Headshot Jasmine McDonald
Jasmine McDonald, Ph.D.

Jasmine McDonald, an Assistant Professor in Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, embodies excellence in education, research, and community engagement. Her journey began with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she excelled as a Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Scholar and a MARC U*STAR Scholar.

Continuing her academic journey, McDonald earned a Doctorate in the Biological Sciences in Public Health from Harvard University, specializing in Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Her expertise was further refined through postdoctoral training in breast cancer epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

McDonald's impactful research focuses on critical windows of breast development, uncovering periods when breast tissue is more susceptible to carcinogenesis. She integrates individual factors like health behaviors, the macroenvironment (physical, social, environmental), and biological outcomes such as breast mammographic density and the tumor microenvironment. Notably, her dedication to understanding early-onset breast cancer has transformative potential.

Her commitment to education and mentorship earned her the prestigious 2021 Columbia University Presidential Teaching Award. McDonald shares her wisdom through courses like Cancer Epidemiology and plays a vital role as the Assistant Director of the Cancer Research, Training, and Education Center at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. In her role as Co-Director of the YES in THE HEIGHTS Program at HICCC, she leads initiatives that foster discussions on cancer health equity, involving students from underserved backgrounds, New York-based high school teachers, and the community.

The love of learning was instilled by her parents and both sets of grandparents, emphasizing the value of education and progress for future generations. Jasmine McDonald's dynamic career and unwavering dedication to cancer research, education, community, and service epitomize the highest ideals of public health.