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New Clinician Spotlight: Sonya Reid

Aug. 5, 2021, 3:59 PM


Sonya Reid, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology Oncology, is a member of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Breast Cancer Research Program and sees patients at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.

Sonya Reid, MD, MPH

Reid’s research focuses primarily on health disparities in breast cancer, young-onset breast cancer and hereditary breast cancer with a particular interest in genomic differences that may be contributing to racial survival gaps.

“I have always been intrigued and appalled by the significant racial disparities among patients with breast cancer,” Reid said. “Black women are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age with breast cancer. Black women also have more aggressive disease and have worse mortality.”

Ben Ho Park, MD, PhD, Cornelius Abernathy Craig Professor of Medicine and director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, said “Dr. Reid is passionate about her research focus and compassionate with her patients. She inspires us to keep doing more to address disparities that currently exist for patients with breast cancer.”

The reasons for the survival disparity are complex, and studies designed to improve outcomes are hampered by low representation of Black patients in clinical trials.

“One of my career goals is to look at strategies to increase the representation of underrepresented patients in breast cancer trials in order to make the data representative of all the patients that we treat,” she said. “We know, for example, that African Americans represent 13% of the population, yet they are less than 3% represented in clinical trials.”

Reid received her medical degree from University of the West Indies School of Medicine in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2010, then completed a residency in internal medicine at Meharry Medical College followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She received her MPH with a focus on global health from Vanderbilt University in 2020. She is actively involved in breast cancer research in Jamaica in addition to treating patients at Vanderbilt.

Patients can be referred to Dr. Reid by calling the Vanderbilt Breast Center, 615-322-2064.

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