Melinda C. Aldrich, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor
Medicine, Division of Genetic Medicine
Associate Professor
Thoracic Surgery
Associate Professor
Medicine, Division of Epidemiology
Office Address
2525 West End Avenue
(615) 875-2627

Dr. Aldrich conducts cutting-edge research to inform the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of lung cancer for all populations. Her work encompasses two primary areas of focus: 1) understanding genetic and non-genetic determinants of health contributing to lung cancer risk and outcomes in underrepresented populations, and 2) addressing inequities in lung cancer screening. As a leader in lung cancer screening research, her work has played a pivotal role in shaping key health policy guidelines for lung cancer screening issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). She received the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Award for Research on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Star Award for her high impact research contributions. In addition to her role as a Community-Academic Advisory Board member with the Vanderbilt Program for Health Equity Research, she serves as a Diversity Liaison for the Division of Genetic Medicine (Department of Medicine).


Collaborative scientific efforts are underway with national colleagues to investigate the genetics of immunotherapy treatment among lung cancer patients, to assess the impact of structural racism on lung cancer inequities, to identify barriers and facilitators to the recruitment of underrepresented populations to lung cancer clinical trials and to construct residential histories to investigate area-level risk factors among populations experiencing disparities. Additional ongoing research is investigating the population genetics of admixed African ancestry populations. Dr. Aldrich also leads a lung cancer focused community advisory board to spearhead community-engaged dissemination strategies addressing inequities in the early detection of lung cancer.


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