Dr. Nada Kassem is a research scientist, a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), a California board-certified registered nurse (RN), and a lecturer and adjunct associate professor of health promotion and behavioral sciences at San Diego State University. She has developed and instructed face-to-face, online, hybrid, synchronous, and asynchronous public health courses on health communication, research, community health, program planning, evaluation, and health education methodology.
Her diverse experiences include health communication in various settings and communication channels, such as county health departments, high schools, colleges, and minority groups organizations, as well as dissemination of breakthrough research findings and health messages in national and international in-person and virtual conferences, webinars, and symposia. Dr. Kassem is the founder and director of the Hookah Tobacco Research Center at SDSU Research Foundation. Her scholarly areas include tobacco control, focusing on determinants of hookah tobacco use and its carcinogenic and nicotine metabolites, smoke toxicants yield, and risks of secondhand and thirdhand hookah smoke exposure in adults and children.
Her research experience includes collecting data from children, high school students, college students, and adults using ecological frameworks via interviewing, self-administered, group-administered, and web-based surveys. Dr. Kassem’s studies have produced landmark findings on carcinogenic exposure (benzene, acrolein, and tobacco-specific nitrosamines) in hookah tobacco smokers, and in those exposed to hookah tobacco secondhand smoke. Her published breakthrough research findings have earned her national and international recognition, including letters of acknowledgment from the president of SDSU and the California State University Office of the Chancellor.