Robin T. Higashi, PhD. joined the faculty as Instructor and member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2019. Prior to her promotion to the faculty, Dr. Higashi served as Senior Research Associate in the Department of Population and Data Sciences for 6 years.

Dr. Higashi specializes in using qualitative and mixed methods design in healthcare delivery research with underserved populations. Currently she is Co-Investigator on three studies: (1) an NCI award (R01 CA203856) to improve care coordination for patients with cancer and chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes; (2) an NCI award (UM1CA221940) to evaluate and optimize cervical cancer screening across 3 major U.S. health systems; (3) an NCI supplement award (P30CA142543) to explore linkage to cancer treatment among border populations in south Texas. Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Higashi engages directly with a broad population of safety-net patients, clinical and community stakeholders.

Dr. Higashi has published on a wide variety of health topics, such as: HIV continuity of care, Hepatitis C screening, breast and colorectal cancer screening and surveillance, diabetes prevention, food insecurity, and physician socialization. She contributes to the Medical School and Graduate School curriculum through invited lectures and mentorship of students, and provides formal consulting on qualitative methods to faculty investigators.


Stanford University (1998), Psychology
Graduate School
Uni of California-Sfrancisco (2010), Medical Anthropology

Research Interest

  • impact of structural inequality on health experience and outcomes
  • mixed methods program evaluation
  • Spanish-speaking (im)migrant populations


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Physical, Emotional, and Social Impacts of Restricting Back Pain in Older Adults: A Qualitative Study.
Makris UE, Higashi RT, Marks EG, Fraenkel L, Gill TM, Friedly JL, Reid MC, Pain Med 2017 07 18 7 1225-1235
County-level outcomes of a rural breast cancer screening outreach strategy: a decentralized hub-and-spoke model (BSPAN2).
Lee SJC, Higashi RT, Inrig SJ, Sanders JM, Zhu H, Argenbright KE, Tiro JA, Transl Behav Med 2017 06 7 2 349-357
Assessing local capacity to expand rural breast cancer screening and patient navigation: An iterative mixed-method tool.
Inrig SJ, Higashi RT, Tiro JA, Argenbright KE, Lee SJ, Eval Program Plann 2017 04 61 113-124
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 10 13 E143
Characterizing safety-net providers' HPV vaccine recommendations to undecided parents: A pilot study.
Shay LA, Street RL, Baldwin AS, Marks EG, Lee SC, Higashi RT, Skinner CS, Fuller S, Persaud D, Tiro JA, Patient Educ Couns 2016 09 99 9 1452-60
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 Oct 8 5 584-90
Ageism, negative attitudes, and competing co-morbidities--why older adults may not seek care for restricting back pain: a qualitative study.
Makris UE, Higashi RT, Marks EG, Fraenkel L, Sale JE, Gill TM, Reid MC, BMC Geriatr 2015 Apr 15 39
Elder care as "frustrating" and "boring": understanding the persistence of negative attitudes toward older patients among physicians-in-training.
Higashi RT, Tillack AA, Steinman M, Harper M, Johnston CB, J Aging Stud 2012 Dec 26 4 476-83


Featured Books Legend Featured Books