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Kevin Cassel, DrPH

Kevin Cassel, PhD
  • Full Member
    Population Sciences in the Pacific Program (Cancer Prevention in the Pacific)
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Researcher (Assistant Professor)
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
    University of Hawaii at Manoa


  • DrPH, Community-based Translational Research 
    University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Department of Public Health, Honolulu, HI
  • MPH, Epidemiology
    University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Department of Public Health, Honolulu, HI

Research Focus

Over the past decade cancer incidence and mortality rates have declined in the US, however cancer-related health disparities by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geographic location still exist. Dr. Cassel's research explores ways to implement effective cancer control interventions by working with communities experiencing cancer health disparities. Dr. Cassel uses community-based participatory research methods to:

  • Develop and test ways to improve clinical trials participation. 
  • Adapt and test population-based energy balance interventions. 
  • Engage with young people to adapt and test cancer prevention interventions.

This line of research may have a substantial impact on reducing cancer health disparities and the overall burden of cancer in Hawaii and the U. S. Associated Pacific Island jurisdictions.

Selected Publications

  • Somera LP, Lee HR, Badowski G, Cassel K. (2016). Health Information Seeking, Source Trust, and Culture: A Comparative Analysis of Health Information Trends and Needs Between Guam and the United States. J Health Commun, 21(4):469-78. PubMed PMID: 26983674; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4905759.
  • Ka'opua LS, Cassel K, Shiramizu B, Stotzer RL, Robles A, Kapua C, Orton M, Milne C, Sesepasara M. (2016). Addressing Risk and Reluctance at the Nexus of HIV and Anal Cancer Screening. Health Promot Pract, Jan;17(1):21-30. PubMed PMID: 26630979; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4684716.
  • Cassel KD, Boushey CJ. (2015). Leveraging Cultural Knowledge to Improve Diet and Health among Affiliated Pacific Islander Populations. J Acad Nutr Diet, Jun;115(6):885-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.02.009. Epub 2015 Apr 6. PubMed PMID: 25857867.
  • Cassel KD, Braun K, Ka'opua L, Soa F, Nigg C. (2014). Samoan body and soul: adapting an evidence-based obesity and cancer prevention program. Qual Health Res, Dec;24(12):1658-72. doi: 10.1177/1049732314549021. Epub 2014 Sep 11. PubMed PMID: 25212854.
  • Shiramizu B, Milne C, Terada K, Cassel K, Matsuno RK, Killeen J, Liang CY, Tachibana F, Sheeran T, Weihe J, Goodman MT. (2012). A Community-Based Approach to Enhancing Anal Cancer Screening in Hawaii's HIV-Infected Ethnic Minorities. J AIDS Clin Res, Aug 1;3(6). pii: 162. Epub 2012 Jul 13. PubMed PMID: 23560244; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3614361. ;
  • Davis SW, Cassel K, Moseley MA, Mesia R, De Herrera PA, Kornfeld J, Perocchia R. (2011). The Cancer Information Service: using CBPR in building community capacity. J Cancer Edu,Mar;26(1):51-7. doi: 10.1007/s13187-010-0159-x. PubMed PMID: 20872106.
  • Cassel KD. (2010). Using the Social-Ecological Model as a research and intervention framework to understand and mitigate obesogenic factors in Samoan populations. Ethn Health, Aug;15(4):397-416. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2010.481330. Review. PubMed PMID: 20560084.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • K. Cassel, Co-Investigator; V. Tofaeono, PI
    NIMHD - U24 MD011202-01
    "American Samoa Indigenous Samoan Partnership to Initiate REsearch Excellence (INSPIRE) in Colorectal Cancer Health Literacy"
  • K. Cassel, Co-Investigator; Multiple PIs: N. Palafox, C. Vogel, D. Ward
    NCI-U54 CA143727-07
    "University of Guam/University of Hawaii Cancer Center Partnership"
  • K. Cassel, Co-Investigator; B. Shiramizu, PI
    "Informing Anal Neoplasia Differences/Similarities In HIV-Serodiscordant Individuals"
    This project will explore a biomarker dyad (hr-HPV, p16) in anal cytologies, to attest if anal HIV DNA discriminates squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), high-grade- or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL, LSIL). Anal neoplastic cells will be compared for Raman spectra differences or similarities to assess cellular microenvironments.
    June 2017 - May 2019
  • K. Cassel, Project Director; R. Holcombe, PI
    NCI - P30 CA071789-17S2
    "University of Hawaii Cancer Center CCSG Supplement: NCI Population Health Assessments"
    2016 -2017
  • K. Cassel, Principal Investigator
    Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation
    "Colon Cancer Screening for Native Hawaiian Men"