Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil

Associate Professor of Medicine, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
Director, Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program
Associate Director, UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity in the  UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Associate Director, UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research Program 
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA 

Dr. May graduated cum laude from Yale University with a degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. After college, she attended the University of Cambridge to study epidemiology and international health, earning a master's of philosophy in epidemiology before returning to the U.S. to attend Harvard Medical School. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and remained at MGH for one year as a hospitalist and clinical educator in the Department of Medicine Academic Medicine Quality Program and as manager of Trainee Affairs for the MGH Multicultural Affairs Office.

Dr. May came to UCLA in 2011 to begin her gastroenterology fellowship and was part of the UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) program. During her fellowship, she earned a PhD in health policy and management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Her doctoral dissertation addressed Black-White disparities in colorectal cancer incidence, screening and outcomes.

Upon completing her GI fellowship, Dr. May joined the digestive diseases faculty at UCLA with a dual appointment in the Veterans Affairs. She is the director of the May Laboratory, which engages in health services research and quality improvement related to population health, preventive health, and health disparities at UCLA Health, in Federally Qualified Health Centers (community health centers), and in the Veterans Affairs. Research spans several areas from the epidemiology of disease and disease risk factors to implementation science to improve disease outcomes. As director of the Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program, Dr. May also oversees a portfolio of quality improvement projects at UCLA Health to improve the quality of care for UCLA Health patients with gastrointestinal and liver conditions. Dr. May is passionate about improving awareness about preventive health and health equity and is involved in advocacy at the state and national level to develop and encourage policy to improve healthcare delivery. She has received numerous local and national awards for her research, community engagement and advocacy, including recognition from the American Cancer Society, National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, American College of Gastroenterology, and American Gastroenterological Association, and the Biden Cancer Moonshot. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, Broad Stem Cell Research Center, and Stand Up to Cancer.  

Dr. May is a member of the UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and an associate director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity. She is also an assistant director for the UCLA STAR Program and the director of grants for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Global Health Program.


  1. NIH/NCI R03CA230947-01A1 Follow-up of Abnormal Findings on Colorectal Cancer Screening in a Federally Qualified Health Center: The Role of System-Level Clinical Care Processes (PI)
  2. UCLA Innovation Rising Star Award Personalized Cancer Screening (PI)
  3. TRDRP 587791 Implementation Research to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Disparities (Co-Investigator)
  4. UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation Liver Cancer Prevention and Control – Understanding and Addressing Disparities (Co-Investigator)
  5. Exact Sciences; “A Longitudinal Study of Cologuard™ in an Average Risk Population Assessing a Three Year Test Interval” (site PI)
  6. UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation Seed Grant; “A Community-Academic Partnership to Improve Colorectal Cancer Screening in South Los Angeles” (PI)
  7. Charles Drew University- UCLA Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities Seed Grant; “A Community Partnership to Improve Follow-up After Positive Colorectal Cancer Screening” (PI)

Publications (selected)

  1. Viramontes O, Bastano R, Yang L, Glenn BA, Herrman AK, May FP. Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Hispancis in the United States: Disparities, Modalities, Predictors, and Regional VariationPreventive Medicine. September 2020 Volume 138, 106146
  2. May FP, Yang L, Corona E, Glenn BA, Bastani R. Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening in the United States Before and After Implementation of the Affordable Care ActClin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020;18(8):1796-1804.e2. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2019.09.008
  3. Gray DM, Anyane-Yeboa A, Balzora S. et al. COVID-19 and the Other Pandemic: Populations Made Vulnerable by Systemic InequityNat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol (2020).
  4. Balzora S, Issaka RB, Anyane-Yeboa A, Gray DM 2nd, May FP. The Impact of COVID-19 on Colorectal Cancer Disparities and the Way Forward. [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 20] Gastrointest Endosc. 2020;S0016-5107(20)34468-0  doi:10.1016/j.gie.2020.06.042
  5. Viramontes O, Bastani R, Yang L, Glenn BA, Herrmann AK, May FP. Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Hispanics in the United States: Disparities, Modalities, Predictors, and Regional Variation [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 28]. Prev Med. 2020;138:106146. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106146
  6. Cusumano VT, May FP. Making FIT Count: Maximizing Appropriate Use of the Fecal Immunochemical Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening ProgramsJ Gen Intern Med. 2020;35(6):1870-1874. doi:10.1007/s11606-020-05728-y
  7. Kardashian A, May FP. Empowering Early Career Female Gastroenterologists and HepatologistsNat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019;16(11):644-645. doi:10.1038/s41575-019-0216-9
  8. Myint A, Aby ES, May F. Getting Colorectal Cancer Screening Right: A Teachable Moment [published online ahead of print, 2019 Aug 19]. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.3457 doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.3457
  9. May FP, Yano EM, Provenzale D, Steers WN, Washington DL. Race, Poverty, and Mental Health Drive Colorectal Cancer Screening Disparities in the Veterans Health AdministrationMed Care. 2019;57(10):773-780. doi:10.1097/MLR.0000000000001186
  10. May FP, Anandasabapathy S. Colon Cancer in Africa: Primetime for Screening?Gastrointest Endosc. 2019;89(6):1238-1240. doi:10.1016/j.gie.2019.04.206
  11. May, FP, Glen B, Crespi C, Spiegel B, Ponce N, Bastani R. Decreasing Black-White Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Stage at Presentation in the United StatesCancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Dec. 2017 May;26(5):762-768. PMID: 28035021
  12. May FP, Reid MW, Cohen S, Dailey F, Spiegel BM. Predictive Overbooking and Active Recruitment Increases Uptake of Endoscopy Appointments Among African American PatientsGastrointest Endosc. 2017 Apr;85(4):700-705
  13. May FP, Almario C, Ponce N, Spiegel BM. Racial Minorities are More Likely Than Whites to ReportLlack of Provider Recommendation for Colon Cancer ScreeningAm J Gastro. 2015 Oct;110(10):1388-94. PMID: 25964227
  14. May FP*, Bromley EG*, Federer L, Spiegel BM, van Oijen MG. Explaining Persistent Under-Use of Colonoscopic Cancer Screening in African Americans: A Systematic ReviewPrev Med. 2015 Feb;71:40-8. PMID: 25481094 *co-first authorship
  15. May FP, Whitman CB, Varlyguina K, Bromley EG, Spiegel BM. Addressing Low Colorectal Cancer Screening in African Americans: Focus Groups Reveal a Framework for Developing an Effective InterventionJ Cancer Educ. 2016 Sep;31(3):567-74. PMID: 25963898


UCLA Cancer Prevention Control Research