Galen Joseph, PhD

Phone: 415-514-9421
Fax: 415-502-3179


Dr. Galen Joseph, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco where she is also a member of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research, at the intersection of medical anthropology and public health, investigates the socio-cultural and institutional dimensions of inequities in cancer care, and social and ethical issues in the translation of genomics to clinical practice.  Key areas of interest include: genomic medicine, translational medicine, clinical trials recruitment, clinical trials education, health communication, medical anthropology, cancer, migration, health disparities, globalization, and identity.

Prior to her work at UCSF, she received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Migration, Globalization and Citizenship at Yale University’s Center for International & Area Studies.

Current Projects include:

  • Engaging Underserved Women in Health Research (California Breast Cancer Research Fund-Community Research Collaboration)
  • Translating Cancer Genetics to the Safety Net Setting (Susan G. Komen for the Cure)
  • Ethical and Social Issues in Newborn Screening using Whole Genome Sequencing

Selected Recent Publications:


Joseph G, and Guerra C. “To Worry or Not to Worry: Breast Cancer Genetic Counseling Communication with Low-Income Latina Immigrants.” Journal of Community Genetics, August 23, 2014, 1–14. doi:10.1007/s12687-014-0202-4.

Joseph G. Genetics to the People: Disseminating Cancer Risk Knowledge in the (post)BRCA era in Breast Cancer Gene Research and Medical Practices: Transnational Perspectives in the Time of BRCA. Genetics and Society Series, Routledge Press, 2014.

Hitch, K. Joseph G, Guiltinan, Kianmahd J, Youngblom J, and Blanco A. “Lynch Syndrome Patients’ Views of and Preferences for Return of Results Following Whole Exome Sequencing.” Journal of Genetic Counseling, January 23, 2014, 1–13. doi:10.1007/s10897-014-9687-6.
Nickell A, Burke NJ, Cohen E, Caprio M, Joseph G. Educating Low-SES and LEP Survivors About Breast Cancer Research: Pilot Test of the Health Research Engagement Intervention. J Cancer Educ. 2014 Apr 18. PMID: 24744119
Joseph G, Dohan D. Recruitment practices and the politics of inclusion in cancer clinical trials. Med Anthropol Q. 2012 Sep; 26(3):338-60. PMID: 23259347
Joseph G, Kaplan C, Luce J, Lee R, Stewart S, Guerra C, Pasick R. Efficient identification and referral of low-income women at high risk for hereditary breast cancer: a practice-based approach. Public Health Genomics. 2012; 15(3-4):172-80. PMID: 22488460
Mozersky J, and Joseph G. Case Studies in the Co-Production of Populations and Genetics: the Making of ‘At Risk’ Populations. BioSocieties. 2010; 4(5):415-439.


Edited Collections:

Sahra Gibbon, Galen Joseph, Jessica Mozersky, Andrea zur Nieden, Sonja Palfner Editors. Breast Cancer Gene Research and Medical Practices: Transnational Perspectives in the Time of BRCA. Routledge, 2014.

Joseph G, Porter D. Editors. Health Rights at the Crossroads: Women, New Science, and Institutional Violence. Western Humanities Review, Vol 66, Issue 3; Fall 2012.

book cover

Last modified: August 31, 2014