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Judith S. Jacobson

Associate Professor at Columbia University Medical Center of Epidemiology

Dr. Judith Jacobson's major research interests are cancer, asthma, and the role of behavior, including the use of complementary/alternative medicine, in the prevention and control of these conditions. She and colleagues have collaborated on studies of factors associated with cancer outcomes in national data and decision analyses of breast cancer prevention strategies, and on clinical trials of an herbal agent to control hot flashes in breast cancer patients and vitamin supplementation to prevent DNA damage in heavy smokers. With funding from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Dr. Jacobson is studying the determinants and outcomes of the use of complementary/alternative medicine among breast cancer cases in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study. With a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Dr. Jacobson and co-investigators are studying factors associated with the development and persistence of asthma in a cohort of children attending Head Start programs in New York City neighborhoods with high asthma hospitalization rates. The Commonwealth Fund and MetroPlus are also providing funding to Dr. Jacobson and colleagues to conduct a randomized trial of an electronic device that teaches children aged 8-16 years to control their asthma.
Areas of Expertise
Education & Training:

    DrPH, 1996, Columbia University

    MPH, 1986, Columbia University

    MBA, 1986, Columbia University

    BA, 1964, Brown University


Mailman School Affiliations:

University Affiliations:

  • Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center  Member
  • Rosenthal Center for Complementary/Alternative Medicine Research  Affiliate

Additional Affiliations:

  • Member, American Society of Preventive Oncology
  • Member, Society for Epidemiologic Research
  • Member, American Association for Cancer Research
  • Member, American Thoracic Society
  • Member, Society for Integrative Oncology
New York City
    Endotoxin, Obesity, and Asthma in NYC Head Start
    Asthma is the leading cause of pediatric hospitalization in New York City, especially among children under age 5 years. Dr. Jacobson and colleagues are recruiting children as they enter Head Start programs in the high asthma hospitalization neighborhoods of the city and following them for at least two years to identify factors associated with asthma prevalence, persistence, incidence, and severity in this population.

    Lung Cancer Risk Factor Survey in Staten Island and Bay Ridge
    Staten Island has higher lung cancer incidence rates than all the other boroughs of New York City. Some data suggest that Staten Island residents smoke more than do residents of the other boroughs. But Staten Island is demographically different from the other boroughs. We are conducting a random digit dialing telephone survey to assess smoking and other behaviors associated with lung cancer, as well as environmental and occupational factors, in Staten Island and the demographically similar community of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Bay Ridge's lung cancer incidence rates are similar to those in Brooklyn overall. If we find that smoking does not appear to account for the difference in lung cancer incidence rates in the two communities, we will seek funding to look for other factors that may account for Staten Island's high lung cancer incidence rates.

    Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Recruitment Core
    The Recruitment Core is the community outreach arm of the cancer center. The Recruitment Core not only works to recruit study participants from the racially and ethnically diverse community that the Medical Center serves but also brings information about cancer research, treatment, and prevention to the community and provides opportunities for the community to