Dr. Pruitt conducts research at the interface of epidemiology, behavioral and social science, and health equity research. Her team links large geospatial, administrative, and clinical databases to better elucidate geographic, socioeconomic, and racial/ethnic inequities in cancer outcomes and to monitor the health of low-income populations. 

Building from discoveries in basic geospatial and multilevel science, her work is designed to guide policies and programs that optimize health for everyone, regardless of their Zip Code. For 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 (University of Dallas), has generated evidence showing how neighborhood-based food pantries can optimize health of food insecure populations in Dallas County. Dr. Pruitt is currently working on moving her research from observation to intervention. For example, she is working closely with her community academic partnership to design, implement, and evaluate pragmatic interventions in food pantries designed to improve health for low income Dallas residents.


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
Who Is Food Insecure? Implications for Targeted Recruitment and Outreach, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2010.
Pruitt SL, Leonard T, Xuan L, Amory R, Higashi RT, Nguyen OK, Pezzia C, Swales S Prev Chronic Dis 2016 Oct 13 E143
The utility of EMR address histories for assessing neighborhood exposures.
Hughes AE, Pruitt SL Ann Epidemiol 2016 Aug
Multiple Comorbidities and Interest in Research Participation Among Clients of a Nonprofit Food Distribution Site.
Higashi RT, Craddock Lee SJ, Leonard T, Cuate EL, Cole J, Pruitt SL Clin Transl Sci 2015 Aug
Impact of prior cancer on eligibility for lung cancer clinical trials.
Gerber DE, Laccetti AL, Xuan L, Halm EA, Pruitt SL J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2014 Nov 106 11
Neighborhood effects in a behavioral randomized controlled trial.
Pruitt SL, Leonard T, Murdoch J, Hughes A, McQueen A, Gupta S Health Place 2014 Nov 30 293-300
Geographic disparity, area poverty, and human papillomavirus vaccination.
Pruitt SL, Schootman M Am J Prev Med 2010 May 38 5 525-33

Honors & Awards

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