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Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Marissa Shams-White, PhD, MSTOM, MS, MPH

Special Volunteer
Risk Factor Assessment Branch, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program


  • PhD – Nutritional Epidemiology, Tufts University
  • MS – Nutritional Epidemiology, Tufts University
  • MPH – Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tufts University
  • MS – Traditional Oriental Medicine, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
  • BS – Health Sciences, Ithaca College


Marissa Shams-White, PhD, MSTOM, MS, MPH, is a special volunteer in the Risk Factor Assessment Branch (RFAB) of the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) in NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). Until April 2024, she was a program director who supported work in dietary patterns; measures for diet and sleep assessment, including screeners; the emerging areas of systems science and the measurement of 24-hour behavior patterns (including diet, sleep, and physical activity); measurement error; and obesity policy research.

Dr. Shams-White’s scientific interests include survey and index development for lifestyle measures. She led a team of experts in the development of the 2018 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) Score. As an epidemiologist, she is also interested in examining the association between modifiable lifestyle factors – including dietary quality and sleep health – and obesity and cancer risk.

Dr. Shams-White first joined NCI as a Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program fellow. Prior to pursuing her education at Tufts University, she was also an acupuncturist.

Select Publications

Shams-White MM, Thompson EC, Carroll RJ, Reedy J. Methodological examination of the 2018 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) Score. AJE. 2024:kwae026.

O’Connor SG, O’Connor LE, Higgins KA, Bell BM, Krueger ES, Rawal R, Hartmuller R, Reedy J, Shams-White MM. Conceptualization and assessment of 24-h timing of eating and energy intake: a methodological systematic review of the chronic disease literature. Adv Nutr. 2024;15(3):100178.

Shams-White MM, Pannucci TE, Lerman JL, et al. Healthy Eating Index-2020: review and update process to reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,2020-2025. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2023; S2212-2672(23)00246-0.

Shams-White MM, O'Connor LE, O'Connor SG, Herrick KA. Development of the sleep module for the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour (ASA24) dietary assessment tool: new research opportunities. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2022;S2212-2672(22)00391-4.

Shams-White MM, Brockton NT, Mitrou P, Kahle LL, Reedy J. The 2018 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) score and all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease mortality risk: a longitudinal analysis in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. Curr Dev Nutr. 2022;6(6):nzac096. eCollection 2022 Jun.

Shams-White MM, Korycinski RW, Dodd KW, et al. Examining the association between meal context and diet quality: an observational study of meal context in older adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2021;18(1):67.

Shams-White MM, Barajas R, Jensen RE, et al. Systems epidemiology and cancer: A review of the National Institutes of Health extramural grant portfolio 2013-2018. PLoS One. 2021;16(4):e0250061.

O'Connor SG, Boyd P, Bailey CP, et al. Perspective: time-restricted eating compared with caloric restriction: potential facilitators and barriers of long-term weight loss maintenance. Adv Nutr. 2021;12(2):325-33.

Shams-White MM, Romaguera D, Mitrou P, Reedy J, Bender A, Brockton N. Further guidance in implementing the standardized 2018 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) score. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020;29(5):889-894.

Shams-White MM, Brockton N, Mitrou P, et al. Operationalizing the 2018 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) cancer prevention recommendations: a standardized scoring system. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1572.