Shiriki K. Kumanyika, PhD, MPH

Office Location3401 Market
Office Phone215-898-2629

Faculty Information

CCEB AppointmentSenior Scholar, Epidemiology
Primary Faculty AppointmentEmeritus Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman SOM

Additional Positions

Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of Pennsylvania SOM

Senior Advisor and Senior Scholar, Center for Public Health Initiatives

Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Nutrition, CHOP

Senior Fellow, Institute on Aging, University of Pennsylvania SOM

Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Faculty Associate, Penn Institute for Urban Research

Research Statement

Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika has an interdisciplinary background and holds advanced degrees in social work, nutrition, and public health. She is a professor of epidemiology (Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Department of Pediatrics (Gastroenterology, Section on Nutrition), and the associate dean for health promotion and disease prevention at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School Of Medicine. She was the founding director of Penn's Master of Public Health program, serving in this role from the program's inception in 2002 until May of 2007.

Dr. Kumanyika's research focuses on ways to reduce diet-related chronic disease risks, particularly in African Americans. She has served as principal investigator or co-investigator of several multi-center and single-center randomized clinical trials or observational studies related to salt intake, other aspects of dietary intake, or obesity. Several of her studies have examined ways to promote healthy eating and physical activity in African American children or adults in clinical or community-based settings. She founded and chairs the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN –, a national network that seeks to improve the quantity, quality, and effective translation of research on weight issues in African American communities. Research to improve equity in food marketing environments in African American communities is a major focus of AACORN’s current research. Dr. Kumanyika is also currently engaged in research collaborations that involve the use of systems science approaches to study complex public health problems. Her current research is funded by the NIH, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Aetna Foundation. She has published extensively in the scientific literature and lectured widely within the United States and abroad.

Dr. Kumanyika's external activities focus on translation of evidence into nutrition and public health related policies. From 2008-2011 she was Vice Chair of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Healthy People 2020 Objectives. She currently chairs the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention, co-chairs the International Obesity Task Force of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, and is a member of the World Health Organization's Expert Panel on Nutrition. Her honors include election to membership in the IOM (2003), receipt of the inaugural Population Research Prize from the American Heart Association (2005), and receipt of the Wade Hampton Frost Lecture Award from the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association (2011).

Selected Publications

Kumanyika Shiriki K, Fassbender Jennifer E, Sarwer David B, Phipps Etienne, Allison Kelly C, Localio Russell, Morales Knashawn H, Wesby Lisa, Harralson Tina, Kessler Ronni, Tan-Torres Susan, Han Xiaoyan, Tsai Adam G, Wadden Thomas A: One-Year Results of the Think Health! Study of Weight Management in Primary Care Practices. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) Nov 2011.

Klesges Robert C, Obarzanek Eva, Kumanyika Shiriki, Murray David M, Klesges Lisa M, Relyea George E, Stockton Michelle B, Lanctot Jennifer Q, Beech Bettina M, McClanahan Barbara S, Sherrill-Mittleman Deborah, Slawson Deborah L: The Memphis Girls' health Enrichment Multi-site Studies (GEMS): an evaluation of the efficacy of a 2-year obesity prevention program in African American girls. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine 164(11): 1007-14, Nov 2010.

Kumanyika Shiriki K, Wadden Thomas A, Shults Justine, Fassbender Jennifer E, Brown Stacey D, Bowman Marjorie A, Brake Vivian, West William, Frazier Johnetta, Whitt-Glover Melicia C, Kallan Michael J, Desnouee Emily, Wu Xiaoying: Trial of family and friend support for weight loss in African American adults. Archives of internal medicine 169(19): 1795-804, Oct 2009.

Grier Sonya A, Kumanyika Shiriki K: The context for choice: health implications of targeted food and beverage marketing to African Americans. American journal of public health 98(9): 1616-29, Sep 2008.

Whitt-Glover, MC, Kumanyika, SK: Systematic Review of Interventions to Increase Physical Activity and Physical Fitness in African-Americans. American Journal Of Health Promotion 23(6): S33-S56, JUL-AUG 2009.

Kumanyika, SK: Environmental influences on childhood obesity: Ethnic and cultural influences in context. Physiology & Behavior 94(1): 61-70, APR 22 2008.

Kumanyika, SK, Obarzanek, E, Stettler, N, Bell, R, Field, AE, Fortmann, SP, Franklin, BA, Gillman, MW, Lewis, CE, Poston, WC, Stevens, J, Hong, YL: Population-based prevention of obesity - The need for comprehensive promotion of healthful eating, physical activity, and energy balance - A scientific statement from American heart association council on epidemiology and prevention, interdisciplinary committee for prevention (formerly the expert panel on population and prevention science). Circulation 118(4): 428-464, JUL 22 2008.

Kumanyika, SK, Whitt-Glover, M. C., Gary, T. L., Prewitt, T. E., Odoms-Young, A. M., Banks-Wallace, J., Beech, B. M., Halbert, C. H., Karanja, N., Lancaster, K. J., Samuel-Hodge, C. D.: Expanding the obesity research paradigm to reach African American communities. Prev Chronic Dis 4(4): A112, 2007.

Kumanyika, S., Brownson, R.C., editors: Handbook of Obesity Prevention. A Resource for Health Professionals. Springer Page: 537, 2007.

Swinburn, B, Gill, T, Kumanyika, S: Obesity prevention: a proposed framework for translating evidence into action. Obesity Reviews 6(1): 23-33, Feb 2005.

Penn Medicine CCEB Home