Distinguished Scientist: Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D.

February 05, 2016

Image with caption: Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D.

Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2015 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists in the country during the past five years.

  • Name: Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate professor, vice chair & director of graduate program, chair of UNMC Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health
  • Joined UNMC: 2004
  • Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

Research focus:
Health disparities research

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
Health care access and outcomes are not equal. People with limited economic resources and those living in rural and frontier communities have limited access to primary care and specialty care for disease like cancer and mental illness. I work with members of affected communities, public health professionals, health care providers, and researchers to understand barriers to health care and identify ways to address health disparities.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
My research findings are used by community leaders, providers and public health professionals. Results from one of our studies on American Indian cancer issues was used by a tribal leader when he sought funding for cancer care. We have conducted projects for the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska with specific focus on rural mental health workforce issues. Reports have been used for programming and policy development. One of current projects on refugee health issues focuses on preventive care including cancer screening and vaccination - the results will be useful in informing refugee communities, community agencies, health care providers and public health professionals. Based on the study findings, interventions to increase the preventive care practice will be developed.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
"If you are going to dream, dream big." My father told me when I was very young.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I worked at Tokyo Disneyland.
  • I went to a culinary school in Tokyo. (I thought I was going to become a chef at a Japanese restaurant.)
  • I learned English by listening to the Far East Network, a network of American military and television stations in Japan and nearby countries.


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Renaisa Anthony MD, MPH
February 06, 2016 at 6:03 PM

Well deserved!!! Congratulations and thank you for all you do to improve the health and lives of others.

Heidi W
February 06, 2016 at 2:37 PM

Very well deserved accomplishment!

Wayne R. Houston
February 05, 2016 at 4:03 PM

Well deserved honor for Shinobu. She is a champion for less fortunate communities.

Tina Goodwin
February 05, 2016 at 3:53 PM

Congratulations Shinobu!!!!! From: Tina Goodwin RN,BSN,CLC (NE DHHS Women's Hlth Advisory Council Staff)

Rebecca Rae Anderson
February 05, 2016 at 10:45 AM

It's always a pleasure when a person of great skill and grace is recognized. Congratulations, Shinobu!