Professor Nancy J. Burke leads the Health Equity Research (HER) group. She is a Professor of Public Health and Anthropology at UC Merced. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research program focuses on structural vulnerability and inequities in cancer and primary care in the United States, and aging in the context of a changing political and economic system in Cuba. Her research builds upon principals and practices of community engaged and ethnographic research, and includes ongoing studies on cancer navigation in safety-net oncology clinics, COVID-19 testing and vaccine access/acceptability in rural California, and youth and community engagement in nicotine and cannabis policy development and implementation in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Dr. Burke serves as Co-Director of UC-Cuba Academic Initiative (https://www.uccuba.socsci.uci.edu/)
As member of the UC Global Health Institute Board of Directors (https://www.ucghi.universityofcalifornia.edu)
As a full member of the Asian American Research Center on Health (http://www.asianarch.org) and 
The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (https://cancer.ucsf.edu/people/profiles/burke_nancy.3720)
​Professors Nancy Burke and Whitney Pirtle are the two newest MacArthur Foundation chairs at UC Merced



  • Ph.D., 2001 — University of New Mexico
  • M.A., 1995 — University of Oregon
  • B.A. in High Honors, 1990 — University of Tennessee


​University of California – Merced
Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology
Chair, Public Health
School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Arts
Email: nburke2@ucmerced.edu
Phone: (209) 455-0160