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Dr. Pruitt serves as an Associate Professor and as the Associate Director of Community Outreach, Engagement, and Equity in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Dr. Pruitt conducts research at the interface of epidemiology, behavioral and social science, and health equity research. She uses geospatial, administrative, and clinical data to better elucidate geographic, socioeconomic, and racial/ethnic inequities in cancer outcomes and to monitor the health of low- and middle- income populations. The goal of Dr. Pruitt's reserach program is to generate evidence that can be used to guide policies and programs that optimize health for everyone, regardless of their ZIP Code and social strata. As an example, in 2019, Dr. Pruitt led a team of UT System and UT Southwestern investigators to document life expectancy inequities by geography, sex, and race/ethnicity across Texas: As another example, the Community Assistance Research initiative (CARE;, co-directed by Dr. Pruitt and Dr. Tammy Leonard, has generated evidence showing how neighborhood-based food pantries can optimize health of food insecure populations in Dallas County. Dr. Pruitt is currently working closely with her community academic partnership to design, implement, and evaluate pragmatic interventions in food pantries designed to improve health for low and middle income Dallas residents who experience food insecurity. She is also leading two observational cancer epidemiology R01s; one generating evidence for an the under-studied and growing population of individuals with multiple primary cancers and the second quantifying breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer disparities among Hispanic or Latino populations and Asian American populations in five U.S. states.


Evergreen State College (1998), Liberal Arts
Graduate School
University of Texas Health Sci (2003), Public Health
Graduate School
University of Texas Health Sci (2008), Public Health

Research Interest

  • Administrative data research (Census, ACS, EHR, claims)
  • Cancer outcomes and disparities
  • Cancer prevention and screening
  • Food insecurity and health
  • Health disparities
  • Multilevel modeling, geographic information systems
  • Neighborhoods, geography, and health
  • Pragmatic interventions in food pantry settings


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Exposures at day labor corners: using existing georeferenced data to describe features of urban environments.
Fernández-Esquer ME, Hughes AE, Pruitt SL, Ann Epidemiol 2019 11 39 54-62
Cervical Cancer Burden and Opportunities for Prevention in a Safety-net Healthcare System.
Pruitt SL, Werner CL, Borton EK, Sanders JM, Balasubramanian BA, Barnes A, Betts AC, Skinner CS, Tiro JA Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Sep
Overlapping geographic clusters of food security and health: Where do social determinants and health outcomes converge in the U.S?
Leonard T, Hughes AE, Donegan C, Santillan A, Pruitt SL SSM Popul Health 2018 Aug 5 160-170
Social disadvantage, healthcare utilization, and colorectal cancer screening: Leveraging longitudinal patient address and electronic health records data.
Hughes AE, Tiro JA, Balasubramanian BA, Skinner CS, Pruitt SL Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Aug
Family and Social Context Contributes to the Interplay of Economic Insecurity, Food Insecurity, and Health.
Higashi RT, Craddock Lee SJ, Pezzia C, Quirk L, Leonard T, Pruitt SL Ann Anthropol Pract 2017 Nov 41 2 67-77
Prevalence of Prior Cancer Among Persons Newly Diagnosed With Cancer: An Initial Report From the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.
Murphy CC, Gerber DE, Pruitt SL JAMA Oncol 2017 Nov
Revisiting a longstanding clinical trial exclusion criterion: impact of prior cancer in early-stage lung cancer.
Pruitt SL, Laccetti AL, Xuan L, Halm EA, Gerber DE Br. J. Cancer 2017 Feb

Honors & Awards

  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research award for First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members