Professor of Public Health
Dr. Burke’s research program spans two primary areas: 1) cancer and health disparities in the United States and 2) chronic disease management in the context of global health. Her research in safety-net oncology clinics and community-based organizations providing support for poNor and immigrant cancer survivors explores the ways in which understanding structural vulnerability (e.g. physical-emotional suffering resulting from class-based economic exploitation and cultural, gender, and racialized discrimination) may address the concerns of biomedicine and also extend its reach and efficacy by bringing the broader social, cultural, and economic challenges of vulnerable populations into focus. As such, this research addresses the key concern of how to infuse health interventions with local, social, and cultural relevance in order to improve efficacy and support sustainability. Since 2009 Dr. Burke has conducted collaborative research on chronic disease self-management with colleagues at the Universidad de Ciencias Médicas, Facultad Girón in Havana, Cuba. This has resulted in several chronic disease workshops and the development of curriculum and an area of expertise focused on obesity and overweight, the first of its kind on the island.