Patricia Y. Miranda, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Patricia Miranda is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Administration, the Pennsylvania State University. Previously, she was a Kellogg Health Scholar at the Center for Research on Minority Health, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Miranda received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Trinity University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where she conducted research on Latino health. A fifth generation Texan of Mexican origin, Miranda’s work stems primarily from this personal background and explores how natural, social and built environments help explain health disparities affecting vulnerable populations.

Research Interests and Projects

One aspect of Miranda’s research focuses on the impact of circumstances that shape an individual’s lived experience at time of entry into the United States. She found that the age at which an individual arrives in the U.S., in addition to the social policies and climate during that time, contribute to differences in number of symptoms related to depression. Miranda also examines how neighborhoods influence health disparities, looking in particular at the residential segregation by race within the Latino population. In African American populations, research has shown, racial segregation coupled with poverty exerts devastating effects on access to resources, on health and other measures of well being. It is logical to expect similar effects in poor and racially segregated Latino neighborhoods. This condition may help explain why some Latinos have successfully navigated social institutions and structures early on in their immigration history, yet others who may have lived in the U.S. for generations continue to struggle and are repeatedly oppressed and denied entrance into these same institutions. Typically Latino health interventions have been driven by ethnic subgroup and language use. By looking instead at neighborhood and place, Miranda’s research emphasizes the dynamic and social context surrounding the individual, facilitates community-based agenda setting and can inform policies about the potential health effects of social, educational and labor policies for Latino populations.

Contact Information:


Miranda, Patricia Y., Hector M. Gonzalez, Wassim Tarraf. Breast cancer screening and ethnicity in the United States: Implications for health disparities research. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, published online ahead of print February 6, 2011. PMCID: 21298477.

Miranda, Patricia Y., Anna V. Wilkinson, Carol J. Etzel, Renke Zhou, Lovell A. Jones, Patricia Thompson, Melissa L. Bondy. Policy implications of early onset breast cancer among Mexican-origin women.
Cancer 2011; 117(2)390-397. PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process.

Miranda, Patricia Y., Amy J. Schulz, Barbara Israel, Hector M. Gonzalez. Context of entry and number of depressive symptoms in an older Mexican-origin immigrant population. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, published online ahead of print, February 4, 2010. PMCID: 20130999.

Gerst, Kerstin, Patricia Y. Miranda, Karl Eschbach, Kristin M. Sheffield, M. Kristen Peek, Kyriakos S. Markides. Protective neighborhoods: Neighborhood proportion Mexican American and depressive symptoms among very old Mexican Americans. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2011;59:353-358. PMCID: 21314653.

King, D.W.*, Miranda, P.Y.*, Gor, B.J., Fuchs-Young, R., Chilton, J.A., Hajek, R., Snipes, S.A., Torres, I., Hernandez-Valero, M.A. (2009) Addressing cancer health disparities using a global “biopsychosocial” approach. (Accepted May 26, 2009 for publication, Cancer). *Co-first authors.