Catharine Wang

Catharine Wang, PhD

Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences - Boston University School of Public Health


Dr. Wang is an Associate Professor in the Community Health Sciences Department, and a Peter T. Paul Career Development Professor, at Boston University. She obtained her doctorate in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan and has expertise in survey research methods, intervention development, and program evaluation. Her research has spanned across several areas including public health genomics, health communication/e-health, health literacy, and cancer prevention and control. Dr. Wang currently serves as a member of the National Cancer Institute's PDQ Cancer Genetics Editorial Board.

Much of Dr. Wang’s work focuses on the effective translation of genomic discoveries into clinical and public health practice. She has been the Principal Investigator on several grants to examine how people understand and use complex risk information to make health decisions. Her work also examines how individuals adopt new health technologies, including genomics and molecular diagnostics, and examines barriers to the adoption and implementation of these technologies among underserved patient populations. Dr. Wang has collaborated with clinicians and computer scientists at Boston Medical Center and Northeastern University to create a "virtual counselor" to ascertain family health history in efforts to overcome previously identified literacy-related barriers to using computerized tools and facilitate the use of family history a vehicle for precision medicine. Another study examines the adoption of prenatal cell-free fetal DNA testing in diverse patient populations in efforts to identify and address potential inequities in use. Finally, Dr. Wang is collaborating with investigators from the Black Women's Health Study to examine scalable communication modalities for returning breast cancer genetic research results to African American women.

Dr. Wang currently teaches SB821: Intervention Strategies for Health Promotion.

Other Positions

  • Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center - Boston University
  • Member, Genome Science Institute - Boston University


  • University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, PhD Field of Study: Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • University Waterloo, MSc Field of Study: Social & Behavioral Sciences

Classes Taught

  • SPHSB821


  • Published on 11/1/2022

    Dusic EJ, Theoryn T, Wang C, Swisher EM, Bowen DJ and EDGE Study Team. Barriers, interventions, and recommendations: Improving the genetic testing landscape. Front Digit Health. 2022; (4):961128.

    Read At: Custom
  • Published on 5/10/2022

    Dusic EJ, Bowen DJ, Bennett R, Cain KC, Theoryn T, Velasquez M, Swisher E, Brant JM, Shirts B, Wang C. Socioeconomic Status and Interest in Genetic Testing in a US-Based Sample. Healthcare (Basel). 2022 May 10; 10(5). PMID: 35628017.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2022

    Ellison J, Wang C, Yarrington C, Connors P, Hanchate A. Insurance and geographic variations in non-invasive prenatal testing. Prenat Diagn. 2022 Jul; 42(8):1004-1007. PMID: 35484945.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/23/2021

    Henderson V, Ganschow P, Wang C, Hoskins KF. Population screening to identify women at risk for hereditary breast cancer syndromes: The path forward or the road not taken? Cancer. 2022 01 01; 128(1):30-33. PMID: 34424551.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/19/2021

    Yarrington CD, Smith-Lin C, Neuhalfen R, Hanchate A, Connors P, Wang C. Racial and ethnic differences in uptake of cell-free fetal DNA aneuploidy screening in an urban safety net hospital. Prenat Diagn. 2021 Oct; 41(11):1389-1394. PMID: 34369603.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/21/2021

    Uhlmann WR, McKeon AJ, Wang C. Genetic counseling, virtual visits, and equity in the era of COVID-19 and beyond. J Genet Couns. 2021 08; 30(4):1038-1045. PMID: 34291525.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/18/2021

    Wang C, Paasche-Orlow MK, Bowen DJ, Cabral H, Winter MR, Norkunas Cunningham T, Trevino-Talbot M, Toledo DM, Cortes DE, Campion M, Bickmore T. Utility of a virtual counselor (VICKY) to collect family health histories among vulnerable patient populations: A randomized controlled trial. Patient Educ Couns. 2021 05; 104(5):979-988. PMID: 33750594.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/26/2020

    Bowen DJ, Wang C, Cole AM, Norquist BM, Knerr S, Devine B, Shirts B, Cain K, Harris HM, Haile HG, Swisher EM. Design of a study to implement population-based risk assessment for hereditary cancer genetic testing in primary care. Contemp Clin Trials. 2021 02; 101:106257. PMID: 33373667.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/30/2020

    McGuinness M, Fassi E, Wang C, Hacking C, Ellis V. Breast cancer polygenic risk scores in the clinical cancer genetic counseling setting: Current practices and impact on patient management. J Genet Couns. 2021 04; 30(2):588-597. PMID: 33124135.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/8/2020

    Schleimer LE, Desameau PG, Damuse R, Olsen M, Manzo V, Cardenas C, Mehrtash H, Krakauer EL, Masamba L, Wang C, Bhatt AS, Shulman LN, Huang FW. Assessing and Addressing the Need for Cancer Patient Education in a Resource-Limited Setting in Haiti. Oncologist. 2020 12; 25(12):1039-1046. PMID: 32335989.

    Read At: PubMed

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