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

Subclonal heterogeneity and outcome disparities in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer among African Americans
04/01/2022 - 03/31/2027 (PI)
The General Hospital Corporation / MGH National Cancer Inst

Multidimensional Markers of Response and Resistance in advanced breast cancer: CDK4/6 Inhibitors (HR+/HER2-)
11/08/2022 - 11/07/2025 (PI)
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Multiscale analysis of metabolic inflammation as a driver of breast cancer
09/09/2020 - 08/31/2024 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University, BUMC National Cancer Inst

Mechanisms of BET bromodomain metabolic reprogramming in triple negative breast cancer
08/01/2019 - 07/31/2024 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University, BUMC National Cancer Inst

A wearable probe for deep tissue imaging of hemodynamics in breast tumors
01/01/2022 - 06/30/2024 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University, BUMC American Cancer Soci

Phase 1b/2 Study to Evaluate Safety and Anti-Tumor Activity of Antibody-Drug Conjugate Sacituzumab Govitecan in Combination with the Poly (Adenosine Diphosphate [ADP]-Ribose) Polymerase (PARP) Inhibitor Talazoparib in Patients with Metastatic Triple-Nega
06/07/2022 - 06/06/2024 (PI)
Dana Farber Cancer Institute

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

Increasing Receipt of Guideline Concordant Survivorship Care Among Black Breast Cancer Survivors…
01/01/2020 - 12/31/2023 (PI)
Massachusetts General Hospital Pfizer, Inc

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

Team-based Management of CDK 4/6 inhibitors
02/25/2020 - 12/31/2022 (PI)
Pfizer, Inc

Showing 10 of 13 results. Show All Results


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. Mayer EL, Ren Y, Wagle N, Mahtani R, Ma C, DeMichele A, Cristofanilli M, Meisel J, Miller KD, Abdou Y, Riley EC, Qamar R, Sharma P, Reid S, Sinclair N, Faggen M, Block CC, Ko N, Partridge AH, Chen WY, DeMeo M, Attaya V, Okpoebo A, Alberti J, Liu Y, Gauthier E, Burstein HJ, Regan MM, Tolaney SM. PACE: A Randomized Phase II Study of Fulvestrant, Palbociclib, and Avelumab After Progression on Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4/6 Inhibitor and Aromatase Inhibitor for Hormone Receptor-Positive/Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2024 Jun 10; 42(17):2050-2060. PMID: 38513188
  2. Beaulieu-Jones BR, Ha EJ, Fefferman A, Wang J, Chung SH, Tseng JF, Merrill A, Sachs TE, Ko NY, Cassidy MR. Association of Race, Ethnicity, Language, and Insurance with Time to Treatment Initiation Among Women with Breast Cancer at an Urban, Academic, Safety-Net Hospital. Ann Surg Oncol. 2024 Mar; 31(3):1608-1614.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38017122
  3. Huang HC, Guadamuz JS, Hoskins KF, Ko NY, Calip GS. Risk of contralateral breast cancer among Asian/Pacific Islander women in the United States. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2024 Feb; 203(3):533-542. PMID: 37897647
  4. Ko NY, Fikre TG, Buck AK, Restrepo E, Warner ET. Breast cancer survivorship experiences among Black women. Cancer. 2023 Sep; 129(S19):3087-3101. PMID: 37691522
  5. Chung SH, de Geus SWL, Shewmaker G, Romatoski KS, Drake FT, Ko NY, Merrill AL, Hirsch AE, Tseng JF, Sachs TE, Cassidy MR. ASO Visual Abstract: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection is Associated with Improved Survival for Men with Invasive Breast Cancer and Sentinel Node Metastasis. Ann Surg Oncol. 2023 Sep; 30(9):5621-5622.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37202569
  6. Fefferman A, Beaulieu-Jones BR, Shewmaker G, Zhang T, Sachs T, Merrill A, Ko NY, Cassidy MR. Association of Race, Ethnicity, Insurance, and Language and Rate of Breast-Conserving Therapy Among Women With Nonmetastatic Breast Cancer at an Urban, Safety-Net Hospital. J Surg Res. 2023 Nov; 291:403-413.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37517348
  7. Chung SH, de Geus SWL, Shewmaker G, Romatoski KS, Drake FT, Ko NY, Merrill AL, Hirsch AE, Tseng JF, Sachs TE, Cassidy MR. Axillary Lymph Node Dissection is Associated with Improved Survival Among Men with Invasive Breast Cancer and Sentinel Node Metastasis. Ann Surg Oncol. 2023 Sep; 30(9):5610-5618.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37204557
  8. Odai-Afotey A, Lederman RI, Ko NY, Gagnon H, Fikre T, Gundersen DA, Revette AC, Hershman DL, Crew KD, Keating NL, Freedman RA. Breast cancer treatment receipt and the role of financial stress, health literacy, and numeracy among diverse breast cancer survivors. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2023 Jul; 200(1):127-137. PMID: 37178432; PMCID: PMC10182756; DOI: 10.1007/s10549-023-06960-w;
  9. 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
  10. 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. 2023 Jun 01; 236(6):1071-1082.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36524735; DOI: 10.1097/XCS.0000000000000531;
Showing 10 of 73 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 73 publications over 14 distinct years, with a maximum of 14 publications in 2020


The US will see record-breaking number of new cancer cases in 2024

Futurity 1/31/2024

New Cancer Cases Are Expected to Pass 2 Million This Year. What Does That Mean for All of Us?

BU Today 1/30/2024

Report shows breast cancer survival rates worst among Black women

The Bay State Banner 11/8/2023

Women of color share their stories of breast cancer treatment and survivorship

WGBH 10/27/2023

'I don't know of a time that was worse': What to know about cancer drug shortages

Becker's Hospital Review 6/15/2023

What’s Behind the Critical Shortage of Drugs for Cancer and Other Diseases

BU Today 6/14/2023

So, when do you need that next mammogram?

The Boston Globe 5/9/2023

Why I Became a Doctor

BU Today 4/3/2023

Consistency of care across US may have ‘biggest impact’ on breast cancer outcomes

Healio 2/17/2022

Racial disparities a ‘harsh reality’ in breast cancer care

Healio 12/30/2021

The Other C: Avoiding Or Delaying Care Because Of The Pandemic

WGBH Basic Black 11/5/2021

Identifying Actionable Causes of Potentially Avoidable Readmissions to an Oncology Service at a Safety Net Hospital.

Physician's Weekly 12/10/2020

Freedom Songs in NH, Affordable Dental Care in Waltham, and New Cancer Research Grants in Boston

iHeartRadio New England Weekend Podcast 10/31/2020

MGH, BMC Study Looks At The Role Race Plays In Treating Breast Cancer

WBZ News 10/30/2020

Insurance status a key clue in closing racial, economic breast cancer treatment gaps

Radiology Business 1/22/2020

Insurance Status Helps Explain Racial Disparities in Cancer Diagnosis

NIH Director’s Blog 1/21/2020

Lack of Insurance Tied to Later Stage of Breast Cancer at Diagnosis

Health Day 1/16/2020

Lack of Insurance Linked to Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment

Modern Healthcare 1/9/2020

Survivors Share Stories at MCHC’s Breast Health Night

Dorchester Reporter 11/7/2019

5 Myths About Mammograms You Need Not Fear

Exhale Lifestyle 9/12/2019

A Double Diagnosis – Cancer While Poor

The Boston Globe 12/29/2018

Boston Sunday Review: Dr. Naomi Ko

98.5 The Sports Hub 10/7/2018

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

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Career Mentor
  • Co-Mentor or Peer Mentor
  • Project Mentor
  • Work / Life Integration Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:
  • Email (see 'Contact Info')

FGH building, 1st floor, 820 Harrison Avenue
Boston MA 02118
Google Map

617.638.5756 (fax)

Ko's Networks
Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations
Media Mentions
Similar People
Same Department