For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Shiriki K. Kumanyika, PhD, MS, MPH

Shiriki Kumanyika headshot

Research Professor
Community Health and Prevention
Download CV


BA, Liberal Arts, Syracuse University; MS, Social Work, Columbia University; PhD, Human Nutrition, Cornell University; MPH, Johns Hopkins University


Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, joined the Dornsife School faculty as a Research Professor in the fall of 2015.   She is Founder and Chair of the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), a national research network she founded in 2002 while at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).  With Dr. Kumanyika’s move to Drexel, AACORN now has its national office at the Dornsife School.  AACORN, which has members in approximately 20 states around the country, seeks to advance the health of US black communities through research and research translation on nutrition, physical activity, and body weight.

Dr. Kumanyika retains an appointment as an Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at Penn. During her 15 year tenure there she also held a secondary appointment as Professor of Epidemiology in Pediatrics (Gastroenterology, Nutrition Section), served as Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and was the founding director of Penn’s university-wide Master of Public Health Program.

Dr. Kumanyika's research focuses on identifying effective strategies to reduce nutrition-related chronic disease risks, with a particular focus on achieving health equity for black Americans. Over more than three decades, she has led or collaborated on single- or multi-center randomized clinical trials or observational studies related to obesity, sodium intake, and other aspects of diet and lifestyle. Several of these studies have evaluated interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity in African American children or adults in clinical or community-based settings. Her recent research with AACORN colleagues has included studies of the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages and food price influences on household food availability in black communities.

Dr. Kumanyika was Vice-Chair of the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Healthy People 2020 objectives, is a past president of the American Public Health Association, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM)).  She has extensive experience in advisory roles related to public health and nutrition policy in the US and abroad.  She is currently a member of the CDC Task force on Community Preventive Services, Co-chair of the Policy and Prevention Section of the World Obesity Federation, a member of the Lancet Commission on Obesity, and a nutrition policy advisor to the World Health Organization and the World Cancer Research Fund.

Research Interests

  • Solutions to obesity and diet-related diseases in black Americans
  • ‘Culture of health’  approaches in black communities
  • Assessment of food environments
  • Environmental influences on lifestyle changes
  • Targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages
  • Food and nutrition policy
  • Evidence-based public health
  • Nutrition epidemiologic methods
  • Social determinants of health and health equity
  • Systems science applications in public health


Powell LM, Kumanyika SK, Isgor Z, Rimkus L, Zenk SN, Chaloupka FJ. Price promotions for food and beverage products in a nationwide sample of food stores.  Prev Med. 2016; 86:106-13. Epub 2016 Jan 29.

Huang TT, Cawley JH, Ashe M, Costa SA, Frerichs LM, Zwicker L, Rivera JA, Levy D, Hammond RA, Lambert EV, Kumanyika SK. Mobilisation of public support for policy actions to prevent obesity. Lancet. 2015 Feb 18

Kumanyika SKFive critical challenges for public health. Health Educ Behav. 2014;41(1):5-6.

Powell, L, Wada R, Kumanyika SK. Racial/Ethnic and Income Disparities in Child and Adolescent Exposure to Food and Beverage Television Ads across U.S. Media Markets. Journal of Health and Place. 2014 Sep;29:124-31.

Phipps EJ, Kumanyika SK, Stites SD, Singletary B, Coolblall C, DiSantis, Katherine I. Buying Food on Sale: A Mixed Methods Study with Shoppers at an Urban Supermarket, Philadelphia, PA 2010-2012.  Preventing Chronic Disease. 2014 Sep 4;11:E151. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.140174.

Brennan VM, Kumanyika SK, Zambrana, RE. (Eds). Obesity interventions in underserved US communities: Evidence and directions. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2014

Chatterji M, Green LW, Kumanyika S. L.E.A.D.: a framework for evidence gathering and use for the prevention of obesity and other complex public health problems. Health education & behavior. Feb 2014;41(1):85-99

Kumanyika SK, Swank M, Stachecki J, Whitt-Glover MC, Brennan LK. Examining the evidence for policy and environmental strategies to prevent childhood obesity in black communities: new directions and next steps. Obes Rev. 2014 Oct;15 Suppl 4:177-203.

Kumanyika, S, Libman K, Garcia A. Strategic Action to Combat the Obesity Epidemic. Report of the Obesity Working Group, 2013. World Innovation Summit for Health. Qatar Foundation, December 2013. Available at:

Kumanyika S, Page JB, Castro FG.  Forum on Culture, Health Promotion, and Health Equity: Current Issues & Future Directions. 2012; Prev Med 55(6):581-2

Full listing on PubMed


African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network  

Podcasts and Videos

 “Disparities in Obesity”. Interview by Kelly Brownell, Director of the Rudd Center for Food and Obesity Policy. December 2010. Podcast#113.
Available from:

“Ethnically Targeted Marketing” Interview by Kelly Brownell, Director of the Rudd Center for Food and Obesity Policy. December 2010. Podcast # 112.
Available from:

Presidential Address”, opening session of the 143rd Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, November 1, 2015, Chicago, IL.
Available at:

Kumanyika S. Using a Community-Centered View of Influences on Eating, Activity, and Body Weight, Health Equity Research and Practice Webinar, American Public Health Association and Tulane Center of  Excellence in Maternal and Child Health.
Available at:


Environments Supporting Healthy Eating (ESHE) – Benchmarking Food Environments