Mai-Nhung Le

SF State AAS Department Chair Mai Nhung Le DrPH

Mai-Nhung Le, Dr.PH.

Professor, Asian American Studies Department
Office: EP 412
Phone: (415) 338-6161


Faculty Biography

Dr. Mai-Nhung Le is Chair and Professor of the Asian American Studies department at San Francisco State University. She teaches courses in Asian American history, Vietnamese American experience and identity and Asian American community and health issues. 

She earned a Bachelor’s degree from UC Davis, a Master’s degree in Public Health from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. She is an Asian American social scientist whose research focuses on social, cultural, and structural influences on health. Her research has contributed to our understanding of how race, ethnicity and social class impact health among communities of color — with a focus on the Asian American community. Dr. Le has conducted extensive research on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in both Asia and the United States. She served on the Advisory Committee for the Bay Area Asian Pacific Islander Women and HIV Working Group, and was the founder of the Women's Program at the Asian AIDS Project, which provided HIV and women's health information to female Asian Masseuses in San Francisco. 

Over the past decade, Dr. Le has developed strong personal and professional interests in cancer research and intervention. This focus has informed her research agenda, and led to many notable achievements. Dr. Le has published and presented extensively on issues related to Asian Americans and cancer, particularly on cancer survivorship. She has worked with and served as an advisory board member for community-based organizations such as Asian American Cancer Survivor Network and Asian Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network.  

  • Dr.PH. University of California at Berkeley, Public Health
  • M.P.H. Yale University School of Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health
  • B.A. University of California at Davis, Art Studio
  • 211 Contemporary Asian Americans
  • 370 Vietnamese in the United States
  • 373 Vietnamese American Identities
  • 591 Asian American Community Health Issues
  • 875 Asian American Community Health Issues


SFSU Public Research Institute RIMI Fellowship


SFSU Cesar Chavez Institute MRISP Fellowship


Special Populations Network Grant, National Cancer Institute


National Cancer Institute Grant


Henrik L. Blum Distinguish Social Action Award


UC Berkeley Block Grant and Southeast Asian Grant


GOP Fellowship


Wellness Fellowship


Yale University Southeast Asian Grant

  • Asian and Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network, National Advisory Council
  • NICOS Chinese Health Coalition, Community Connection Program
  • Academic Senate (2014 - 2017)
  • Academic Policy Committee
  • AAS Dept Hiring Committee


  • with Giang T. Nguyen, Zhi Pan, Dale Dagar Maglalang, Fidelia Butt, Roxanna Bautista, Mavis Nitta, and Frances K. Barg. "Unmet Needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Cancer Survivors." Journal of Cancer Education (2015): 1-8.
  • with Yoo, Grace J., Anantha Sudhakar, and Ellen G. Levine. "Exploring Coping Strategies Among Young Asian American Women Breast Cancer Survivors." Journal of Cancer Education (2015): 1-8.


  • co-edited with Alan Y. Oda and Grace J. Yoo. Handbook of Asian American Health. New York: Springer Publishing.
  • with Tu-Uyen Nguyen. “Social and Cultural Influences on the Health of the Vietnamese American Population.” Handbook of Asian American Health. Ed. Grace J. Yoo, Mai Nhung Le, and Alan Y. Oda. New York: Springer Publishing. 87-101.


with Grace Yoo, Stephen Vong, Regina Lagman, and Amy Lam. “Cervical Cancer Screening: Attitudes and Behaviors of Young Asian American Women. Journal of Cancer Education 26.4 (2011): 740-746.


  • with Grace J. Yoo. “Asian American Community Health: Bringing Education and Service to the Community.” At 40: Asian American Studies @ San Francisco State. Ed. Jeffery Paul Chan, et al. San Francisco: AAS Department, San Francisco State University. 153-156.
  • with C.N. D'Onofrio and J.D. Roger. “HIV Risk Behaviors among Three Classes of Female Sex Workers in Vietnam.” Journal of Sex Research 36 (2009): 1-11.
  • with Minh-Hoa Ta. “The Vietnamese American Studies Center at San Francisco State University.” At 40: Asian American Studies @ San Francisco State. Ed. Jeffery Paul Chan, et al. San Francisco: AAS Department, San Francisco State University. 91-95.


  • with Grace Yoo and Heather Law. “Cardiovascular Disease in Asian Americans.” Encyclopedia of Obesity. Ed. K. Golson. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.
  • with Grace Yoo.“Caregiver.” Encyclopedia of Global Health. Ed. J. Zhang and Golson. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.
  • “Displaced Once More.” AsianWeek.
  • with T. Nemoto, M. Iwamoto, D. Colby, S. Witt, A. Pishori, D.T. Vinh, and L.T. Giang, L.T. HIV-Related Risk Behaviors among Female Sex Workers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. AIDS Education and Prevention 20.5 (2008): 435-453.


with Grace Yoo, and Regina Lagman. Cervical Cancer Risk Factors among Korean American and Vietnamese American College Students. Final report for the AANCART Special Populations Network.


with T. Nemoto, M. Iwamoto, S. Wong, and D. Operario. “Social Factors Related to Risk for Violence and Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV among Asian Massage Parlor Workers in San Francisco.” AIDS and Behaviors 8.4 (2004): 475-483.


with T. Nemoto, D. Operaio, M. Takanaka, and M. Iwamoto. “HIV Risk among Asian Women Working at Massage Parlors in San Francisco.” AIDS Education and Prevention 15.3 (2003): 245-256.


with D. Williams. “Social Factors and Knowledge of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam.” Society, Health, and Disease: Transcultural Perspectives. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.




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