Heather Orom’s first line of research is on the causes of health disparities. She is interested in how broad social determinants of health such as discrimination influence health outcomes. Currently, Orom is investigating the causes of racial disparities in cancer prevention and treatment. Orom is also interested in disparities in cancer prevention. Having documented racial/ethnic differences in perceived susceptibility for cancer, she and colleagues are investigating the origins and consequences of these differences. In addition to research on health disparities, she studies how communities and families respond to toxic exposure disasters, including how they respond to the health threat posed by these disasters.