Moon Chen, Jr., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Moon S. Chen, Jr., M.P.H., Ph.D.


Population Health



Internal Medicine


  • Professor in Residence
  • Associate Director, Cancer Control/Cancer Disparities


Research/Academic Interests

Moon S. Chen, Jr., Ph.D., M.P.H. is a nationally renowned expert in cancer health disparities, particularly as they affect Asian-American populations. He is UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center's Associate Director for Cancer Control, leading a portfolio of research that addresses determinants of cancer risk and their mitigation in human populations. Determinants include access to care, behaviors (e.g., tobacco use, screening, etc.), socio-cultural factors, and the interactions of individuals with their environment and the health-care system. 

He also co-leads the Population Sciences and Health Disparities research program for the Cancer Center that earned an Outstanding merit rating.

Through his leadership, the National Cancer Institute-funded Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training received the first NIH Organizational Health Disparities Leadership Award. His other awards include the American Cancer Society (National) Humanitarian Award; the National Cancer Institute Director's Outstanding Service Award; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Hep B Award. He has published extensively, particularly in mitigating cancer health disparities, with respect to viral hepatitis and cancer screening, and tobacco control.

He has published extensively, particularly in mitigating cancer health disparities, with respect to viral hepatitis and cancer screening, and tobacco control.


Hematology and Oncology

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


Ph.D., Texas Woman's University, Denton TX 1979

M.P.H., Tulane University, New Orleans LA 1974

B.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 1968

M.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 1970

Honors and Awards

Best Paper award for: "Tong EK, Nguyen TT, Lo P, Stewart SL, Gildengorin GL, Tsoh JY, Jo AM, Kagawa-Singer ML, Sy AU, Cuaresma C, Lam HT, Wong C, Tran MT, Chen MS Jr. Lay health educators increase colorectal cancer screening among Hmong Americans: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Cancer. 2017 Jan 1;123(1):98-106" from the National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, 2016

Hep B Champion award for "Leadership and commitment in addressing Hep B and eliminating health disparities in the U.S." from the Hep B United Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016

Recipient, National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. (Inaugural) 2015 National Service Award, 2015

Chen et al. Cancer 2014; 120: 1091-96 selected as one of 2014's major achievements in clinical cancer research and care and included in the American Society for Clinical Oncology's Clinical Cancer Advances 2015: ASCO's Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer, 2015

Nominee for American Association for Cancer Research, Distinguished Lecture on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities. Nominated by Ted Wun, MD, Associate Dean for Research, School of Medicine, UC Davis and Chief, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine School of Medicine, UC Davis, 2014

Distinguished Visiting Scholar on Health Disparities, University of Minnesota, November 18-19. Scholarly lecture: "Reducing Cancer Health Disparities among Asian Americans: Progress and Prognosis", 2013

Unique, Unusual, & Unnecessary Health Disparities Confronting Asian Americans. University of Toledo President's Lecture Series on Diversity, Toledo OH, 2012

"Most Publications" award for National Programs within the Community Network Program. Award from the National Cancer Institute's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, July 2009 to the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, & Training, & accepted on its behalf, Moon S. Chen, Jr., Principal Investigator, 2009

First-ever and only organizational award by the Director, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities for "Health Disparities Research Leadership Award" awarded to the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness & Research and Training & accepted on its behalf as Moon S. Chen, Jr., Principal Investigator, 2008

National Cancer Institute Director's Service Award, 2008

Award "in recognition of Moon S. Chen, Jr., Ph.D., M.P.H. for outstanding contributions to reducing disparities in cancer prevention and control, 2007". UCDavis Cancer Center. Leadership Award, UC Davis Cancer Center, 2008

Nominee, Faculty Award Program for UC Davis Health System, 2007

Human Health for UC Davis Chancellor's Award, UC Davis Health, 2006

Community Health Research Leadership Award, National Cancer Institute, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Outstanding Community Service Award, UC Davis Health System for the American Association of Medical Colleges, 2005

First non-MD to give lecture, 5th Annual HH. Chao Lectureship, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC Irvine, 2004

Selection for inclusion in the Academic Key's Who's Who in Medical Sciences Education, 2004

American Cancer Society (National) Humanitarian Award, 2003

Recipient, State of Texas Doctoral Fellowship, 1976, 1977

Select Recent Publications

For a comprehensive list of Dr. Chen's publications, please click here (opens new window).

Tong EK, Wolf T, Cooke DT, Fairman N, Chen MS Jr. The Emergence of a Sustainable Tobacco Treatment Program across the Cancer Care Continuum: A Systems Approach for Implementation at the University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May;17(9):3241. doi:10.3390/ijerph17093241.

Dang JHT, Stewart SL, Blumberg DA, Rodriguez HP, Chen MS. "There's Always Next Year": Primary Care Team and Parent Perspectives on the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine. Human Caccines & Immunotherapeutics. 2020 Feb;16(8):1-10. doi:10.1080/21645515.2019.1710410.

Regnante JM, Richie N, Fashoyin-Aje L, Hall LL, Highsmith Q, Louis J, Turner K, Hoover S, Lee SC, González E, Williams E, Adams H, Obasaju C, Sargeant I, Spinner J, Reddick C, Gandee M, Geday M, Dang J, Watson R, Chen MS. Operational strategies in US cancer centers of excellence that support the successful accrual of racial and ethnic minorities in clinical trials. Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2020 Jan 22;17:100532. doi:10.1016/j.conctc.2020.100532.

Wang T, Liu Y, Letran D, Dang JHT, Harris AM, Li CS, Chen MS, Bowlus CL, Chak E. Healthcare Disparities Identified Between Hmong and Other Asian Origin Groups Living with Chronic Hepatitis B Infection in Sacramento County 2014-2017. J Community Health. 2020 Apr;45(2):412-418. doi:10.1007/s10900-019-00763-1.

Chu JN, Stewart SL, Gildengorin G, Wong C, Lam H, McPhee SJ, Chen MS, Bastani R, Maxwell AE, Taylor VM, Nguyen TT. Effect of a media intervention on hepatitis B screening among Vietnamese Americans. Ethn Health. 2019 Oct 14:1-14. doi:10.1080/13557858.2019.1672862.

Regnante JM, Richie N, Fashoyin-Aje L, Vichnin M, Ford M, Roy UB, Turner K, Gonzalez E, Esnaola N, Clark L, Adams III H, Alese OB, Gogineni K, McNeill L, Petereit D, Dang J, Hall LL, Obasaju C, Sargeant I, Highsmoth Q, Hoover S, Lee SC, Newman L, Watson R, Puckrein GA, Chen MS Jr. US Cancer Centers of Excellence--Strategies for increased inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities in clinical trials. J Oncol Prac. 2019 Apr;15(4):e289-e299. doi:10.1200/JOP.18.00638.

Stewart SL, Dang JH, Török NJ, Chen MS Jr. Patterns and Cooccurrence of risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma in four Asian American communities: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2019 Jun 28;9(6):e026409. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026409.

Chen MS Jr. Rectifying disparities in NIH funding of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander research. Invited Commentary. JAMA Network Open. 2019 Jul 3;2(7):e197561. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.7561.

Ortiz AP, Machin M, Soto-Salgado M, Centeno-Girona H, Rivera-Collazo D, González D, Chen MS Jr., Colón-López. V. Effect of an educational video to increase calls and screening into an anal cancer clinical trial among HIV+ Hispanics in PR: results from a randomized controlled behavioral trial. AIDS and Behavior. 2018 Nov;23(1):1135-1146. doi:10.1007/s10461-018-2330.

Chak E, Taefi AM, Li C-S, Chen MS Jr., Harris A, MacDonald S, Bowlus C. Electronic medical alerts increase screening for chronic Hepatitis B: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Nov;27(11):1352-1357. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-18-0448.