Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology - Alka M. Kanaya, MD

2023 Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology
Alka M. Kanaya, MD

Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology Lecture 
"Diabetes in South Asians: Uncovering novel risk factors with longitudinal epidemiologic data"

Dr. Alka Kanaya is Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics and a practicing general internist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She received an MD in 1995 and completed an internal medicine residency and fellowship training at UCSF in 2001. Dr. Kanaya has focused her research program on type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention, specifically to identify and understand the causes for Asian American health disparities. She is the lead investigator for the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) Study, a community-based prospective cohort to identify sociocultural, behavioral, and biologic risk factors to explain the high rates of type 2 diabetes and heart disease among South Asians. The MASALA study has influenced U.S. screening guidelines by the ADA (screen at BMI of 23 kg/m2 for Asian Americans for diabetes) and the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology (South Asian ethnicity as a risk-enhancing factor for lipid management). Dr. Kanaya has also led novel behavioral interventions to improve metabolic risk factors among individuals at high risk. She has been a national leader advocating for data disaggregation among the heterogeneous “Asian American” racial category and for increasing targeted NIH funding to fill critical gaps in knowledge among diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander populations.

Please join us in recognizing Alka M. Kanaya, MD, for outstanding contribution to diabetes epidemiology.