Dr. Larkin Strong

(Health Fellows & Scholars)
Instructor, Dept. of Epidemiology; Div. of OVP, Cancer Prev. and Policy
Houston, Texas
United States

Focus Areas



Dr. Larkin Strong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Disparities Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. A theme throughout her work is the recognition that health and health behaviors are embedded within social, physical, economic, and cultural contexts. Dr. Strong received her Ph.D. in Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health in 2006, where her research focused on understanding and reducing occupational and take-home exposures of pesticides in farmworkers and their families. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan with the Kellogg Health Scholars program, a national postdoctoral program that emphasized skills in community-academic partnering as a meaningful approach for reducing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in health. During this time, Dr. Strong worked in collaboration with community and academic partners in Detroit to develop, implement, and evaluate a neighborhood-based walking and social support program to promote healthy lifestyles among low-income residents. Dr. Strong's current research aims to understand how social, cultural, and environmental influences help to shape patterns of cancer preventive behaviors in minority and underserved populations, with the ultimate objective of translating research findings into health promotion efforts that stimulate meaningful change in opportunities for and adoption of healthy lifestyles. Dr. Strong is the Principal Investigator of a Mentored Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society that facilitates her training and research in the investigation of pathways linking physical and social environments to physical activity and sedentary behaviors in diverse samples of adults. She has also been awarded institutional funding to conduct a pilot intervention trial of a social support intervention that builds upon sedentary women's existing social networks and utilizes available smartphone technology to promote increased physical activity. She is also a co-Investigator on a Community Networks Program Center grant funded through the National Cancer Institute to reduce cancer-related disparities in Latinos across three regions of Texas through research, community outreach, and training of early stage investigators. Dr. Strong is also involved in research examining area-level disparities in access to safe opportunities for physical activity in the Houston area.