Ninez Ponce

Ninez Ponce, PhD

Professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management
Principal Investigator, California Health Interview Survey



Contact Information


(310) 206-4021 - (Fielding)
(310) 794-2691 - (Health Policy)

Scientific Interests

Trained in health economics and health policy, Dr. Ninez Ponce researches the macroeconomic effects on health and health care access in low income countries and among low-SES neighborhoods and ethnic minorities in the United States. As co-principal investigator of the California Health Interview Survey in 2001 and 2003, she led the efforts in the measurement of race/ethnicity, the oversamples of ethnic subgroups and in the cultural and linguistic adaptation of the survey. Ponce received a five-year career-development award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to explore neighborhood effects and health care market factors that explain racial and ethnic disparities in cancer screening. Recently, NCI's Special Populations Health Network recognized Ponce as a "Rising Star" in cancer disparities research as part of her work with the Asian American Network in Cancer Awareness Research and Training.

Ponce's current research examines whether socio-ecological predictors have an effect on population-based cancer screening behaviors, specifically for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers. The study seeks to understand the relationship between individual and socio-ecological variables and to determine if and to what extent these socio-ecological variables mediate individual decisions to seek preventive cancer screening services, particularly among ethnic minority populations.

Highlighted Publications

Ponce NA, Ko M, Liang SY, Armstrong J, Toscano M, Chanfreau-Coffinier C, Haas JS. Early diffusion of gene expression profiling in breast cancer patients associated with areas of high income inequality. Health Aff (Millwood). 2015 Apr;34(4):609-15. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2014.1013.

Ponce NA, Tsui J, Knight SJ, Afable-Munsuz A, Ladabaum U, Hiatt RA, Haas JS. Disparities in cancer screening in individuals with a family history of breast or colorectal cancer. Cancer. 2012 Mar 15;118(6):1656-63. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26480. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Ponce NA, Afable-Munsuz A, Nordyke RJ. Conceptualising the impact of genetic testing on cancer disparities in the United States. International Journal of Health Technology and Management. 2007;8:5:536-548.

Ponce NA, Chawla N, Babey SH, Gatchell MS, Etzioni DA, Spencer BA, Brown ER, Breen N. Is there a language divide in pap test use? Med Care. 2006 Nov;44(11):998-1004.

Ponce NA, Huh S, Bastani R. Do HMO market level factors lead to racial/ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer screening? A comparison between high-risk Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and high-risk whites. Med Care. 2005 Nov;43(11):1101-8.