Naomi Y Ko, MD, MPH
Associate Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Hematology & Medical Oncology

MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health
AM, Harvard University
BA, Barnard College

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Breast Cancer
Cancer Disparities
Health Equity

Dr. Ko is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine (BUSM) and a medical oncologist at Boston Medical Center (BMC) who has a lifelong passion for social justice. After college, Dr. Ko participated in Teach For America followed by volunteer service at the Berkeley Free Clinic in the Bay Area. She went on to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and School of Public Health to complete her MD MPH with a focus on health outcomes research for vulnerable populations. After internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital she arrived for fellowship in hematology/oncology at BUSM/BMC, which allowed Dr. Ko to conduct research in the context of caring for an underserved population within a large safety net institution. She has sought out meaningful projects that are a culmination of her passion for oncology, service to the underserved, and academic research. Her research has a translational focus that has been directed to understanding the disconnect between scientific discoveries in cancer treatment and delivery of evidence-based treatment to vulnerable, racial/ethnic minority women with breast cancer. She is actively investigating how tumor biology, poverty, communication and treatment influence breast cancer outcomes in diverse breast cancer populations.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

I am the child of Chinese immigrants. Growing up with parents who dedicated their lives to the enduring hope of the American dream for their children and grandchildren has shaped my values and guided my life choices. I seek to right the imbalance in our society with dedicated service for those who are vulnerable to structural racism, sexism and other inequalities inherent in our society. From my decision to be an American Studies major in college, to my participation in Teach for America and volunteer work at the Berkeley Free Clinic, I have consistently sought opportunities to understand, respect and serve communities in need.

It is a privilege and honor to treat patients and families who find Boston Medical Center (formerly Boston City Hospital) to be their medical home. As the largest safety net hospital in New England, I am grateful to practice alongside providers who strive for exceptional care without exception. My research is singularly focused on breast cancer disparities (see other tabs). In 2019 I participated in the BRIM (Bias Reduction in Medicine) training. Currently, I am on both the Section Anti-Racism Committee and Women in Oncology group.

Boston University
BU-BMC Cancer Center

Boston University
Center of Excellence in Women’s Health

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center SPORE in Breast Cancer – C
07/05/2019 - 05/31/2024 (PI)
Dana Farber Cancer Institute National Cancer Inst

Mechanisms of BET bromodomain metabolic reprogramming in tri
08/07/2018 - 07/31/2023 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University, BUMC National Cancer Inst

DFCI 17-101: Palbociclib After CDK and Endocrine Therapy (PACE): A Randomized Phase II Study…
01/02/2020 - 01/01/2023 (PI)
Dana Farber

Disparities in Breast Cancer Knowledge and Treatment Adheren
01/01/2020 - 12/31/2022 (PI)
Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Increasing Receipt of Guideline Concordant Survivorship Care Among Black Breast Cancer Survivors…
01/01/2020 - 12/31/2022 (PI)
Mass General Hosp Pfizer, Inc

Multiscale analysis of metabolic inflammation as a driver of
09/09/2020 - 08/31/2022 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University, BUMC National Cancer Inst

Improving Cancer Equity: Community-Based Engagement and Interventions
01/03/2018 - 02/28/2022 (PI)
Mass General Hosp Kraft Center for Com

Team-based Management of CDK 4/6 inhibitors
02/25/2020 - 12/31/2021 (PI)

Disparities in Breast Cancer Knowledge and Treatment Adherence
01/01/2019 - 12/31/2020 (PI)
Dana Farber American Cancer Soc


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Beaulieu-Jones BR, Shewmaker G, Fefferman A, Kenzik K, Zhang T, Drake FT, Sachs TE, Hirsch AE, Merrill A, Ko NY, Cassidy MR. Mitigating disparities in breast cancer treatment at an academic safety-net hospital. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2023 Apr; 198(3):597-606.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36826701
  2. Beaulieu-Jones BR, Fefferman A, Woods AP, Shewmaker G, Zhang T, Roh DS, Sachs TE, Merrill A, Ko NY, Cassidy MR. Impact of Race, Ethnicity, Primary Language and Insurance on Reconstruction after Mastectomy for Patients with Breast Cancer at an Urban, Academic Safety-Net Hospital. J Am Coll Surg. 2022 Dec 16.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36524735; DOI: 10.1097/XCS.0000000000000531;
  3. Patel JV, Hughes DM, Ko NY. OPTIMAL Breast Cancer Care: Effect of an Outpatient Pharmacy Team to Improve Management and Adherence to Oral Cancer Treatment. JCO Oncol Pract. 2023 Mar; 19(3):e306-e314.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36480784; DOI: 10.1200/OP.22.00135;
  4. Freedman RA, Ko NY, Lederman RI, Gagnon H, Fikre T, Gundersen DA, Revette AC, Odai-Afotey A, Kantor O, Hershman DL, Crew KD, Keating NL. Breast cancer knowledge and understanding treatment rationales among diverse breast cancer survivors. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2022 Dec; 196(3):623-633. PMID: 36220997; PMCID: PMC9552717; DOI: 10.1007/s10549-022-06752-8;
  5. Choi JJ, Fikre T, Fischman A, Buck AK, Ko NY. The Role of Race and Insurance Status in Access to Genetic Counseling and Testing Among High-Risk Breast Cancer Patients. Oncologist. 2022 Oct 01; 27(10):832-838. PMID: 36124631; PMCID: PMC9526492; DOI: 10.1093/oncolo/oyac132;
  6. Smith CEP, Marcom PK, Mitri Z, Ko NY. Predictors of long-term durable response in de novo HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer and the real-world treatment experience at two institutions. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2022 Nov; 196(1):215-220.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36087190; DOI: 10.1007/s10549-022-06718-w;
  7. Restrepo E, Ko N, Warner ET. An evaluation of readability and understandability of online education materials for breast cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2022 Aug 01. PMID: 35913680
  8. Irwin KE, Ko N, Walsh EP, Decker V, Arrillaga-Romany I, Plotkin SR, Franas J, Gorton E, Moy B. Developing a Virtual Equity Hub: Adapting the Tumor Board Model for Equity in Cancer Care. Oncologist. 2022 Jul 05; 27(7):518-524. PMID: 35443045; PMCID: PMC9256021; DOI: 10.1093/oncolo/oyac069;
  9. Battaglia TA, Gunn CM, Bak SM, Flacks J, Nelson KP, Wang N, Ko NY, Morton SJ. Patient navigation to address sociolegal barriers for patients with cancer: A comparative-effectiveness study. Cancer. 2022 Jul 01; 128 Suppl 13:2623-2635.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35699610
  10. Huang HC, Smart MH, Zolekar A, Deng H, Hubbard CC, Hoskins KF, Ko NY, Guadamuz JS, Calip GS. Impact of socioeconomic status and rurality on cancer-specific survival among women with de novo metastatic breast cancer by race/ethnicity. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2022 Jun; 193(3):707-716. PMID: 35460499
Showing 10 of 64 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 64 publications over 13 distinct years, with a maximum of 14 publications in 2020


2022 Arnold Gold Humanism in Medicine Award
2021 BUMG: Excellence in Care Award
2015 MIT Grand Hackathon: First Place
2012 MSCO: Merit Award
2012 ASCO: Merit Award
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Breast Cancer
Cancer Disparities
Health Services Delivery Research
Health Equity

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