Dr. Whitney Robinson

Whitney R. Robinson, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology
UNC Social Epidemiology Program
Faculty Fellow
Carolina Population Center
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center


Dr. Robinson figures out how and why rates of gynecologic treatment and cancer differ among groups. For instance, why do young Black women have such high rates of hysterectomy? Why do obese patients with kidney cancer survive longer than normal-weight patients?

Whitney Robinson in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation
2018, UNC Gillings School (Epidemiology Department)

“Now Speaker” for inaugural invited “Then and Now” special sessions
2014, Society for Epidemiologic Research

Nominated as a member of 2016 Epidemiology Congress Planning Committee
2014, Society for Epidemiologic Research

Advisee Shannon Grabich was one of 12 (out of 55 applications) selected for 2014 SER Student Workshop
2014, Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER)

2013, The Obesity Society

Research Activities

- Women's reproductive health and health care
- Breast cancer disparities
- Epidemiologic methods
- Health disparities by gender
- Health disparities by race and ethnicity
- Cancer survivorship

Key Publications

Survival-related selection bias in studies of racial health disparities: the importance of the target population and study design. Howe CJ, Robinson WR (2018). Epidemiology, In Press.

Race, menopausal hormone therapy, and invasive breast cancer in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, 1993-2001. DeBono N, Robinson WR, Lund J, Tse, CK, Moorman PG, Olshan, AF, Troester, MA (2018). Journal of Women’s Health, 27(3), 377-386.

For U.S. Black women, dissemination of hysterectomy to outpatient settings may have lagged behind White women: a claims-based analysis, 2011-2013. Robinson WR, Cheng MC, Howard AG, Carpenter WR, Brewster WR, Doll KM (2017). BMC Health Services Research, 14(1), 526.

Associations of premenopausal hysterectomy and oophorectomy and breast cancer among Black and White women: the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, 1993-2001. Robinson WR, Nichols HB, Tse CK, Olshan AF, Troster MA (2016). American Journal of Epidemiology, 84(5), 388-399.

Trends in Inpatient and Outpatient Hysterectomy and Oophorectomy among Commercially Insured Women in the United States: 2000 – 2014. Doll KM, Dusetzina SB, Robinson WR (2016). JAMA Surgery, 151(9), 876-877.

On the causal interpretation of race in regressions adjusting for confounding and mediating variables. Whitney Robinson, Tyler VanderWeele (2014). Epidemiology, 25(4), 473-484.


  • Scholar, Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program, University of Michigan, 2008
  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008
  • MSPH, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004
  • AB, Biochemical Sciences, Harvard University, 2001