Rachel Shelton, MD

Rachel Shelton, ScD, MPH is a social and behavioral scientist with training in cancer and social epidemiology, and expertise in implementation science, sustainability, health equity, and community-based participatory research. She is Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, where she is Deputy Chair for Faculty Development and Research Strategy, as well as Co-Director of the Community Engagement Core Resource at the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Additionally, she helps lead a university-wide Implementation Science Initiative across Columbia. Dr. Shelton developed and teaches one of the first courses offered in dissemination and implementation science nationally (since 2013) and is a co-author in the textbook on Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health. She has been an invited speaker and trainer nationally and internationally in the field, and has been a facilitator for the Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (TIDIRH) in Ireland and Australia, as well as the Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research for Cancer (TIDIRC) in the U.S. Dr. Shelton has 15 years of experience conducting mixed-methods research in both community-based and health system settings, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications in journals including Translational Behavioral Medicine, Social Science & Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Implementation Science, and Annual Reviews of Public Health.

In addition to her work on advancing the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based interventions in community and clinical settings to address health inequities, she has published extensively on social and contextual factors that influence disparities in cancer and other chronic diseases among Black and Latino populations, including social networks, medical mistrust, racial discrimination and racism. Dr. Shelton has been consecutively funded as Principal Investigator for over ten years, with funding through American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, NCATS, and National Institute on Aging (NIA). Dr. Shelton is currently PI of a Research Scholar Grant for Health Equity through American Cancer Society focused on advancing understanding of the sustainability and adaptation of community-led lay health advisor programs for cancer screening in African American communities nationally. Additionally, she is multiple-PI of a R01 grant through NIA focused on structural factors (e.g. racial discrimination, financial hardship) and social resources related to racial inequities in epigenetic aging (DNA methylation, telomere length). She is also MPI of a R01 grant through NCI on de-implementation that is examining patient, provider and system-level strategies to reduce mammography overscreening among older women. Dr. Shelton served as Program Chair for SBM's 2018 Annual Meeting and served on the SBM Board as Member Delegate, and has received awards for her leadership and mentorship at SBM.