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Shiriki K. Kumanyika, PhD, MS, MPH

Shiriki Kumanyika headshot

Research Professor
Community Health and Prevention
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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 Council on Black Health (formerly the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN). The Council on Black Health (CBH) national office is hosted by the Department of Community Health and Prevention; CBH is a national network that seeks to have a significant impact on health in Black communities through collaboration, discovery, and innovation. In addition to her Drexel affiliation, Dr. Kumanyika retains an appointment as an Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). She was the founding director of Penn's Master of Public Health program.

Dr. Kumanyika's research has focused on identifying effective strategies to reduce nutrition-related chronic disease risks, with a particular emphasis on achieving health equity for black Americans. Over more than three decades, she 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 evaluated interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity in black children or adults in clinical or community-based settings. Her recent research with Council on Black Health colleagues has included studies of the targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to black children and adults and food price influences on food purchases of black household food shoppers.

Dr. Kumanyika was Vice-Chair of the HHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Healthy People 2020 objectives and is also involved in efforts to develop Healthy People 2030. She is a past president of the American Public Health Association and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM)). Dr. Kumanyika has extensive experience in advisory roles related to public health and nutrition policy in the US and abroad. She is currently chair of the NAM Food and Nutrition Board, 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 children and adults
    • Ethnic disparities in obesity in the US and other high-income countries
    • "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
    • Social determinants of health and health equity
    • Systems science applications in public health


    Swinburn BA, Kraak VI, Allender S, …Kumanyika SK…et al. The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change: The Lancet Commission report. Lancet. 2019; 393(10173):791-846.

    Kumanyika SK. Supplement overview: what the Healthy Communities Study is telling us about childhood obesity prevention in U.S. communities. Pediatr Obes. 2018;13 Suppl 1:3-6.

    Krasnik A, Bhopal RS, Gruer L, Kumanyika SK. Advancing a unified, global effort to address health disadvantages associated with migration, ethnicity and race. Eur J Public Health. 2018 May 1;28(suppl_1).

    Isselmann DiSantis K, Kumanyika S, Carter-Edwards L, Rohm Young D, Grier SA, Lassiter V. Sensitizing Black Adult and Youth Consumers to Targeted Food Marketing Tactics in Their Environments. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017; Oct 29;14(11). pii: E1316.

    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.

    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; 385(9985):2422-31

    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;29:124-31.

    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. 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; 15 Suppl 4:177-203.

    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


    Council on Black Health

    Podcasts and Videos

    Duke/Sanford World Food Policy Center. The Leading Voices in Food. E6: Shiriki Kumanyika on the Disparities in our Food.

    Shiriki Kumanyika and Sonya Grier. Food Marketing Environments as Influences on Obesity and Diabetes Prevention and Control in Black Americans. Council on Black Health/Washington University at St. Louis Center for Diabetes Translation Research. Solutions to Diabetes in Black Americans Core.  Available at:

    "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