Professor
Associate Director for Faculty Development and Education
Division of Preventive Medicine
Associate Director for Globalization and Cancer Disparities, Comprehensive Cancer Center

Contact Information:

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

 

Research, Training, and Community Outreach Interests

Dr. Scarinci is a behavioral scientist with a deep commitment to the elimination of cancer disparities in the US and in low- and middle-income countries. The focus of her work is on the application of behavioral science to public health by promoting behavior change at the population level. Her primary area of interest is cancer prevention and control (including tobacco control) among low-income, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrant populations (particularly Latinos and African Americans).  She is particularly interested in the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based programs that are theory based and culturally relevant to underserved populations in the U.S. and abroad.  In terms of methodological approaches to research, she has expertise in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and use of mixed methodology (qualitative/quantitative), particularly as it relates to culturally relevant needs/assets assessments.  She also leads a number of training programs in health disparities targeting undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty in collaboration with other universities in the US and abroad.

Dr. Scarinci is also very dedicated to community service. One example of her community work is a 10-year program to promote breast and cervical cancer screening among Latina immigrants in Alabama that relies 100% on the work of committed volunteers – Sowing the Seeds of Health. She has served on the Board of Directors for United Way of Central Alabama and Girls Scouts of North-Central Alabama and on the Advisory Board for the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham. She is currently the Honorary Consul of Brazil to Alabama.

 

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

  • 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

Awards

  • Awarded the Max Cooper Awards for Research Excellence – University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Medicine (2017)
  • Honorary Consul of Brazil in Alabama, published in the Brazilian Official Gazette on 05/26/14 (2014-present)
  • Honored by The Smart Party for lifetime work on cancer research and community outreach, The Women’s Fund of Birmingham (2013)
  • Awarded the William J. Koopman Mentoring Award – University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Medicine (2012)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 & Co-PI)


Title: Tobacco Control Network among Women in Paraná, Brazil – II (R01)
Funding Source: NIH-Fogarty International Center
The Network for Tobacco Control among Women in Paraná, Brazil was established with the goals of reducing tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among women in Paraná, Brazil and to develop a cadre of well-trained researchers who will continue to address comprehensive tobacco control strategies at multiple levels. The overall goal of this renewal is to continue to sustain and strengthen the Network, to conduct a group randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of a theory-based, culturally- and gender-relevant Community Health Worker intervention for Brazilian women who are light smokers that will augment the smoking cessation programs offered through the public health system, and to expand our current Career Development and Research Training Program to the other two major tobacco growing states (Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul) in order to develop a cadre of well-trained researchers who will continue to develop and implement gender-relevant comprehensive tobacco control strategies at all levels.

Title: Network for Tobacco Control among Women in Antioquia, Colombia (R21)
Funding Source: NIH
The overall purpose of the Network for Tobacco Control among Women in Antioquia, Colombia is to establish community and institutional capacity to promote gender-relevant tobacco control efforts among Colombian women. The goals of the “Network” are to reduce tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among women in Antioquia.

Title: Self-Sampling for HPV Testing in African American Women - Mississippi Delta (R21)
Funding Source: American Cancer Society
The goal of this study is to test whether un/under-screened AA women who are given a “choice” between self-sampling and having a Pap test at the local health department (“choice” group) are more likely to engage in cervical cancer screening than women who are only given the option of going to the local health department for a Pap test (“Pap” group).

Title: Sowing the Seeds of Health: Latina Lunches IV
Funding Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
The overall goal is to continue efforts to promote breast health education and screening to at least 350 underserved Latina immigrants in Alabama through a yearly educational luncheon using the infrastructure that was built through a previous program (Sowing the Seeds of Health).

Title:
Sowing the Seeds of Health: Expansion of the Latina Lunches Program
Funding Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
In this application, we propose to expand the Latina Lunches to three additional Alabama counties with large numbers of Latino immigrants - Etowah, DeKalb and Morgan counties between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.


Current Research Projects (Co-Principal Investigator)


Title: 1/2 The Alabama State University/UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership (P20)
Funding Source: NCI
The overall objectives of this proposal are to a) forge a Partnership and continue our existing basic cancer research collaborations between Alabama State University (ASU) and UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center to conduct research on cancer health disparities, b) to develop stronger cancer programs at ASU, and, c) to conduct research on the impact on populations at both institutions. The location of these institutions places this Partnership in an ideal geographic region to address cancer health disparities within the state of Alabama by developing a pipeline of students, scientist, and health care professionals from minority and medically underserved populations to bring the benefits of advances in cancer research to underserved regional patient populations.

Title: Morehouse School of Medicine/Tuskegee University/University of Alabama Cancer Center Partnership (U54)
Funding Source: NCI
The Partnership has goals of attaining excellence in research focused on the basis of cancer health disparities and on reducing the cancer burden. The primary objectives are to maintain progress in establishing productive cancer research programs at MSM and TU, to persist in developing a pipeline of prospective minority investigators at TU and further expand cancer disparity research at UABCCC.

Title: Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC) (U54)
Funding Source: NIMHD
The Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC) focuses on the theme of obesity and obesity-related health disparities across the Life Course. Using the state of Alabama as a model, the overall goal is to reduce the disparities in obesity between African Americans and Whites, thereby reducing related health disparities in prevalent chronic diseases. To achieve this, we support transdisciplinary, multi-level, multi-domain research on obesity-related health disparities to understand the complex contributors to obesity and how they vary at critical periods across the life course.