524839910366416). PMID: 21422254
  • Castle, P., Rausa, A., Walls, T., Gravitt, P., Partridge, E., Olivo, V., Niwa, S., Morrissey, K.G., Tucker, L., Katki, H., Scarinci, I.C. (2011) Comparative Community Outreach to Increase Cervical Cancer Screening in the Mississippi Delta. Preventive Medicine, 52(6):452-5. PMID: 21497619
  • Carroll, W. R., Foushee, H.R., Jr, Hardy, C.M., Floyd, T., Sinclair, C.F. Scarinci, I.C. (2011) Tobacco Use among Rural African American Young Adult Males. Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 145(2):259-63. PMID: 21521898
  • Cherrington, A.L., Ayala, G.X., Scarinci, I.C., Corbie-Smith G. (2011) Developing a family based diabetes program for Latino immigrants: Do men and women face the same barriers? Family and Community Health, 34(4):280-90. PMID: 21881415
  • Gage, J.C., Partridge, E.E., Rausa, A., Gravitt, P.E., Washolder, S., Schiffman, M., Scarinci, I.C. and Castle, P.E. (2011) Comparative performance of human papillomavirus DNA testing using novel sample collection methods. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 49(12):4185-9. PMID: 21998422
  • Garces, I. C., Scarinci, I.C. Factors associated with perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer among Latina immigrants in Alabama. Maternal & Child Health Journal. (Epub ahead of print, DOI: 10.1007/s10995-010-0737-x). PMID: 21190071
  • Wynn, T., Anderson-Lewis, C., Johnson, R., Hardy, C., Hardin, G., Walker, S., Marron, J., Fouad, M., Partridge, E., and Scarinci, I.C (2011) Developing a Community Action Plan to Eliminate Cancer Disparities: Lessons Learned. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 5(2):161-8. PMID: 21623018
  • Fouad, M.N., Partridge, E.E., Dignan, M.B., Holt, C., Johnson, R., Nagy, C., Person, S., Wynn, T.A and Scarinci, I.C. (2010) Targeted Intervention Strategies to Increase and Maintain Mammography Utilization among African American Women. American Journal of Public Health, 100(12):2526-31. PMID: 21068422
  • Drewry, J., Garces-Palacio, I. C., Scarinci, I.C. (2010) Awareness and Knowledge about Human Papillomavirus among Latina Immigrants. Ethnicity & Disease, 20(4):327-33. PMID: 21305817
  • Cherrington, A., Ayala, G., Elder, J., Arredondo, E., Fouad, M., Scarinci, I. C. (2010) Recognizing the Diverse Roles of Community Health Workers in the Elimination of Health Disparities: from Paid Staff to Volunteers. Ethnicity and Disease, 20(2):189-94. PMID: 20503902
  • Downs, Jr., L., Scarinci, I.C., Einstein, M., Collins Y, Flowers, L. (2010) Overcoming the Barriers to HPV vaccination in high-risk populations in the US. Gynecologic Oncology, 117(3):486-90. PMID: 20303156
  • Scarinci, I.C., Garcia, F., Kobetz, E., Partridge, E.E., Brandt, H., Bell, M., Dignan, M, Ma, G, Daye, J., Castle, P. (2010) Cervical Cancer Prevention: New Tools and Old Barriers. Cancer, 116(11):2531-42. PMID: 20310056
  • Nichter, M., Greaves, L., Bloch, M., Paglia, M., Scarinci, I. C., Tolosa, J. E., Novotny, T. E. (2010) Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure during Pregnancy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: The Need for Social and Cultural Research. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (AOGS), 89(4):465-77. PMID: 20225988
  • Scarinci, I. C., Johnson, R., Hardy, C., Marron, J., Partridge, E. (2009) Planning and Implementation of a Participatory Evaluation Strategy: A Viable Approach in the Evaluation of Community-Based Participatory Programs Addressing Cancer Disparities. Evaluation and Program Planning, 32(3), 221-28. PMID: 19232727
  • Downs, L., Smith, J., Scarinci I. C., Flowers, L., Parham, G.P. (2008) The Disparity of Cervical Cancer in Diverse Populations. Gynecologic Oncology, 109(2)(S1), S22-30. PMID: 18482555
  • Garcés-Palacio, I. C., Altarac, M, Scarinci, I .C. (2008) Contraceptive knowledge and use among low-income Hispanic immigrant women and non-Hispanic women. Contraception, 77(4):270-5. PMID: 18342650


  • President’s Diversity Award Recipient/University of Alabama at Birmingham (2010)
  • Received a “Special Honor” from the Municipal Health Secretariat in Curitiba, Parana for being a key leader in the approval of the municipal law prohibiting tobacco use in all indoor places (law 13,254) (2010)
  • Awarded the “NAACP Community Service Award” for service to improve the health of African Americans in the community, Birmingham Chapter for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Helpmate Ministries (2010)
  • Awarded the “Woman of Distinction” Award for relevant community service to improve the health of women and girls, Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama (2009)
  • Finalist for the “Health Care Heroes” Award for relevant health care outreach, Birmingham Business Journal (2008)
  • Awarded “Charles Barkley Excellence in Mentorship” Award – UAB Minority Health and Research Center (2007)
  • Awarded “Odessa Woolfolk Community Service” Award – University of Alabama at Birmingham (2007)
  • Awarded “UAB Outstanding Woman Faculty” - UAB’s Women’s Center and Women’s Studies (2006)

Current Research Projects (Principal Investigator)

Title: Sowing the Seeds of Health: A Program for Latinas (R25)
Funding Source: NCI
The overall goal of this proposal is to reduce the incidence of breast and cervical cancer in Latinas immigrants via community health advisors or “promotoras.”

Title: Cervical Cancer Prevention in Latina Immigrants (R01)
Funding Source: NCI
The proposed study is a 5-year group randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a theory-based culturally relevant intervention focusing on primary and secondary prevention of cervical cancer among Latina immigrants.

Title: Network for Tobacco Control among Women in Paraná, Brazil (R01)
Funding Source: NIDA
This study focuses on the development of a Network for Tobacco Control among Women in Paraná, Brazil in order to establish community and institutional capacity to promote gender-relevant tobacco control efforts among Brazilian women through community-based participatory research and training. The goals of the “Network” are to reduce tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among Brazilian women, and to develop a cadre of well-trained researchers in tobacco control who will continue to address comprehensive tobacco control strategies at all levels long after the study has ended.

Title: Breast Cancer Screening Among Underserved Brazilian Women: Development of a Theory-Based, Culturally-Relevant Assessment and Intervention
Funding Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
The overall goals of this study are: (1) To develop a culturally-relevant and theory driven assessment, and subsequent intervention, to promote breast cancer screening among underserved women 40 years of age and older in the southern region of Brazil (Curitiba, Paraná). (2) To promote capacity building among our partners, researchers, and university students in Brazil, developing a cadre of well-trained professionals and community leaders who can continue breast cancer disparities research in Brazil.

Title: REACH UP & OUT: Eliminating Breast and Cervical Cancer Disparities (R24)
Funding Source: NIMHD
This study proposes to further reduce breast and cervical cancer disparities between white and African American women in the Black Belt of Alabama by increasing Pap smear and mammography rates. A multi-component intervention will be developed and implemented that uses media, education, and enhanced access, incorporating sociological and cognitive behavioral approaches in the development and implementation of the messages.

Title: Comprehensive Minority and Health Disparities Research Center (MHDRC) (P60)
Role: Principal Investigator, Research Project (Healthy Congregations Healthy Communities)
Funding Source: NIMHD
The goal of this research project is to examine the effectiveness of a multi-component program that addresses breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening among African American women 50 years of age and older attending four local churches in Jefferson County, Alabama.

Title: Sowing the Seeds of Health: Latina Lunches
Funding Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
The overall goal is to promote breast health education and screening to at least 500 underserved Latina immigrants in Alabama.

Title: GO-ing Forward
Funding Source: NIMHD
The overall goal of this two-year research study is to develop a comprehensive and effective multisystem measurement model to understand the underlying causes of the social determinants of health and their relation to health disparities.

Title: A Cervical Cancer Prevention Intervention for African American Women with HIV (Intramural Grant)
Funding Source: Comprehensive Cancer Ctr & Ctr for AIDS Research (HIV Associated Malignancy) – CCC/CFAR
The proposed research aims to: 1) identify sociocultural factors associated with cervical cancer screening among HIV-infected AA women from a theoretical and culturally-relevant perspective and 2) integrate knowledge gained from Specific AIM 1 to identify key concepts and common themes to inform a cervical cancer prevention intervention protocol for HIV-infected AA women.