Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Division of Oncological Sciences, School of Medicine
  • Associate Director, Community Outreach and Engagement, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
  • Associate Director, Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute
  • Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition, School of Medicine


Dr. Shannon is a population scientist. As such, her work begins with consideration of the distribution and determinants of disease at the population level.  Over the years her diverse training in Nutrition Science (BS), Public Health (MPH), Nutritional Epidemiology (PhD) and Cancer Epidemiology (post-doc) has allowed her to explore many levels of analysis, including the individual- level (dietary intake ) and the micro-level (molecular markers, genetic polymorphisms), but always with an intent of population level application.  Additionally, as a result of her training from basic science into public health and population science, she found that translational research was a very comfortable fit for her work.  During the first 10 years with OHSU her work has focused primarily on translation from the bench to the clinic (T1 and T2).  However, over the past six years, she has consciously begun to shift a portion of time toward roles that allow me expansion from clinic to the population (T3 and T4) through community engagement.  She has taken on a number of administrative positions in which she has been charged with developing and implementing strategies for building the structure for sustained research partnerships with the community.  These positions include: Associate Director at OCTRI, Director of the OCTRI Community Engagement and Collaboration Core, and Associate Director of Knight Cancer Institute Community Outreach and Engagement.  Through these positions, she has brought her experience in population methods to her work in community engagement and education. Specifically, she has co-developed and expanded an education and research program, Let’s Get Healthy!, that provides personalized health education to school children and adults through an interactive health fair, while supporting the development and growth of a population-based anonymous data repository for academic and community use. Further, her training and early career in population science has also informed her efforts to utilize both epidemiologic and community based methodologies in addressing the long term goal of enhancing community engagement in research and the research process. To this end, she has developed a formal mechanism for working collaboratively with community groups and hospital systems in regions throughout the State to bring the power of academic research to community level decision-making. The result of this work has been the establishment of a Community Research Hub in Central Oregon and 4 additional Spoke sites throughout the state. These coalitions, through close interaction with local health systems and policy makers, provide a liaison between communities and researchers and work closely with community leaders to identify areas of research need, and with academic institutions to identify investigators able to assist in addressing these identified needs. Finally and most recently her work with community has expanded beyond the borders of the United States and she has taken on leadership of one of the featured programs within the OHSU Global-Bangkok Dusit Medical System partnership, implementation of Let’s Get Healthy!-Global in support of worker health. 

Education and training

    • B.S., 1987, Pennsylvania State University
    • M.P.H., 1988, University of Minnesota
    • Ph.D., 1993, University of North Carolina

Memberships and associations:

  • The American Dietetic Association American Association for Cancer ResearchSociety for Epidemiologic Research



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