Ken Batai


Specializing In:

Cancer health disparities and equity research Kidney cancer Prostate cancer

Research Interests:

Cancer health disparities Health equity Social determinants of health Molecular epidemiology

About Ken Batai


I am a cancer health disparities researcher trained in anthropological genetics and medical anthropology. This unique training prepared me to conduct transdisciplinary research projects to understand the interactions of gene/biology and social/behavior factors affecting development and progression of various diseases, particularly cancer, while appreciating biologic and cultural diversity. The overarching goal of my research is to identify genetic, biological, and social/behavioral factors causing cancer health disparities and to understand societal factors affecting cancer treatment disparities to develop recommendations for equitable care in racial/ethnic minority groups.

My previous research projects explored roles of vitamin D in prostate cancer among African American men, barriers and facilitators of cancer screening among American Indian men, and genomic studies of complex diseases and traits. My current projects funded by National Cancer Institute and Department of Defense investigate causes and patterns of kidney cancer surgical treatment disparities in Hispanics and American Indians and relationship between abdominal adiposity and renal cell carcinoma molecular and clinical characteristics. I also explore structural inequalities and social determinants of health as underlying factors of cancer health disparities impacting treatments and care as well as clinical and molecular characteristics.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology
  • Department of Cancer Prevention and Control


Education and Training:

  • 2012 - PhD - Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL


  • 2012-2014 - Cancer Education and Career Training Program, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL


Full Publications list on PubMed

Batai K, Shah E, Murphy AB, Newsome J, Ruden M, Ahaghotu C, Kittles RA. 2012. Fine-mapping of IL16 gene and prostate cancer risk in African Americans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 21(11): 2059-2068. PMCID: PMC3493680

Richards Z, Batai K, Farhat R, Makowski D, Gann P, Kittles R, Nonn L. 2017. Prostatic compensation in the Vitamin D axis in African American prostate cancer patients. JCI Insight 2:e91054. PMCID: PMC5256134

Batai K, Harb de la Rosa A, Zeng J, Chipollini JJ, Gachupin FC, Lee BR. 2019. Racial/ethnic disparities in renal cell carcinoma: increased risk of early-onset and variation in histologic subtypes. Cancer Med 8(15):6780-6788. PMCID: PMC6826053

Valencia CI, Asmar S, Hsu CH, Gachupin FC, Wong AC, Chipollini J, Lee BR, Batai K. 2021. Renal cell carcinoma health disparities in stage and mortality among American Indians/Alaska Natives and Hispanic Americans: comparison of National Cancer Database and Arizona Cancer Registry data. Cancers. 13(5):990. PMCID: PMC7956712

Gachupin FC, Lee BR, Chipollini J, Pulling KR, Cruz A, Wong AC, Valencia CI, Hsu CH, Batai K. 2022. Renal cell carcinoma surgical treatment disparities in American Indian/Alaska Natives and Hispanic Americans in Arizona. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 19(3): 1185. PMCID: PMC8872003.