Kelly Hirko, PhD

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
College of Human Medicine, Traverse City Campus
Michigan State University

Ph.D. Epidemiological Science, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 2013
M.P.H. Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, 2008
B.S. Biopsychology, University of Michigan, 2002

Curriculum Vitae


As a cancer epidemiologist, my research seeks to identify modifiable factors that contribute to the unequal burden of cancer. I am particularly interested in understanding risk factors for aggressive breast cancer subtypes, including young-onset breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer. Based on MSU’s College of Human Medicine rural campus in Traverse City, my research uses implementation science and community engagement approaches to promote evidence-based cancer prevention, early detection and survivorship programs in under-resourced rural settings.




Dennett AM, Hirko KA, Porter KJ, Loh KP, Liao Y, Yang L, Arem H, Sukumar JS, Salerno EA.  Embedding lifestyle interventions into cancer care: has telehealth narrowed the equity gap? J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr.  2023 May 4; 2023(61):133-139. PMID: 37139972 

Hirko KA, Moore P, An L, Hawley S.  Tobacco Use and Cessation Preferences Among Rural Smokers: A Cross-Sectional Survey. AJPM Focus.  December 14, 2022.

Hirko KA, Xu H, Rogers LQ, Martin MY, Roy S, Kelly KM, Christy SM, Ashing KT, Yi JC, Lewis-Thames MW, Meade CD, Lu Q, Gwede CK, Nemeth J, Ceballos RM, Menon U, Cueva K, Yeary K, Klesges LM, Baskin ML, Alcaraz Kl, Ford S.  Cancer disparities in the context of rurality: risk factors and screening across various U.S. rural classification codes.  Cancer Causes and Control. 2022 Aug;33(8):1095-1105.  PMID 35773504

Hirko KA, Rocque G, Reasor E, Taye A, Daly A, Cutress Rl, Copson ER, Lee DW, Lee KH, Im SA, Park YH.  The impact of race and ethnicity in breast cancer-disparities and implications for precision oncology.  BMC Med 2022 Feb 11;20(1):82.  PMID: 35151316

Hirko KA, Alfano C, Schmitz K, Dorn J, Dearing J.  Implementation of physical activity programs for rural cancer survivors:  challenges and future directions.  Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 7;18(24):12909.  PMID: 34948517

Hirko KA, Regan MM, Remolano MC, Schlossman J, Harrison BT, Yeh E, Jacene J, Nakhlis F, Overmoyer BA.  Dermal lymphatic invasion, survival and time to recurrence in inflammatory breast cancer.    American Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2021 Sep 1;44(9):449-455.  PMID: 34149037

Hirko KA, Kerver JM, Ford S, Szafranski C, Beckett J, Kitchen C, Wendling AL.  Telehealth in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic:  Implications for Rural Health Disparities.  J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2020 Jun 26 PMID: 32589735

Hirko KA, Chen WY, Willett WC, Rosner BA, Hankinson SE, Beck AH, Tamimi RM, Eliassen AH. Alcohol consumption and risk of breast cancer by molecular subtype: Prospective analysis of the nurses’ health study after 26 years of follow-up. Int J Cancer. 2016 Mar 1. PMID: 26384849.