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Isabel C. Scarinci, PhD, MPH

Isabel C. Scarinci, PhD MPH
Department of Medicine
Division of Preventive Medicine
Medical Towers 609
1717 11th Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
Phone: (205) 975-7177
Fax: (205) 934-7959

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.


  1. 1998, Pre-doctoral Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA
  2. 1998, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  3. 1996, Masters in Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  4. 1993, Masters in Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
  5. 1984, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, State University of Londrina, Londrina, Paraná, Brazil

Selected Recent Publications (2014-present)

  1. Durant R.W., Brown Q.L., Cherrington A.L., Andreae L.J., Hardy, C.M., Scarinci I.C. (2013) Social support among African Americans with heart failure: Is there a role for community health advisors. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care 42(1):19-25. PMC3509228.
  2. Castle, P.E., Gage, J.C., Partridge, E.E., Rausa, A., Gravitt, P.E., Scarinci, I.C. (2013) Human papillomavirus genotypes detected in clinical-collected and self-collected specimens from women living in the Mississippi Delta. BMC Infectious Diseases. 13:5. PMC3570306
  3. Litton, A.G., Castle, P.E., Partridge, E.E., Scarinci, I. C. (2013) Cervical cancer screening preferences among African American women in the Mississippi Delta. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 24:46-55.
  4. Scarinci, I. C. , Litton, A., Garces-Palacio, I., Partridge, E., Castle, P. (2013) Acceptability and usability of self-collected sampling for HPV testing among African American women living in the Mississippi Delta. Women’s Health Issues, 23(2):e123-30. PMC3596478
  5. Lebensburger, J., Sidonio, R. F., DeBaun, M., Safford, M., Howard, T., Scarinci , I. C. (2013) Exploring Barriers and Facilitators to Clinical Trial Enrollment in the Context of Sickle Cell Anemia and Hydroxyurea. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 60(8):1333-7.
  6. Holt, C., Scarinci, I.C., Debnam, K., McDavid, C., Litaker, M., McNeal, S., Southward, V., Lee, C., Eloubeidi, M., Crowther, M., Bolland, J., Martin, M. Y. (2013) Spiritually Based Intervention to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening among African Americans: Screening and Theory-Based Outcomes from a Randomized Trial. Health Education and Behavior, 40(4):458-468.
  7. Sinclair, C.F., Foushee, H.R., Scarinci, I.C., Carroll, W.R. (2013) Perceptions of harm to health from cigarettes, blunts and marijuana among young adult African American men. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 24(3):1266-75.
  8. Schoenberger, Y.M., Phillips, J., Mohiuddin, M.O., McNees, P., Scarinci, I.C. (2013) Acceptability of delivering and accessing health information through text messaging among community health advisors. EpubJournal of Medical Internet Research. DOI:10.2196/mhealth.2641.
  9. Bittencourt, L., Person, S.D., Cruz, R.C., Scarinci, I.C. (2013) Pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs and the impact on women. Revista Brasileira de Saúde Pública, 47(6):1123-9.
  10. Bittencourt, L., Scarinci, I.C. (2014) Is there a role for Community Health Workers in tobacco cessation? Perceptions of Administrators and Health Care Professionals. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 16(5):626-631.
  11. Wells KJ, Lima DS, Meade CD, Muñoz-Antonia T, Scarinci I, McGuire A, Gwede CK, Pledger WJ, Partridge E, Lipscomb J, Matthews R, Matta J, Flores I, Weiner R, Turner T, Miele L, Wiese TE, Fouad M, Moreno CS, Lacey M, Christie DW, Price-Haywood EG, Quinn GP, Coppola D, Sodeke SO, Green BL, Lichtveld MY; on behalf of the Region 3 GMaP/BMaP investigators. (2013) Assessing needs and assets for building a regional network infrastructure to reduce cancer related health disparities. Evaluation Program Planning, 44C:14-25.
  12. Durant, R.W., Wenzel, J., Scarinci, I.C., Paterniti, D.A., Fouad, M.N., Hurd, T.C., Martin, M.Y. (2014) Perspectives on Barriers and Facilitators to Minority Recruitment for Clinical Trials among Cancer Center Leaders, Investigators, Research Staff, and Referring Clinicians: Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT). Cancer, 1;120 Suppl 7:1097-105.
  13. White, K., Yeager, V., Menachemi, N., Scarinci, I.C. (2014) Impact of Alabama’s immigration law on access to health care among Latina immigrants and children: Implications for national reform. American Journal of Public Health. 104(3):397-405.
  14. Menezes, A.H., Cardelli, A.A., Dalmas, J.C., Scarinci, I.C., Maciel, S.M. (2014) Factors associated with regular cigarette smoking by adolescents from public schools in Londrina, Paraná, Brazil. Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 30(4): 774-784. (Portuguese).
  15. Rosenbaum, A.J ., Gage, J.C ., Alfaro, K.M ., Ditzian, L.R ., Maza, M ., Scarinci, I.C ., Felix, J.C ., Castle, P.E ., Villalta, S ., Miranda, E ., Cremer, M.L . (2014). Acceptability of self-collected versus provider-collected sampling for HPV DNA testing among women in rural El Salvador. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 126(2):156-60.
  16. Scarinci, I.C., Moore, A., Wynn, T., Cherrington, A., Fouad, M, Li, Y. (2014). A community-based, culturally relevant intervention to promote healthy eating and physical activity among middle-aged African American women in rural Alabama: findings from a group randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine, 69C:13-20.
  17. Williams, M.S., Kempf, M.C., Chamot, E., Moneyham, L.D., Scarinci, I.C. (2015). Structural and Sociocultural Factors Associated with Cervical Cancer Screening Among HIV-Infected African American Women in Alabama. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 29:13-19.
  18. Bittencourt, L., Cruz, R.C., Scarinci, I.C. (2015). Tobacco cessation program selection and training in the Unified Health System: Manager and health care professional perspectives in the state of Paraná, Brazil. Epidemiologia e Serviços de Saúde, 23(4): 645-54 (Portuguese).