Sarah E. Piombo

Sarah E. Piombo, MPH

PhD Candidate in Health Behavior Research

Los Angeles, CA

About Me

I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. My dissertation research is funded by an NIH/NIDA F31 predoctoral fellowship. I’m a trainee of the Center for Applied Network Analysis (CANA) and the Center for Young Adult Cancer Survivorship (CYACSR).


· Social Network Analysis

I believe that many public health issues can benefit from taking a network level approach to gain insight on the social dynamics that impact health behaviors and outcomes.I use social network analysis to understand the individual and structural factors that give rise to public health issues. I use network analytic techniques to determine pathways for interventions with the objective of optimizing intervention outcomes by leveraging the preexisting network structure.

· I've analyzed network influence on a variety of health behaviors and outcomes including cigarette use, e-cigarettes/vaping, marijuana use, BMI, physical activity, social support among cancer patients, physician referral patterns, and women's health. In addition to my academic work, I have applied these methods to other settings including team dynamics in corporate organizations and inter-organization collaboration networks.


Ph.D. in Health Behavior Research

2019 - Present · Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

MPH, emphasis in Biostatistics & Epidemiology

2016 - 2018 · University of Southern California

B.S. in Public Health Science and Psychology

2012 - 2016 · Santa Clara University


Journal Articles

Valente TW, Piombo SE, Edwards KM, Waterman EA, & Banyard VL. 2023. Influences on Adolescent E-cigarette Use. Substance Use and Misuse.

Piombo SE,* Stal J,* Kysh L, Kagramanov D, Freyer DR, Turner BJ, Hempel S, & Miller KA. 2022. The integration of primary care and childhood cancer survivorship care: A scoping review. J. of Cancer Survivorship.

Piombo SE, Miller KA, Freyer DR, Milam J, Ritt-Olson A, In GK, Valente TW. 2022. Social Networks of Oncology Clinicians as a Means for Increasing Survivorship Clinic Referral. Communications Medicine.

Piombo SE,* Stal J,* Kagramanov D, Kysh L, Freyer D, Turner B, Miller KA. 2022. Integrating primary care and childhood cancer survivorship care: A scoping review protocol. BMJ Open.

Piombo SE, Huh J, Valente TW. 2022. Adolescent Body Mass Index and Exposure to Peers with Overweight and Obesity: A Structural Equation Model Approach to Longitudinal Network Data. Childhood Obesity.

Miller KA, Huh J, Piombo SE, Richardson JL, Harris SC, Peng DH, Cockburn MG. 2021. Sun protection changes among diverse elementary schoolchildren participating in a sun safety intervention: a latent transition analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine.

Piombo SE, Miller KA, Alderete K., Egan A, Golingay S, Valente TW. 2020. Evaluation of a Nurse-Delivered Pre-Chemotherapy Educational Intervention to Increase Knowledge and Reduce Anxiety Among Ethnically Diverse Patients. Journal of Cancer Education.

Miller KA, Piombo SE, Cho J, Higgins S, Wysong A, Sussman S, Cockburn MG, Leventhal AM. 2018. Prevalence of tanning addiction and associations with behavioral health conditions among ethnically and racially diverse adolescents. Journal of Investigative Dermatology.


I’m well versed in social network methodology and have experience analyzing both sociometric and egocentric network data. I regularly use exponential random graph models (ERGMs), stochastic actor-oriented models (SAOM/RSIENA), and multilevel modeling techniques.