Meet Our Experts193 experts
Swann A. Adams, PhD, MS, FACE, University of South Carolina
Dr. Adams has been conducting research in South Carolina for over 20 years. As an epidemiologist, she has a deep understanding of research study design, sources of bias in research, and applied analytic methods. Much of her work has been conducted using a community-based participatory research approach in which she partners with African American community members to enhance the relevance and impact of her work. Her research has predominately focused on understanding the determinants of cancer health disparities experienced by African Americans and ways to intervene to improve these inequalities. Dr. Adams has received grant funding from multiple sources, including the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the South Carolina Cancer Alliance, and the South Carolina Cancer Center, among others. She has also received awards for her work from the Arnold School of Public Health, the Vice President for Research of USC, and the College of Nursing.
Prajakta Adsul, PhD, MPH, MBBS, Affiliate Member
Dr. Prajakta Adsul is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine with a membership in the University of New Mexico's Comprehensive Cancer Center, with the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Research Program. Her research uses implementation science methods to understand the uptake and delivery of cancer screening in resource-limited clinical settings and under-served communities.
Prior to joining UNM, Dr. Adsul was a Cancer Prevention Fellow, working with the implementation science team at the National Cancer Institute. She received her medical training in India and her doctorate in Public Health at Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice.
Rima Afifi, PhD, MPH, University of Iowa
Rima Afifi engages in public health research and practice with intent to promote social, community, and policy environments conducive to well being. Whenever possible, she uses methods of Community Based Participatory Research; applies an ecological lens to the understanding of the issues; engages multiple disciplines to widen the perspectives on any topic; and emphasizes knowledge transfer of research to practice and policy. She is specifically interested in intervention and implementation science. Most of Rima’s research and practice has centered on adolescent and youth health and well being, as well as on the Arab world. This has infused her research and practice with critical reflections on the impact of global politics, economics, trade; and of war, conflict and contexts of uncertainty; as well as the power of youth agency and voice. A secondary area of research emphasis has been tobacco control, specifically the global epidemic of hookah use. Using the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as a guidance document, her research has explored determinants of use, as well as policy solutions to minimize the morbidity and mortality burden of this alternative tobacco product (ATP): waterpipe/hookah, midwakh, and e-cigarettes. Her research has documents prevalence and determinants of use of ATPs at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community and policy levels. Rima has also evaluated a variety of intervention to prevent and control ATPs or tobacco use more generally, at individual (school-based), organizational (university smoke-free policies), and policy (national law) levels.
Shacoria Anderson, MPH, Emory University
Shacoria Anderson is currently a PhD student in Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences at Emory University. Previously, she worked as an ORISE fellow at the CDC, where she assisted with the implementation of three studies focusing on autism and developmental disabilities among children and adolescents. She also served as a research assistant at Emory Winship Cancer Institute’s Center for Community Outreach and Engagement. As an MPH student, she was inducted into the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society. Her research interests include cancer prevention and control, implementation science, rural health, health equity, community based participatory research and mixed methods research. Her career goals are to develop comprehensive interventions and apply implementation science methods to improve cancer screening uptake among minority and rural populations, decreasing cancer disparities and burden.
Allison Antoine, CHES, Affiliate Member
Allison Antoine is the Outreach Program Manager for the Wisconsin Cancer Collaborative (WCC). In this role, she leads the strategic outreach strategy for the WCC as they work with the 140+ member organizations to implement the Wisconsin Cancer Plan 2020-2030. Prior to this work, she led a five-year CDC funded colorectal cancer control program within nine community health centers across Wisconsin. Allison is also the Past Chair of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors’ Cancer Council, a council of 450+ members across all CDC-funded cancer programs. Allison will graduate with a Master’s in Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin in spring 2022. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and has been a certified health education specialist (CHES) since 2011. Allison is thrilled to participate in the 2021- 2022 CPCRN Scholars Program!
Hannah Arem, PhD, Affiliate Member
Dr. Hannah Arem's area of expertise is in implementation research related to behavioral modification for cancer prevention and control. She completed a two-year, mentored training in dissemination and implementation science training led by Ross Brownson at Washington University Saint Louis from 2013-2015, which shifted her work towards implementation science. Dr. Arem has served as a reviewer for the annual AcademyHealth Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health as well. Her research is focused on mHealth in relation to implementation science. Her PhD training is in Epidemiology, and she has experience conducting analyses with large datasets including from the NCI cohort consortium. Dr. Arem joined the MedStar Health Research Institute in December 2020 to build an implementation science program within their healthcare delivery research program. Through this program, she will be working on a variety of initiatives including health equity, cancer care delivery, and maternal and child health in relation to implementation science.
Natoshia Askelson, PhD, MPH, University of Iowa
Natoshia M. Askelson is an Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health, Department of Community & Behavioral Health with an adjunct appointment in the Health Policy Research Program at the Public Policy Center. She currently serves as the PI for Iowa’s Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Collaborating Center and for the PRC's core research project Active Iowa. Dr. Askelson is also Deputy Director of the Iowa PRC. She is trained as a behavioral scientist with an emphasis in health communication. Her research is focused on maternal, child and family health, with an emphasis on elementary-aged children and adolescents. She uses mixed methods to understand how policy and program changes influence positive and maladaptive behavior. She has conducted a number of studies related to Medicaid waiver programs and how enrollees understand and adapt to these programs. Additionally she has examined how parents, children and schools are responding to changes from the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010. Her interests in adolescent a health have resulted in a series of studies in adolescent pregnancy prevention and the HPV vaccine.
Amy Ballou, DNP, ACNP-BC, University of South Carolina
Dr. Amy Ballou holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of South Carolina. She holds a master’s degree in Nursing with board certification as an acute care nurse practitioner from the University of South Carolina. She has also received her bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina. She has over 14 years of nursing experience and specializes in oncology and hematology. Dr. Ballou’s passion is to increase patient-provider communication to improve health outcomes. Her clinical interests include depression in terminally ill patients and end of life management decisions and care. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American Nurses Association and the Oncology Nursing Society. She enjoys spending time with her family, nature, hiking, and travel.
Barbara Baquero, PhD, MPH, University of Washington
Wendy Barrington, PhD, MPH, University of Washington
Dr. Barrington’s primary appointment is as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychosocial & Community Health in the School of Nursing and also serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Services as well as Interdisciplinary Faculty in the Nutrition Sciences Program in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. The focus of her research is to evaluate to what degree social position, structures, and systems perpetuate cancer health disparities via screening, stress, obesity, and related behaviors. Dr. Barrington’s research falls within two main schema: promoting healthy communities and racial disparities in clinical outcomes. She is using advanced methods including multilevel modeling and causal mediation analyses to explicate these relationships and is engaging in community-based participatory research to promote the health of vulnerable communities. Dr. Barrington teaches Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity as part of the core curriculum for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program as well as Introduction to Epidemiologic Methods as part of the Master’s in Public Health program.
Lauren Bates, MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lauren Bates is a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Human Movement Science in the department of Allied Health Sciences. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and Biology at SUNY Brockport and her Master’s Degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Exercise and Sport Science. Lauren’s primary research focus is exercise oncology, especially improving quality of life and reducing sedentary behavior in oncology populations. She also examines how the immune system responds to acute and chronic exercise as a potential therapy in oncology populations. Lauren is interested in the interactions of lifestyle behavioral factors and cancer risk, and the translation of basic and applied science into public health outcomes. She is extremely excited to be in the inaugural Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Scholars program and looks forward learning more about dissemination and implementation science focused on cancer prevention and control.
Cici Bauer, PhD, Affiliate Member
Cici Bauer is an Assistant Professor from the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). She graduated from the University of Washington Seattle in 2012 with a PhD in Statistics. Her research areas include Bayesian spatial-temporal modeling, small area estimation, hierarchical models for survey data with complex designs, and social determinants of health and health disparities. Before she joined UTHealth in 2018, she served various positions in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and the state government.
Jennifer Bea, PhD, University of Arizona
Jennifer W. Bea, PhD is a physiological scientist, focused on body composition and chronic disease research, with an emphasis on cancer. She is currently Co-director for the Body Composition Research Laboratory, a member of UACC Cancer Prevention and Control, and a member of the Collaboratory for Metabolic Disease Prevention and Treatment at UA. As an expert in body composition imaging, lifestyle interventions, circulating biomarkers, and genetics, Dr. Bea has made significant strides in understanding how to tailor interventions to optimize body composition and health, particularly among underserved communities.
Dr. Bea has evaluated risk factors for cancer within the Women’s Health Initiative, lifestyle and obesity being predominate. Among many contributions to interventional cancer prevention and control are Dr. Bea’s investigations into weight loss, and separately, resistance training, on metabolic regulation and change in body composition among breast cancer survivors. Dr. Bea is currently UACC PI of a physical activity intervention among Native American cancer survivors, “Restoring Balance in Indian Country.” Cancer prevention and control training is also a passion for Dr. Bea. She previously coordinated the R25 CPC postdoctoral fellowship and is now an M-PI for STEP-UP, an R25 CPC training program for underrepresented undergraduate and early graduate students. Dr. Bea is also the Research Education Core Lead for the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention (U54) at UACC, which provides research opportunities and training for undergraduate students.
Robert Bednarczyk, PhD, Emory University
Dr. Robert Bednarczyk is a quantitative epidemiologist by training, with a focus on the epidemiology of vaccine uptake, particularly HPV vaccine. Dr. Bednarczyk has also completed training in behavioral sciences and intervention development and evaluation as part of an NIH K award.
Caitlin Biddell, MSPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Caitlin Biddell is a PhD student in the Department of Health Policy and Management at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research focuses on improving cancer care access and quality, particularly by understanding and addressing patient financial hardship, as a means to promoting health equity. Using a range of methodologies–including systems thinking, decision science, and implementation science–she aims to leverage available data and resources to support equitable policy development and program implementation.
Liszet Bigelow, MSW, University of Washington
Emily Bilenduke, MA, Colorado School of Public Health
Emily Bilenduke is a Clinical Health Psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado Denver. She graduated from the University of Redlands with a degree in Psychology. Later, she worked at the Summit Community Care Clinic, a primary care clinic in rural Colorado, as the grant coordinator. Her time at the clinic inspired her to evaluate how people interact with their health. Emily defended her Master’s thesis on the association of microbiome and mood changes in women diagnosed with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy treatment. Her current research interests include psychosocial interventions improving mental and behavioral health in cancer patients and caregivers, barriers to psychosocial care, health disparities, and integrated care.
Sarah Birken, PhD, MSPH, Affiliate Member
Sarah Birken, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Implementation Science in the School of Medicine and a Member of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University. Dr. Birken’s research focuses on translating evidence into practice. Specifically, Dr. Birken studies middle managers’ roles in implementing evidence-based practices, the implementation of innovations in cancer care, and the selection and application of implementation theories. Dr. Birken’s research has been funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Cancer Research Network, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Birken serves as a National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review Early Career Reviewer and Core Faculty in the Dissemination and Implementation Science Methods Unit of the North Carolina Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute. Dr. Birken has served as an expert speaker for organizations such as the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center, the Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Directors, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Survivorship Committee.
Sarah Blake, PhD, MA, Emory University
Dr. Sarah Blake, PhD, MA is an assistant research professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management at the Rollins School of Public Health. The majority of her work utilizes mixed research methods to examine the effects of health policies on the delivery and quality of care for medically vulnerable populations, particularly low-income women and children. Dr. Blake has conducted numerous studies that examined the translation of evidence-based public health strategies into policy and practice. In prior work for the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the CDC, I have completed research on the earlier effects of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) on preventive care screens for women, the screening patterns of regular users of the NBCCEDP in Georgia as they move into Medicare and the impact of the Breast and Cervical Cancer and Prevention Act (BCCPTA) on timely enrollment and treatment in the Medicaid program. Dr. Blake is a member of the Emory University Winship Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention and Control program.
Heather Brandt, PhD, MSPH, Affiliate Member
Heather M. Brandt, PhD is director of the HPV Cancer Prevention Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and co-associate director for outreach in the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center. She also serves as a full member of the cancer center in the department of epidemiology and cancer control. She is a faculty affiliate in the University of Memphis School of Public Health and University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health.
As a social and behavioral scientist, her research interests focus on cancer-related health disparities in cancer prevention and control and specifically on working with stakeholders to effectively use what we know works to increase HPV vaccination. This involves examining, describing, and intervening on cancer-related health disparities through innovative approaches in partnership with “communities” (defined broadly and diversely). Her research emphasizes dissemination and implementation of evidence-based approaches, knowledge-based practice, and co-creating knowledge with stakeholders in order to improve outcomes through informed action on multiple levels. Most of her work has been done with churches, non-profit organizations, and health care settings, including in rural areas, to improve cancer prevention and control outcomes.
Alison Brenner, PhD, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Alison Brenner is a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology and the Associate Program Director of the Carolina Cancer Screening Initiative at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina. She is a mixed methods researcher with a primary focus on patient-provider shared decision-making in preference sensitive decisions, values clarification methodology, implementation of cancer screening programs, patient decision support implementation, and intervention research. She has particular expertise in colorectal cancer screening implementation in primary care settings, focusing on rural or otherwise underserved populations. Additionally, she has some expertise in lung cancer screening implementation and quality improvement.
Wesley Burkett, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Wesley Burkett is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Chapel Hill, NC and is currently a first-year gynecologic oncology fellow at the University of North Carolina. Wesley graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama. He then obtained his medical degree at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, AL. During medical school, he developed an interest in women’s health and oncology, and applied for residency in obstetrics and gynecology. He completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, OK. While in residency, he received numerous research and teaching awards and was selected to serve as an Administrative Chief Resident. One of his areas of interest in research is trying to better understand and improve care for incarcerated women with gynecologic cancers.
Margaret Carrel, PhD, University of Iowa
Dr. Margaret Carrel's research centers on exploring geographic patterns of health and disease using GIS and spatial statistical techniques. The focus of their current research is to understand how complex interactions between people and environments result both in disease outcomes and the progressive evolution of human pathogens.
As a research emphasis, human-environment drivers of pathogenic evolution is situated in the emergent field of landscape genetics, which combines the spatial analytic techniques of landscape ecology and geography with the computational methods of population genetics. Dr. Carrel is applying these landscape genetics methods to the study of H5N1 influenza in Vietnam, H1N1 in China, malaria drug resistance in the Congo and HIV drug resistance in North Carolina.
Dr. Carrel also conducts diarrheal disease research in rural Bangladesh, examining how the installation of flood control measures and deep drinking water tubewells interact to produce or prevent diarrheal events. Projects based in Iowa examine the patterns of drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, particularly in relationship to livestock production.
Scott Carvajal, PhD, MPH, University of Arizona
Scott C. Carvajal, PhD, MPH, is a Professor and PI/Co-Director of the Arizona Prevention Research Center (AzPRC) at the University of Arizona and is a multi-discipline trained applied social and quantitative psychologist with expertise in health promotion theory, Latino/cultural behavioral research methods, intervention design and evaluation methods. He has partnered with four federally-qualified health centers that serve majority Hispanic populations in Arizona to lead multiple chronic disease preventive intervention research studies that focus on diet, physical activity, and mental well-being, often employing quasi-experimental evaluation methods.
David Chambers, DPhil, MSc, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dr. David Chambers is Deputy Director for Implementation Science Team in the Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Chambers manages a team focusing on efforts to build and advance the field of Implementation Science (IS) through funding opportunity announcements, training mechanisms, dissemination platforms, and enhancement of partnerships and networks to integrate research, practice and policy.
From 2008 through the fall of 2014, Dr. Chambers served as Chief of the Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology Branch (SRCEB) of the Division of Services and Intervention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He arrived at NIMH in 2001, brought to the Institute to run the Dissemination and Implementation Research Program within SRCEB, where he continues to manage a portfolio of grants that study the integration of scientific findings and effective clinical practices in mental health within real-world service settings. From 2006 to the fall of 2014, Dr. Chambers also served as Associate Director for Dissemination and Implementation Research, leading NIH initiatives around the coordination of dissemination and implementation research in health, including a set of research announcements across 15 of the NIH Institutes and Centers, annual scientific conferences, and a summer training institute. Prior to his arrival at NIH, Dr. Chambers worked as a member of a research team at Oxford University, where he studied national efforts to implement evidence-based practice within healthcare systems. He publishes on strategic research directions in implementation science and serves as a plenary speaker at numerous scientific conferences. He received his A.B. degree (with Honors) in Economics from Brown University in 1997, and an M.Sc. and D.Phil degree in Management Studies (Organisational Behaviour) in 1998 and 2001, respectively, from Oxford University (UK).
Mary Charlton, PhD, MS, University of Iowa
Dr. Charlton is an Associate Professor in the UI Department of Epidemiology and Associate Director of the Iowa SEER Cancer Registry. Her research focuses on rural disparities in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Enmanuel Chavarria, PhD, MS, Emory University
Dr. Enmanuel ("Manny") Chavarria's research focuses on addressing cancer disparities by leveraging communication technologies. Dr. Chavarria's research implements evidence-based interventions in community-based settings delivered via culturally salient manners among medically underserved and vulnerable populations. Dr. Chavarria's research interests are twofold: 1) Investigate reasons for cancer disparities that burden underserved and vulnerable populations, and 2) develop interventions that ameliorate these disparities. Dr. Chavarria aims to promote health equity through research that looks to reduce the burden of cancer incidence and mortality among medically underserved and vulnerable populations.
Perla Chebli, PhD, MPH, New York University – City University of New York
Perla Chebli, PhD, MPH is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Section for Health Equity at the NYU Department of Population Health. Her primary areas of focus are community-engaged research, cancer disparities, intervention development, and implementation science. Dr. Chebli's current research projects examine: multilevel factors influencing HPV vaccine hesitancy in immigrant communities in Brooklyn to develop responsive interventions; and community engagement strategies leveraged in the implementation of community-based cancer interventions in NYC. In past research projects, she: engaged diverse Arab American community stakeholders to explore cancer-related needs in Chicago and identify priorities for acceptable, culturally-congruent cancer interventions; analyzed interviews with Latina breast cancer survivors and providers to understand multilevel determinants of financial toxicity; and conducted a process evaluation of community-based breast cancer interventions with Latina women in Chicago. Dr. Chebli holds a Master of Public Health from New York University and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Allison Cole, MD, MPH, University of Washington
Allison Cole, MD, MPH is a family physician and researcher at the University of Washington. She is Associate Director for the WWAMI region Practice and Research Network and Co-Director of the Community Engagement Program at the Institute of Translational Health Sciences. Her research efforts focus on dissemination and implementation of evidence-based cancer screening programs and systematic strategies for addressing cancer screening disparities. She completed her medical training at the University of Iowa and earned a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Washington.
Gloria Coronado, PhD, University of Washington
Gloria Coronado, PhD is an epidemiologist and the Mitch Greenlick Endowed Senior Investigator in Health Disparities Research at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. She completed her training at Stanford University and the University of Washington. Dr. Coronado’s research has focused on understanding and addressing disparities in the occurrence and burden of disease in underserved populations, with a special emphasis on the Latino population in the Pacific Northwest. She has developed several innovative and cost-effective interventions to improve rates of participation in cancer screening among Latinos. Her innovative work has led to successful partnerships with large health plans, state institutions, and clinics serving migrants and the uninsured. She currently directs or co-directs three programs that use systems-based approaches to raise the rates of colorectal cancer screening in health plans and clinics in Washington, Oregon and California.
Gloria Cota Aguirre, , University of Arizona
Gloria Cota Aguirre is currently an undergraduate student in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She intends to complete her Bachelor of Science in Public Health in May 2022, with an emphasis on health systems theory and practice. Her areas of interest span from health disparities, rural health, nutrition, and disease prevention. She is interested in developing a plan to adapt Fit-Flu programs to promote an increase in colorectal cancer screening. Gloria has been involved in research within nutrition and diabetes management. After receiving her bachelor's, she hopes to continue her education at the University of Arizona, obtaining her Master of Science in nutrition.
Derek Craig, MPH, University of Texas, Houston
Derek Craig is a PhD student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. His research interests include cancer prevention, physical activity promotion and implementation science. For his dissertation, Derek is using qualitative and quantitative methods to better understand the factors contributing to the implementation of school- based physical activity opportunities. Derek also works as a research coordinator on an R01 study that is working with a national network of FQHCs and schools to develop and validate a measure of organizational readiness for implementation. Prior to pursuing a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Derek earned his MPH in Community Health Practice from DePaul University and BS in Kinesiology from Indiana University.
Lori Crane, PhD, MPH, Colorado School of Public Health
Michaela Curran, PhD, University of Iowa
Michaela Curran is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa. Her research lies at the intersection of population health, development studies, political economy, and social networks. Her dissertation explored how socio-economic factors, such as income inequality, economic development, and political exclusion, influence global, national, and within-country health disparities. Her recent research foci also include the efficacy of social network “eHealth” interventions for improving cancer survivors’ mental health, invisible disabilities in academia, and the comparative roles of relative and absolute income in health promotion.
Maša Davidović, MD, MSc, Affiliate Member
Dr. Maša Davidović is a medical doctor, epidemiologist, and PhD student in Health Sciences at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, Switzerland. She holds an MSc in Health Sciences, specialization Epidemiology from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, and a medical diploma from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia. She has received the SSPH+ Global PhD Fellowship Program in Public Health Sciences (GlobalP3HS), funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, to pursue a PhD. She worked as a teaching assistant at the Institute of Social Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade (2018-19), and as a PhD student in Cancer Research Group at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern (2019-20). Her research aims to develop and implement a standardized data set for data collection and cervical cancer screening program monitoring in collaborating sites offering cervical cancer screening to women living with HIV in four African regions. She has a huge passion for improving cancer prevention and early diagnosis among vulnerable populations in low-resource settings.
Melinda Davis, PhD, Affiliate Member
Melinda Davis, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and the Director of Community Engaged Research for the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network. She uses participatory methods to conduct research to reduce disparities in rural and vulnerable populations. Dr. Davis is currently funded through an NCI K07 scholar. She is leading research to understand regional variation in colorectal cancer screening and to implement interventions to improve colorectal cancer screening in collaboration with the Community Health Advocacy and Research Alliance, Oregon Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), and other state and national partners.
Natalie Del Vecchio, PhD, University of Iowa
Natalie Del Vecchio, PhD is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Her research interests in cancer epidemiology include health-services research, cancer disparities, health-related quality of life, health equity, and cancer survivorship. Her dissertation focused on the intersection of health literacy and how patients navigate cancer care, specifically examining how decision-making, care coordination, and survivorship care planning affect the quality of care received as well as health-related quality of life in survivorship
Emanuelle Dias, MPH, University of Texas, Houston
Emanuelle Dias, MPH is a PhD student at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at Houston in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida and her MPH degree from the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on improving cancer care access in resource-constrict settings, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers. Her overall research interests include the intersections of implementation science, cancer prevention and control, health communication, and health equity. She is very excited to join the second cohort of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) Scholars program and looks forward to strengthening her skills and knowledge in implementation science focused on cancer prevention and control.
Sarah Dixon, MPA, University of Iowa
William Doucette, PhD, FAPhA, RPh, University of Iowa
William Doucette is Professor and Head in the Division of Health Services Research in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Iowa. His primary research interest is to study pharmacists’ influence on medication management and use, especially for patients with chronic conditions. He has been principal investigator on grants exceeding two million dollars and has co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed articles. Professor Doucette has been a member of scientific review panels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Andrea Dwyer, BS, Colorado School of Public Health
Jan Eberth, PhD, University of South Carolina
Jan Eberth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of South Carolina and the Deputy Director of the SC Rural Health Research Center. Dr. Eberth received her PhD from the University of Texas School Of Public Health and a postdoctoral fellowship from MD Anderson Cancer Center. The focus of her research is cancer health disparities, particularly socioeconomic and structural barriers that impede access and utilization to cancer screening and treatment. She is the co-chair of the CPCRN Rural Cancer Workgroup.
Jean Edward, PhD, RN, CHPE, Affiliate Member
Jean Edward, PhD, RN, CHPE, is an Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing, University of Kentucky and Nurse Scientist for UK HealthCare’s Markey Cancer Center. Dr. Edward's program of research is focused on promoting equitable access to healthcare for underserved communities by examining the influence of social determinants on healthcare access, affordability and health outcomes. Her program of research utilizes community-based, mixed methods and interdisciplinary approaches to develop interventions that promote equity in access to and affordability of healthcare. Her current research focuses on developing and implementing tailored consumer-, systems-, and community-level programs to improve cost-related health literacy, promote health-seeking behaviors and support healthcare decision-making in underserved communities. She is currently implementing an interdisciplinary program to enhance cost of care conversations in healthcare settings to help address financial toxicity of patients and families with childhood cancers.
Tatiana Enriquez, , University of Arizona
Tatiana Enriquez is employed by MCHC as a CHW or Promotora de Salud working in the area of diabetes prevention, cancer and support services projects. The Juntos Contra el Cancer support group includes over 40 breast cancer survivors who meet regularly to offer emotional support to one another and educate and support women who are newly diagnosed on navigating cancer therapy.
Jennifer Erdrich, MD, MPH, FACS, University of Arizona
Jennifer Erdrich, MD, MPH, FACS, is a surgical oncologist and assistant professor with the Division of General Surgery at the University of Arizona Department of Surgery who specializes in melanoma, sarcoma, and breast cancers. She also provides general surgical oncology care to tribal populations throughout southern Arizona. Dr. Erdrich's research centers on cancer care and prevention for Native Americans with focus on interventions that address the inflammatory/metabolic pathways in cancer.
Cam Escoffery, PhD, MPH, CHES, Emory University
Cam Escoffery, PhD, MPH, CHES is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. Escoffery has over 25 years of experience in health promotion, cancer prevention and control, and evaluation/implementation research. She has received funding from the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society, and foundations.
Weanne Estrada, MPH, New York University – City University of New York
Donoria Evans, PhD, MPH, Affiliate Member
Donoria Evans, PhD has more than twenty years of experience in program evaluation and behavioral research focused on cancer screening and survivorship, behavioral health, health disparities, community engagement, and community-based participatory evaluation. She has a broad range of experience in mixed methodology evaluation design, data collection and analyses. Dr. Evans has contributed to evaluation design, project and data management, and analysis of multi-site evaluations, specializing in longitudinal and quasi-experimental designs with multiple data sources. She is also engaged in reporting and dissemination work that utilizes data visualization tools and resources to reach multiple audiences. She is currently the Senior Manager, Data and Evaluation for Systems Partnerships at the American Cancer Society.
Ciaran Fairman, PhD, CSCS, CET, University of South Carolina
Ciaran is an Assistant Professor in Exercise Science and the Director of the Exercise Oncology Laboratory at UofSC. Dr. Fairman’s primary research focus is examining the impact of exercise, nutrition and supplementation interventions during and after cancer treatments. The purpose of this research is to see if we can prevent or reduce the side effects experienced with cancer and its treatments. Specific research areas include the manipulation of dose, frequency, volume or intensity of exercise to optimize clinically relevant outcomes in cancer patients; resistance training across the cancer continuum; nutrition/supplementation to augment training adaptations; exercise medicine and tumor biology.He has published over 50 peer-reviewed abstracts, manuscripts and book chapters in the areas of exercise science and nutrition. Dr. Fairman is also a strong advocate of the dissemination/translation of scientific research to a variety of audiences. He is the host of the REACH podcast (https://reach.fireside.fm/), where he discusses the latest research in exercise oncology.
Paige Farris, MSW, Oregon Health & Science University
Ms. Paige Farris has over 10 years of experience protecting human subjects in research, managing cancer prevention clinical trials, co-writing grants, implementing research projects in both university and Veteran Hospital settings as well as conducting statewide cancer prevention and control projects. Her research interests focus on building community capacity for research in a few different ways; first, by conducting trainings in community settings with the goal of familiarizing individuals and project teams to the research process so community researchers can begin their own studies more quickly, efficiently and ethically. She conducts trainings around the use of Evidence-Based Approaches and the importance of protecting human subjects participating in community-based research. Additionally, and in collaboration with OHSU’s IRB Chair, she runs the Community Research Navigation team at OHSU as a result of facilitating the development of a new approach in the review and approval of community research; impacting institutional policy along the way. Finally, by working closely with community researchers, Ms. Farris is interested in providing technical assistance to community researchers in the design of research implementation; assuring project outcomes are—sometimes creatively—met based on novel data collection tools or recruitment techniques. She has a commitment to improving health policy through research and values collaboration and research partnerships in order to improve healthcare for all people.
Tisha Felder, PhD, MSW, University of South Carolina
Dr. Tisha Felder is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of South Carolina (UofSC) and Cancer Prevention and Control Program at UofSC Arnold School of Public Health. Dr. Felder’s research focuses on addressing racial and socioeconomic disparities in breastfeeding and breast cancer survivorship among African Americans. A South Carolina native, Dr. Felder received her BA in sociology from Wake Forest University (2001), Master of Social Work from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (2002) and a PhD in Behavioral sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health in Houston in 2010.
Maria Fernandez, PhD, University of Texas, Houston
Dr. Fernandez is the Lorne Bain Distinguished Professor in Health and Medicine, a Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas, School of Public Health (SPH) in Houston, and Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR). Her research has focused on cancer prevention and control among underserved populations. She has conducted studies that range from the development and evaluation of new interventions to the science of understanding and intervening to accelerate the use of evidence-based interventions in real- world settings. Dr. Fernandez has extensive experience in research translation and dissemination and implementation (D&I) research, and has been a member of the NIH Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health Study Section. She is a PI on two NIH Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health R01s, one to develop and evaluate an online decision support system for health program planners to facilitate adoption, adaptation, and implementation of evidence-based programs and another to validate a measure of organizational readiness. Her studies have identified important behaviors and determinants of adoption and implementation of cancer control interventions in clinical and community settings and have developed implementation strategies to increase adoption and implementation of evidence-based cancer control interventions. She is an internationally known expert on Intervention Mapping and co-author on the 4th edition of Planning Health Promotion Programs: An Intervention Mapping Approach (2016). She recently authored an article on the use of IM in implementation science: Implementation Mapping: Using Intervention Mapping to Plan Implementation Strategies. She also contributed two chapters to Advancing the Science of Implementation across the Cancer Continuum, (Chambers, Vinson, Norton, Eds.; 2018).
Renée Ferrari, PhD, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Renee Ferrari is a Research Scientist with the Carolina Cancer Screening Initiative at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research interests include clinical preventive screening, maternal and child health services, implementation science, and qualitative research methods. Dr. Ferrari's current focus involves improving cancer screening in North Carolina’s vulnerable populations, specifically colorectal (CRC) and lung cancer. She is exploring patient, provider, and pharmacist perspectives on distributing colorectal cancer screening tests in pharmacies (versus the standard practice of a primary care office) under the premise that pharmacy-based distribution could remove patient barriers and increase CRC screening rates. Related work includes interviews with CRC screening-eligible patients to explore barriers and facilitators to CRC screening and follow-up. In addition, she is working on a project aimed at helping patients make informed decisions about lung cancer screening. Dr. Ferrari has more than a decade of experience in qualitative research aimed at improving health services for vulnerable populations. This experience includes designing studies, planning and executing research, developing data collection tools including interview and focus group guides, analyzing and interpreting data, and synthesizing and disseminating findings. Earlier work prior to academia involved consulting with non-profit organizations to assist them in developing and executing performance evaluation plans to improve the quality of their work with their target populations. Prior to that, she spent several years working within community-based organizations on the front lines of helping marginalized women transition from welfare to work.
Kim Flicker, MSHM, MBA, University of South Carolina
Kim Flicker is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed both her Master of Science in Healthcare Management, and Master of Business Administration at the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she worked as an administrator in a cognitive neuroscience research laboratory and in student recruitment and development programs. Kim is interested in improving the quality of life of diverse aging communities to reduce health disparities through strategic engagement of community members, public and private partners, and researchers.
Sue Flocke, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University
Susan ‘Sue’ Flocke, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University and currently holds the Kaiser Permanente Professor of Evidence-based Family Medicine endowed professorship. Her research is focused on enhancing preventive service delivery in the primary care setting, effective clinician-patient communication of health behavior change, and building linkages to community resources to facilitate behavior change. Current projects focus on reducing the harms from tobacco and implementing and evaluating systems change to use an eReferral to increase tobacco cessation support for socially disadvantaged patients. She enjoys mentoring and collaborating on transdisciplinary research initiatives.
Victoria Foster, MPH, New York University – City University of New York
Victoria Foster, MPH, joined NYU in July 2019 with more than 10 years of experience at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, most recently in the role of Manager of Clinical-Community Program Linkages, City Research Scientist II, for the Primary Care Information Project. Ms. Foster directed, managed, and developed activities including the implementation and evaluation of policy, intervention, and strategic planning projects on chronic disease prevention and self-management through clinical-community linkages across multi-sector partnerships.
Daniela Friedman, PhD, University of South Carolina
Dr. Friedman is Professor and Chair in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and core faculty in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program. She is also co-director of the Arnold School of Public Health’s Office for the Study of Aging. Dr. Friedman’s graduate degrees are in health studies and gerontology. Her community- and stakeholder-engaged research is focused on health and cancer communication with diverse older adults. Specifically, she evaluates how communities access, understand, and use disease risk and prevention information, and examines the use of innovative strategies to promote the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based, language appropriate, and culturally relevant messages and programs. Currently she serves as Principal Investigator of the South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Collaborating Center. Dr. Friedman is also a PI on the CDC-funded South Carolina Healthy Brain Research Network Collaborating Center and on an NIH study examining effective strategies for communicating about breast cancer and the environment.
Francine Gachupin, PhD, MPH, University of Arizona
Francine C. Gachupin, PhD, MPH, is Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arizona. Dr. Gachupin is a tribal member of the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico. She received her Doctorate from the University of New Mexico and her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. She studies primarily chronic diseases and related behavioral risk factors among American Indians. She is director of the American Indian Youth Wellness Camp. Dr. Gachupin is also involved with the University of Arizona Cancer Center Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention (NACP). On the NACP grant, Dr. Gachupin is the UACC PI and NACP Outreach Core PI. The goal of the NACP is to alleviate the unequal burden of cancer among Native Americans of the Southwest through research, training, and community outreach programs in collaboration with tribal communities. Aside from research, Dr. Gachupin lectures on human subjects protection with a focus on biospecimens.
David O. Garcia, PhD, MS, University of Arizona
Dr. Garcia is an Assistant Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. He has extensive experience in short and long-term intervention trials in the areas of physical activity, diet, and weight management. He received his training from leading institutions and mentors in the field. Since 2006, Dr. Garcia has worked on numerous funded research projects, including research funded by industry, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and foundations. This includes working as a lifestyle interventionist/exercise physiologist in several clinical trials with overweight and obese adults, morbidly obese adults (Class II and III obesity), and individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Since arriving at the University of Arizona, his research has focused on the development of gender and culturally-sensitive weight loss interventions for Hispanic males. To support this effort, Dr. Garcia established “Nosotros Comprometidos a Su Salud -Committed to Your Health”, a program developed to support research through community service and partnering with underserved Tucson residents. Dr. Garcia also is the Assistant Director for Community Outreach & Engagement for the University of Arizona Cancer Center. In this role, he is currently examining the burden of obesity-related disease and cancers, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma, in Mexican-Origin adults.
Elizabeth Garcia, BSBM, University of Arizona
Elizabeth ("Lizzie") Garcia, BSBM, a native of the Arizona - Sonora border has been employed at Mariposa Community Health Center since 2006. Throughout her time at Mariposa, Lizzie has had many roles including nutrition educator for elementary school aged children and youth prevention work for teens. She is currently the Program Prevention Manager, where she supervises various programs such as Nutrition Education, Diabetes Prevention, Tobacco Prevention, and The Summer Youth Institute. Lizzie enjoys music, movies, reading and socializing with family and friends. Lizzie is passionate about prevention, and works towards improving the health and wellness of Santa Cruz County.
Karen Glanz, PhD, Affiliate Member
Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH is the George A. Weiss University Professor, Professor of Epidemiology and Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), and Director of the UPenn Prevention Research Center. Dr. Glanz has led complex multi-method research, evidence reviews and studies of cancer prevention and control, health and nutrition behavior, environments and policy for more than two decades. She has led several large, multi-site studies over the past fifteen years including being Principal Investigator for the successful CPCRN Collaborating Centers at Emory University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH, University of Washington
Yue Guan, PhD, ScM, Emory University
Dr. Yue Guan is a board-certified genetic counselor and social behavioral scientist. She holds a Masters of Science in Genetic Counseling and a PhD in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Her research work has focused on translational research in precision public health, including: communication research to develop and evaluate effective communications of genomic information; implementation and dissemination research to promote the adoption of evidence-based genomic applications in public health; and community engagement research to expand the reach of genomic screening programs to underserved minority populations. Dr. Guan is the co-director of the Emory Precision Public Health Research Program. She has also served on multiple national committees, including the American Board of Genetic Counselors (ABGC) Research Committee and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Practice Guideline Committee.
Jennifer Guida, PhD, MPH, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dr. Jennifer Guida is a Public Health Advisor in the Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch in the Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Guida is interested in improving quality of life and longevity for cancer survivors following cancer treatment, including areas involving the intersection of aging, psychosocial and contextual factors, and late emerging treatment effects.
Dr. Guida completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. She completed her doctoral degree in Epidemiology from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master’s in Public Health (M.P.H.) from the University of Colorado.
Heidi Haines, MS, University of Iowa
Heidi Haines is the Project Director for the University of Iowa Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) Collaborating Center. She is also the Center Coordinator/Evaluator for the University of Iowa Prevention Research Center for Rural Health. Ms. Haines has experience in protecting human subjects in research, managing research projects, co-writing grants and grant management. Additionally, she conducts center-level evaluation, communications and dissemination and training as needed. Ms. Haines works closely with advisory boards, health departments and community partners/stakeholders on the PRC’s and CPCRN’s community-based research projects.
Heidi Hamann, PhD, University of Arizona
Heidi Hamann, PhD is a clinical health psychologist and cancer survivorship scientist focused on psychosocial outcomes, health equity, and community-based partnerships with FQHCs. Her research focuses on developing and adapting evidence-based interventions for cancer survivors.
Peggy Hannon, PhD, MPH, University of Washington
Peggy Hannon is an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health and director of the Health Promotion Research Center, a CDC Prevention Research Center. Dr. Hannon’s research focuses on dissemination and implementation research, with an emphasis on cancer screening and workplace health promotion. She develops and tests interventions and conducts evaluation studies in partnership with entities such as the American Cancer Society, CDC, and state and local departments of health to disseminate evidence-based cancer prevention and early detection practices to clinical and community settings.
Jeffrey R. Harris, MD, MPH, MBA, University of Washington
James Hébert, ScD, MSPH, University of South Carolina
James R. Hébert is Health Sciences Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Founding Director of the South Carolina Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the University of South Carolina, and Founder, President and Scientific Director of Connecting Health Innovations LLC (CHI). Dr. Hébert received his masters degree in Environmental Health from the University of Washington and his doctorate in Nutritional Epidemiology from Harvard University. Dr. Hébert is well known for his research into the role of diet in health and for developing the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®), which has revolutionizing research into chronic systemic inflammation as a cause of numerous chronic diseases ranging from diabetes to depression, cardiovascular disease, and many cancers.
Sue Heiney, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of South Carolina
Adriena Hernandez, BA, BPH, University of Arizona
Adriena Hernandez is currently a MSPH/PhD Health Behavior Health Promotion student in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. Adriena’s areas of interest comprise of cancer survivorship, psychosocial and lifestyle interventions, and health disparities. She is interested in developing culturally tailored interventions for Latino survivors to improve health outcomes and quality of life. She has been and currently is involved in research including colorectal cancer prevention, cervical cancer prevention, psychosocial interventions, and nutrition interventions. After receiving her doctorate degree, she plans on developing and implementing interventions with cancer survivors living in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
Karen Hicklin, PhD, MS, BS, Affiliate Member
Dr. Karen Hicklin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Florida. Her research is primarily focused on mathematical modeling of stochastic systems with an emphasis on statistical and decision analysis as applied to healthcare and service environments. Before beginning her faculty appointment, she completed Postdoctoral Training in the Department of Statistics and Operations and Department of Health Behavior in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interest include the data-driven approaches to model decision making for healthcare quality improvement. She focuses on using optimization methods (e.g., decision trees, simulation, Markov decision processes (MDPs), and Bayesian decision analysis) to provide solutions and policies for healthcare delivery. She received her PhD in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University, her MS in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University, and her BS from Spelman College where she majored in mathematics.
Rachel Hirschey, PhD, RN, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Rachel Hirschey is an assistant professor in the school of nursing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and associate member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focuses on designing and testing physical activity interventions to improve cancer outcomes and eliminate cancer disparities. Priorities in Dr. Hirschey’s work include: (1) co-creating interventions with key stakeholders; (2) guiding interventions with dual process behavior theories; (3) creating interventions to be scalable and sustainable in oncology practice; and (4) tailoring interventions for groups who experience cancer disparities.
Richard Hoffman, MD, MPH, University of Iowa
Dr. Hoffman is a general internist who directs the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He also co-leads the Cancer Epidemiology and Population Science Program at the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. His areas of research interest include comparative effectiveness, epidemiology, systematic reviews, and decision making. Research topics include prostate, colorectal, and lung cancer screening and treatment for localized prostate cancers.
Terry Huang, PhD, MPH, MBA, New York University – City University of New York
Dr. Terry Huang is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, Director of the Center for Systems and Community Design, and Co-Director of the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Previously, Dr. Huang played a leading role at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the integration of systems science and public health. Dr. Huang has had a long history of research and policy leadership in the area of obesity and chronic disease prevention. In addition, he is passionate about systems-oriented community health, design for health, public health entrepreneurship, and strategies for collective impact. Dr. Huang has lectured and published extensively on these and other topics. In addition to his varied academic research endeavors, his current work also focuses on innovations at the intersection of business, design, and health, including the development of a new global public health entrepreneurship platform focused on early-stage solutions that target multiple UN sustainable development goals. Dr. Huang received the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Innovation Award in 2010 and the NIH Director’s Award in 2011. In addition, he received the National Cancer Institute Award of Merit in 2012 and was named Distinguished Scientist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2013. Dr. Huang holds a PhD in Preventive Medicine and an MPH from the University of Southern California, an MBA from IE Business School (Madrid, Spain), and a BA in Psychology from McGill University (Montreal, Canada). He is Board Certified in Public Health (CPH) and is Fellow, Councilor, and Past Program Chair of The Obesity Society. He is also VP North America and a member of the executive board of the World Obesity Federation.
Tom Hurley, MS, University of South Carolina
Soohyun Hwang, MPH, CHES, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Soohyun Hwang is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. She graduated from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, and completed her Master of Public Health degree at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she worked at the Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research. Soohyun’s research interests focus on Implementation Science, organizational behavior, quality of cancer care, care coordination, shared decision-making, health disparities, and mixed methods. Her dissertation focuses on multilevel determinants of guideline-adherent active surveillance follow-up care for low-risk prostate cancer.
Maia Ingram, MPH, University of Arizona
Maia Ingram, MPH is Director of Participatory Research & Practice, Co-Director Arizona Prevention Research Center, Co-Director of the AzPRC and a Co-Investigator of the current AzPRC core research to evaluate a CHW community-clinical linkage program. Ms. Ingram was involved in the first national study of CHWs and subsequent efforts to define the profession. Since 1995, Ms. Ingram has been instrumental in building partnerships with community organizations in Southern Arizona through participatory evaluation of numerous CHW demonstration projects, many with MCHC. Ms. Ingram contributes qualitative expertise to AzPRC efforts and engages CHWs as partners in qualitative studies in the Mexican origin communities. Ms. Ingram has built critical evaluation and research capacity among community partners, applying solid community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles. She has also encouraged and mentored many community partners to participate in and lead peer-review publications.
Jessica Islam, PhD, MPH, Affiliate Member
Jessica Y. Islam, PhD, MPH is a cancer epidemiologist and tenure-track Assistant Member at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in the Cancer Epidemiology program. Dr. Islam's research focuses on describing and intervening on cancer care disparities across the continuum, at the intersection of infections and cancer. Through her research program, Dr. Islam aims to improve cancer outcomes among vulnerable populations, including racial/ethnic minorities and people living with HIV, using multi-level approaches, advanced epidemiological methods, and an equity-focused lens.
Nadia Islam, PhD, New York University – City University of New York
Nadia Islam, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine. Her research focuses on developing culturally relevant community-clinical linkage models to promote health equity in disadvantaged communities. She leads the cardiovascular disease and diabetes research track of the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health, a NIH-funded Research Center of Excellence dedicated to reducing health disparities facing Asian American communities; is Research Director of the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center (PRC); and co-directs the Community Engagement and Population Health Research core of NYU’s Clinical Translational Science Institute. She also serves as the principal investigator on several NIH- and CDC-funded initiatives evaluating the impact of community health worker (CHW) interventions on chronic disease management and prevention in diverse populations. Dr. Islam is a medical sociologist with a doctorate in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. She serves on the American Diabetes Association Taskforce on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders. Previously, she was on the board of the Public Health Association of New York and chaired the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Islam is co-editor of Asian American Communities and Health (Jossey Bass Publisher, 2009). Her work has been featured in the American Journal of Public Health, Diabetes Care, and numerous other peer-reviewed journals.
Christine Kava, PhD, MA, University of Washington
Dr. Christine Kava is an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Dr. Kava obtained her MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Elmhurst College in 2012 and her PhD in Community and Behavioral Health from the University of Iowa in 2017. Her research interests include tobacco control, workplace health promotion, cancer prevention and control, implementation science, and health equity. Currently, Dr. Kava is leading a supplemental grant focused on understanding implementation of tobacco control evidence-based interventions at small worksites. Dr. Kava co-teaches an elective course on tobacco-related health disparities and social justice in her Department and is the current chair of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network’s Health Behaviors workgroup, where she is leading the development of a framework to address health disparities in cancer. Dr. Kava is also actively involved in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts; she is a member of her Department’s EDI committee and serves as the lead of the climate and structure subcommittee. When she is not working, Christine enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three cats.
Michelle Kegler, DrPH, MPH, Emory University
Sarah Kerch, MPH, Affiliate Member
Sarah Kerch, MPH is the Comprehensive Cancer Control Technical Assistance Manager for the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center. Sarah works with other GW Cancer Center staff to provide high quality technical assistance and support to CDC-funded comprehensive cancer control programs. Most recently, Sarah served as director of the Wisconsin Cancer Collaborative, Wisconsin's comprehensive cancer control program and coalition.
Kristin Kilbourn, PhD, MPH, Colorado School of Public Health
Jaron King, MS, University of South Carolina
Jaron is a first-year PhD student at the Arnold School of Public Health at The University of South Carolina. His emphasis is Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and has a special interest in studying public health ethics and decision-making within risk communication. In addition to his studies, he works at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in Tobacco Prevention and Control and, as such, currently studies decision-making among nicotine users. In his abundant free time, Jaron enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, and playing fantasy football.
Sarah Knerr, PhD, MPH, University of Washington
Linda Ko, PhD, MPH, MS, University of Washington
Dr. Ko is the director of the Health Communication Research Center (HCRC). She is a behavioral scientist with expertise in the development, testing, and evaluation of health communication strategies. Her work draws from the discipline of communication, marketing, social epidemiology, and social and behavioral sciences. Her research aims to understand community’s behavior within the socio-cultural context, develop interventions that will address those behaviors and translate knowledge through community-based participatory research. Dr. Ko received a PhD degree from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a native speaker of both Spanish and Korean.
Julie Kranick, MA, MPhil, New York University – City University of New York
Julie Kranick has a MA in Geography from Hunter College and a MPhil in Epidemiology from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She previously worked on the NCI funded Metropolitan New York Registry of families at increased risk of breast cancer. Julie is a program manager with the Section for Health Equity, Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine where she has engaged in health disparities, cancer, aging, and community-based participatory research, utilizing mixed-methods and large datasets.
Julie Kranick has a MA in Geography from Hunter College and a MPhil in Epidemiology from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She previously worked on the NCI funded Metropolitan New York Registry of families at increased risk of breast cancer. Julie is a program manager with the Section for Health Equity, Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine where she has engaged in health disparities, cancer, aging, and community-based participatory research, utilizing mixed-methods and large datasets.
Victoria Krauss, MPH, Emory University
Victoria earned her Master of Public Health degree from Emory University in 2019. Upon graduation, she became the Program Coordinator for the Ventanilla de Salud (Window to Health) Atlanta, a preventative community health program for individuals visiting the Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta. There, she implemented a personalized behavioral health intervention which increased healthy behaviors among participants, and improved the quality of health services provided by the program. Before Emory, she served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala as a Maternal and Child Health Facilitator collaborating with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance of Guatemala. Currently, she works as the Project Coordinator for SurvivorLink, a patient-controlled digital health platform that was created to increase follow-up care among pediatric cancer survivors. She coordinates the dissemination and implementation of the SurvivorLink project with cancer clinics across the nation.
Simona Kwon, DrPH, MPH, New York University – City University of New York
Simona C. Kwon, DrPH, MPH, is an Associate Professor in the Section for Health Equity, Departments of Population Health and Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Kwon is a social epidemiologist whose research examines the social and cultural contextual factors that influence health and health outcomes among racial and ethnic communities across the lifespan and with a particular focus on Asian Americans. Using a social determinants of health framework, Dr. Kwon engages in the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based strategies in community settings with a focus on assessing cultural relevancy and impact, and identifying innovative channels to disseminate and translate findings and outcomes for priority end-users. She works collaboratively and in partnership with multi-sectorial coalitions made up of local and national community-based organizations, governmental agencies, service delivery organizations and multi-disciplinary researchers to address community-level health disparities. Dr. Kwon directs the NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities-funded, Center for the Study of Asian American Health and serves as the Director of the Integrating Special Populations Unit of the NYU-H+H Clinical Translational Science Institute, Associate Director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, and the Associate Director of the Section for Health Equity. She was awarded her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Yale University, her doctorate in the Division of Sociomedical Sciences from the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and served as a W.K. Kellogg Community Scholars Post-doctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Health Behavior & Society.
Stephanie Land, PhD, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Matthew Lee, DrPH, MPH, New York University – City University of New York
Becky Lee, MS, PMP, CPCRN Coordinating Center at UNC
Becky Lee is the project director for the CPCRN Coordinating Center located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI), the leading professional association for project management. Becky has an appointment through the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Ms. Lee has expertise in project management of complex, multicenter collaborative research projects. She is responsible for the day-to-day coordination, implementation, and management of activities related to the CPCRN Coordinating Center. Becky holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Clemson University and a master of science degree in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech. She holds Graduate Certificates in both Public Health Leadership and Core Public Health Concepts from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Becky has worked in the Coordinating Center since 2015.
Jennifer Leeman, DrPH, MPH, MDiv, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Jennifer Leeman is an associate professor in the UNC School of Nursing and an implementation scientist with a focus on primary prevention in community-based settings. She currently is PI of a CDC-funded contract, “Assessing Awareness and Use of School Health Tools and Resources” that is applying mixed methods to evaluate how schools use four tools that the CDC disseminates to implement school health interventions (2015-2017). She directs the Dissemination Core of UNC’s CDC-funded Prevention Research Center and is faculty in the UNC CTSA’s Dissemination & Implementation Methods unit.
Melissa Lopez-Pentecost, MS, BS, University of Arizona
Melissa is a Doctoral Candidate in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona (UA) in Clinical and Translational Sciences. She obtained her bachelor's and Masters of Science degrees in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Arizona. Additionally, Melissa is a Registered Nutrition and Dietetics Technician (NDTR), on her way to obtaining her Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. Melissa's research interests include cancer health disparities, primary cancer prevention through lifestyle interventions, and precision nutrition with a focus on microbiome and metabolomics research.
Karen Lutrick, PhD, University of Arizona
Dr. Karen Lutrick is an assistant professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona and the Director of the National Foundation of Emergency Medicine. She has research expertise in disaster response research, clinical trials and research operations, Latinx health disparities, and is building expertise in dissemination and implementation science. In addition to research experience, she is an experienced educator and education researcher, working in the community and within higher education, and recently translating that experience into assisting emergency medicine physicians in the development of research skills.
Purnima Madhivanan, PhD, MPH, MBBS, University of Arizona
Purnima Madhivanan is an Associate Professor in Health Promotion Sciences at the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at University of Arizona, Tucson. A physician by training, she completed her MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the Director of the Global Health Training Program at University of Arizona, Tucson and serves as a co-PI for the Global Health Equity Scholar consortium in collaboration with Stanford, Yale and University of California, Berkeley.
For the past 20 years, her research has focused on disadvantaged populations, elucidating the dynamics of poverty, gender, and the environmental & social determinants of health, in particular the impact on women and children living in rural and limited resource communities. Dr. Madhivanan’s work focuses on addressing the systemic inequities that put women at-risk for poor health outcomes. Her current research is examining the intersection of infectious diseases and cancer, vaginal microbiome, global health, diagnostics and health disparities. Her work has resulted in more than 150 peer-review publications. She continues to develop novel lines of research and has been supported by foundations, biotechnology companies, federal and international funding organizations. Dr. Madhivanan serves as an advisor to a number of state departments of Public Health, non-profits as well as governmental research organizations.
Melissa Mazor, PhD, MS, RN, Affiliate Member
Dr. Mazor is an Instructor and T32 Cancer Prevention and Control Fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research investigates cancer survivorship and early palliative care in vulnerable populations. She has a particular interest in developing and implementing culturally sensitive, community-based interventions to mitigate poor psychosocial outcomes in Black and Latinx women with advanced breast cancer.
She is an experienced oncology nurse who is committed to improving quality of life in cancer patients and family caregivers. She has served as an investigator of several studies examining social determinants of symptom burden and distress in female cancer survivors and evaluation of models of care that promote equity.
Susan McKernan, DMD, PhD, MS, University of Iowa
Susan McKernan completed her MS in dental public health from Iowa in 2009 and her PhD in oral science from Iowa in 2012. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry. Dr. McKernan is the course co-director for "Introduction to Dental Public Health" and co-director of “Administration of Public Dental Programs.” She participates in predoctoral teaching in preventive dentistry and community dentistry, including the first-year preventive dentistry clinic. Dr. McKernan provides instruction in the graduate program about use of health services research, dental workforce evaluation, and access to dental care. Dr. McKernan has a secondary appointment at the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, where she is a researcher with the Health Policy Research Program. Her current research projects focus on Iowa's dentist workforce capacity, barriers to dental care for health disparity populations, and incorporating geospatial analysis into oral health research. Other research interests include dental student career choices and educational outcomes. Dr. McKernan has received federal funding for her research from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the CDC. She has also conducted outcomes research on the Iowa Dental Wellness Plan since it began in 2014.
Clare Meernik, PhD, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Clare Meernik, PhD, MPH is a CPCRN Scholar Alumni and Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke University of School of Medicine. Dr. Meernik is a cancer epidemiologist with research interests in cancer survivorship and outcomes, specifically among adolescents and young adults. She intends to focus her career on identifying and addressing barriers to equitable, evidence-based survivorship care and optimizing long-term cancer outcomes related to survivors’ physical, cognitive, and psychosocial needs. Dr. Meernik received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her dissertation examined fertility preservation among adolescent and young adult women with cancer in North Carolina, including the impact of fertility preservation on delay to cancer treatment and reproductive success after use of assisted reproductive technology.
Stephanie Melkonian, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Stephanie C. Melkonian, PhD is an epidemiologist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch. Dr. Melkonian continues ongoing efforts to comprehensively describe data regarding cancer incidence and mortality in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. Given higher cancer incidence rates for certain cancers in AI/AN populations, Stephanie directs her efforts towards identifying sources of cancer-related disparities, evaluating the role of modifiable cancer risk factors, and identifying culturally appropriate intervention, prevention, and screening programs for this underserved population. She also provides technical assistance to the Indian Health Service, tribal epidemiology centers, and other tribal health organizations.
Sean Mikles, PhD, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sean Mikles is a a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center who studies health system data interoperability and interprofessional collaboration. His career spans nearly 15 years of both academic and industry experience, including five years working at electronic record vendor Epic, the pursuit of an MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University, and obtaining a PhD in Biomedical and Health Informatics from the University of Washington. His research aims to support collaboration within a patient’s care team and the integration of health-related data from the patient and community into clinical practice and research. Utilizing user-centered design and implementation science approaches, his current research aims to design and implement systems to improve care coordination for post-treatment cancer survivors, and build connections between oncology practices and support services in the community.
Gita Mody, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Mody is a practicing thoracic surgeon and a health services researcher focused on improving the quality of perioperative care delivery. Her patients have diverse clinical and social risk factors and undergo high-risk surgeries for curative intent of cancer and chronic lung disease. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is negatively impacted by these surgeries and is increasingly a focus for patient-centered research interventions now that survival for this cohort is improving. However, without robust implementation science approaches, interventions to address HRQOL perioperatively will not be widely and sustainably applied. Her current work is focused on reducing post-discharge complications and improving postoperative HRQOL using patient-reported outcomes (PRO) survey tools to track, report, and manage postoperative symptoms. She is investigating the impact of these PRO systems on clinical outcomes as well as the barriers and facilitators of implementation including at the patient and provider level.
Patty Molina, BS, University of Arizona
Patty Molina, BS, the lead MCHC investigator, is Senior Director of Community Health Services, and has overseen Juntos Contra al Cancer (Together Against Cancer) cancer screening and care navigation support programs over the past 15 years. She facilitates partnerships with the AzPRC and other UArizona faculty on collaborative research projects including grants in childhood obesity, hearing loss and sleep.
Elaine H. Morrato, DrPH, MPH, Affiliate Member
Elaine Morrato, DrPH, MPH, CPH is a professor in Health Systems, Management and Policy and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice at the Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Trained as an epidemiologist and board-certified in public health, her passion is accelerating the translation of evidence into practice with a particular focus on preventive care and drug safety. She directs the Innovation-Bioentrepreneurism and Dissemination Science programs for the NIH-supported Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute. She regularly advises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on issues of risk communication and management and is currently a visiting scientist with FDA in the Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Her past experience as an R&D manager at Procter & Gamble with responsibility for commercializing new OTC and prescription drugs informs her research and public health practice.
Kristin Morrill, PhD, University of Arizona
Kristin Morrill, PhD is a current NCI-funded T32 Cancer Prevention and Control Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. In 2016, Dr. Morrill began her PhD in the University of Arizona Department of Nutritional Sciences as a USDA National Needs Fellow. The goal of her dissertation was to gather preliminary data needed to develop a culturally-sensitive, genotype-informed intervention to treat and/or prevent the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in Mexican-origin women. As a part of her dissertation, Dr. Morrill received training in the following areas: conducting systematic reviews; conducting gene-diet interaction analyses; and mixed-methods research. Dr. Morrill’s research currently involves better understanding factors that influence cancer treatment delays among Hispanic/Latino/a cancer patients. Additional research interests include precision-based treatment approaches and the role of psychosocial factors in cancer survivorship.
Alexandra Morshed, PhD, MS, Emory University
Alexandra B. Morshed, PhD, MS, is an implementation scientist with a substantive focus on prevention of weight-related chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, and cancer. She has more than ten years of experience in public health research and practice, primarily focused on implementing interventions in vulnerable populations, policy adoption, and capacity building and knowledge expansion in dissemination and implementation (D&I) science. Her research largely utilizes a D&I lens based on the recognition that research-to-practice gaps exist and contribute to disease prevalence and disparities. She is committed to equitable partnership with communities and stakeholders. She carried out her doctoral and postdoctoral training at Washington University in St. Louis and earned a master of science from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Angel Mui, MEd, New York University – City University of New York
Ms. Angel Mui is a trained bilingual (Chinese – Mandarin/Cantonese) community health worker, and project associate and team member for the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health. She provides patient and community outreach and engagement and assists with project and research coordination activities, including data collection (e.g., focus groups and interviews) and participant recruitment and retention. Ms. Mui also provides support for translation and dissemination.
Karly Murphy, PhD, Affiliate Member
Karly M. Murphy, PhD is Research Associate in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Seattle Pacific University while also working as a clinical research assistant at Fred Hutchinson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Murphy then completed NCI-funded postdoctoral fellowships focused on cancer prevention and control at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Wake Forest School of Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding and addressing the unique psychosocial needs of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors. She is particularly interested in the development of remotely-delivered interventions given their high potential for widespread dissemination.
Sarah Nash, PhD, MPH, CPH, University of Iowa
Sarah Nash, PhD, MPH, CPH, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, a full member of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-investigator at the Iowa Cancer Registry. Dr Nash’s research bridges population-based data science and community-based work to address cancer disparities, primarily among American Indian and Alaska Native people, and rural residents. Dr. Nash has broad training in cancer prevention, cancer surveillance, nutrition epidemiology, and community engagement, and strives to combine these interests in a diverse research program that directly benefits communities. Prior to her current appointment at the University of Iowa, Dr. Nash was the Director of Cancer Surveillance, and PI of the SEER Alaska Native Tumor Registry at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She received her BA (Hons) in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge University in 2007, PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2013, and MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014. She completed her postdoctoral training with the NCI’s Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program.
Gila Neta, PhD, MPP, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Victoria Ngo, PhD, MS, New York University – City University of New York
Victoria Ngo is an Associate Professor of Community Health and Social Sciences at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), Deputy Director of the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at CUNY SPH, and an adjunct behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research as a clinical psychologist focuses on task-shifting mental health care and the development of implementation strategies to increase access to and the quality of mental health services in global low-resource settings. Since 2001 she has been developing mental health research infrastructure and clinical capacity in Vietnam where she leads depression care capacity-building programmes.
Sam Noblet, MPH, University of South Carolina
Sam Noblet is the Project Coordinator for the South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Network. He is a recent MPH graduate of the Physical Activity and Public Health program at the USC Arnold School of Public Health. His primary interests include the various health benefits of physical activity, particularly in relation to chronic disease prevention. He previously worked with the process evaluation of the SC FitnessGram implementation through SCDHEC.
Wynne Norton, PhD, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Nicole Novak, PhD, University of Iowa
Dr. Nicole Novak is a Assistant Research Scientist in the Prevention Research Center and the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. Dr. Novak uses epidemiologic, community-engaged, and mixed methods to study community and policy-level factors that shape the health of immigrant, Latino and rural communities. Dr. Novak has contributed to the evaluation of PRC’s core research project, Active Ottumwa. She is also partners with the Active Ottumwa Community Advisory Board to conduct in-depth qualitative research about social and economic factors shaping well being for Ottumwa residents.
Tomas Nuño, PhD, University of Arizona
Tomas Nuño, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine with a joint appointment in the Division of Public Health Practice and Translational Research in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Dr. Nuño completed his PhD in Epidemiology in August 2011 at the University of Arizona. Upon completion of his doctorate, Dr. Nuño was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Arizona Area Health Education Center-funded Clinical Outcomes and Comparative Effectiveness Research Academic Fellowship Program. The goal of the fellowship program was to provide training in clinical outcomes and comparative effectiveness research, with a specific focus on primary care for rural and underserved patients, families, and communities in Arizona. In September 2012, Dr. Nuño received a three-year National Cancer Institute Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities postdoctoral fellowship grant as part of the University of Arizona Cancer Center R25T Cancer Prevention and Control Translational Research Training Program. In September 2017, Dr. Nuño received a three-year junior faculty diversity supplement grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to explore tools and practices to decrease cardiovascular disease (CVD) and complications among Hispanic diabetics in Arizona.
Dr. Nuño’s program of research addresses the issues of chronic disease disparities among underserved populations. Particular areas of research include diabetes and CVD prevention and outcomes among Hispanics in the United States. The over-arching aim of his program of research is to identify disparities in health outcomes and to find methods to prevent and control chronic diseases among Hispanics and other underserved populations. He has expertise with population-based research and utilization of large national databases, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. He has a growing field of work and research with behavioral epidemiology and community-based interventions. Dr. Nuño enjoys working with diverse faculty, fellows, residents, and students in a transdisciplinary team-science approach.
Meghan O'Leary, MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Meghan O’Leary is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health where she minors in Decision Sciences and Outcomes Research. She is also a trainee in the Cancer Care Quality Training Program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. For her dissertation, she is exploring the use of systems science tools for informing decision-making about the implementation of colorectal cancer screening interventions. Meghan previously completed her BA in Anthropology and American Studies at Northwestern University, and her MA in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.
Cassie Lewis Odahowski, PhD, MPH, Affiliate Member
Cassie Lewis Odahowski is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Central Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Florida State University and her Master of Public Health in epidemiology from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Odahowski received her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. Her research focuses on cancer epidemiology and social determinants of health, the identification of health disparities among rural and minority populations, geospatial analyses of health care resources, and the advancement of cancer screening and treatment options.
April Oh, PhD, MPH, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Linda Overholser, MD, MPH, Colorado School of Public Health
Linda Overholser is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, as well as the Medical Director for the TACTIC (Thriving After Cancer Treatment is Complete) clinical program which seeks to assist childhood cancer survivors with transition to adult primary care. Her clinical and research interests are in the area of cancer survivorship and specifically how primary care can be empowered to more actively participate in shared care for cancer survivors. This is especially relevant for individuals diagnosed with cancer and living in rural areas, where cancer specific resources may be more limited. Dr. Overholser's research has included 1) developing and testing an intervention that successfully raised knowledge of cancer survivorship issues in rural Colorado primary care practices and 2) successfully partnering with rural communities to gain a more granular understanding of the factors that influence the provision of cancer survivorship care in those communities. She is also an active member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Survivorship Guidelines Panel.
Nitin Pagedar, MD, MPH, University of Iowa
Dr. Pagedar is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and co-leader of the Head and Neck Cancer section of the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Nitin takes part in research at the Holden Center on cancer epidemiology and population science looking at cancer etiology, cancer health services and outcomes, and cancer prevention and control He obtained his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and his MPH from the University of Iowa. Dr. Pagedar’s specialties include parathyroid surgery, reconstructive microsurgery and thyroid surgery.
Michael Parchman, MD, MPH, University of South Carolina
Hiten Patel, MD, MPH, Affiliate Member
Dr. Patel is a Fellow in Urologic Oncology and Clinical Instructor of Urology at Loyola University Medical Center. He completed medical, public health, and urologic residency training at Johns Hopkins. He is a clinical researcher focused on evidence-based practices and quality improvement in the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma. He served on methodology teams performing systematic reviews used to inform clinical guidelines on kidney and testis cancer. He has initiated and completed randomized trials and prospective cohort studies on the prevention of venous thromboembolism, recovery of erectile function, and reduction of opioid prescribing after radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer. His recent focus has examined the role of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer, as well as utility of predictive modeling to guide clinical decisions.
Alexandra Peluso, MS, Affiliate Member
Alexandra Peluso graduated from the University of Texas with a masters in health behavior/health education in May 2020. She is currently working at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in the Implementation Science Department as an assistant project manager. Alex works on a variety of different projects under the direction of Drs. Sarah Birken and Justin Moore.
Antoinette Percy-Laurry, DrPH, MSPH, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Malesa Pereira, MPH, CPH, CCRP, Affiliate Member
Malesa Pereira is currently a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at LSUHSC School of Public Health in New Orleans. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Binghamton University and her Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from University of South Florida. Prior to entering the doctoral program at LSUHSC, Malesa spent nine years working in clinical research, three years at Weill Cornell in pulmonary research and six years at Moffitt Cancer Center in cancer imaging research. Malesa’s research interests include improving outcomes for Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Patients during treatment and survivorship in rural areas.
Cynthia Perry, PhD, FNP-BC, Oregon Health & Science University
Cynthia Perry is the Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program and Associate Professor at Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing. She holds a PhD in nursing science from OHSU, MSN in family nurse practitioner from Yale, and BA in anthropology from Northwestern. She has practiced as an FNP in various settings including rural Oregon and Alaska. She currently practices at OHSU Anticoagulation Clinic. Her research focuses on physical activity promotion as an avenue to reducing health disparities within rural and Latino communities using a community-based participatory research approach. She works on multidisciplinary national research teams and networks as well as with local communities. She is developing an expertise in dissemination and implementation of public health programs and clinical interventions. She is a fellow of the American Heart Association.
Courtney Petagna, MPH, Emory University
Courtney Petagna is the Project Director for the Emory University Collaborating Center of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. She coordinates the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based approaches in national and state workgroups and local HPV mini-grants programs in Georgia. She is a recent MPH graduate from the Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences department at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Her primary interests include sexual health, cancer disparities, and qualitative research.
Victoria Petermann, BSN, RN, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Victoria Petermann is a PhD student at the UNC School of Nursing, and a CPCRN co-investigator at the UNC collaborating center. Petermann's current research interests involve exploring how geographic factors impact access to cancer care and outcomes for individuals with gynecologic malignancies. She is primarily focused on rural-urban differences in gynecologic cancer care and outcomes and understanding what factors put rural patients at risk for poor outcomes.
Shoba Ramanadhan, ScD, MPH, Affiliate Member
Shoba Ramanadhan is a behavioral scientist with expertise in implementation science, cancer disparities, and community-based participatory research. Her work focuses on strengthening systems in underserved communities to leverage the best available evidence for cancer prevention and control. Her research falls into three streams. First, she designs and evaluates workforce development interventions to promote the use of research evidence within community-based organizations in the US and India. This work also includes examinations of the impacts of staff social networks on the uptake and use of research evidence. Second, she studies the adaptation of evidence-based cancer prevention and control programs for use in underserved communities in the US and India. Her goal is to design practice-focused guidelines for strategic adaptation so that implementing organizations can increase the impact of available interventions for underserved communities. The third stream of her work focuses on methods to incorporate practitioner expertise into the cancer prevention and control evidence base more effectively. This work includes evaluations of strategies to identify and engage critical implementation stakeholders as well as technology-based methods to gather stakeholder insight efficiently. Dr. Ramanadhan completed her postdoctoral training at the Yale School of Public Health and received her ScD from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, MPH from the Yale School of Public Health, and BS from Cornell University.
Radhika Ranganathan, MPhil, BS, University of South Carolina
Radhika Ranganathan is a first year MSPH student majoring in Epidemiology. Trying to help medically distressed who eventually died due to lack of research on prevention and treatment of dreadful chronic ailments has been critical and career-defining in her nine years as a Physician Assistant in perioperative cardiac care. She is interested in health services research which she thinks would be foundational to her profession, dedicated to bringing new methods and technologies in helping rid mankind of dreaded diseases and overcoming health inequalities. She is planning on applying the skills learnt from this program to cancer health disparities research and rural cancer control across the care continuum.
Priyanka Ravi, BDS, MDS, University of Arizona
Priyanka Ravi, BDS, MDS is a Public Health Dentist by training and has been involved in oral cancer screening, diagnosis, and tobacco control research for the last six years. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Health Behavior Health Promotion from University of Arizona. Her doctoral research is focused on reducing the cancer risk factors among adolescents, and addressing the social disparities in cancer screening, treatment, and survivorship research.
Daniel Reuland, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Reuland is a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in the Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology. He attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University and did his internal medicine residency at Yale—New Haven Hospital. He practiced and taught internal medicine for 11 years (including 4 years with the U.S. Indian Health Service) before deciding to focus on research and enter a post-doctoral fellowship at the UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. He completed the fellowship and MPH degree at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2008, after which he rejoined the UNC faculty as a health services researcher. His research interests include developing, testing, and implementing interventions aimed at improving clinical communication, decision making, and health behaviors within primary care practice and health systems. Much of his work aims to enhance our understanding of how to make cancer screening more appropriate, patient-centered, and effective.
His primary areas of inquiry are in cancer prevention and control, though he collaborates on studies in other disease areas. He is currently principal investigator of a multi-site, clinical trial funded by an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant testing a colorectal cancer screening intervention in safety net care settings in North Carolina and New Mexico. He recently led a multi-disciplinary effort to develop policies, processes, and tools needed for appropriate implementation of lung cancer screening within the UNC Health Care System, and he is PI on intramural (pilot) research grants to develop and test lung cancer screening decision support tools. Dr. Reuland was recently appointed Director of the Carolina Cancer Screening Initiative, supported by the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and University Cancer Research Fund, which focuses on improving the delivery of evidence-based cancer screening in NC.
Kurt Ribisl, PhD, CPCRN Coordinating Center at UNC
Tom Richards, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Thomas B. Richards, MD, is a medical officer in the Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch in CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. Dr. Richards graduated from the University of California at San Francisco Medical School in 1969. He completed the requirements for a master’s degree in public health at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health in 1976 and was certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in 1983. Dr. Richards has been with the Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch since 1999. His current research areas of interest include analyses of national surveys about cancer prevention and control, and analyses of cancer registry data linked with Medicare claims.
Betsy Risendal, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health
Rogelio Robles-Morales, MD, University of Arizona
Rogelio Robles, MD is a medical doctor with a specialty in Ob-Gyn and a subspecialty in Gyn-Oncology. Dr. Robles graduated from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. His research focuses on cancer prevention and early detection, personalized treatments, survivorship, and cancer-related outcomes in gynecological and breast cancers. He has been invited as a speaker in multiple Gynecology and Oncology meetings. Dr. Robles recently joined "Nosotros Comprometidos a Su Salud," aiding the Clinical Translational Science branch while earning his PhD degree. He is a bilingual and bi-cultural Mexican doctor passionate about improving health care in medically underserved areas and populations in Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora.
Catherine Rohweder, DrPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Rohweder is a Senior Investigator with the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked extensively in the field of dissemination and implementation research and has expertise in the translation of evidence-based guidelines and recommendations into clinical and public health practice. Specific areas of interest include cancer screening, chronic disease management, and methods for improving community engaged research. She has been involved with the CPCRN since 2008, and she currently serves as the Project Director of the UNC network site. She received her MPH from Columbia University in 1994 and her DrPH from UNC Chapel Hill in 2004.
Julia Rowland, PhD, Affiliate Member
Dr. Rowland is a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and their caregivers, and published broadly in psycho-oncology, including co-editing with the late Dr. Jimmie Holland the ground-breaking text, Handbook of Psychooncology.
Dr. Rowland received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and was one of the first two psychologists to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in psychosocial oncology. While at Memorial, she earned her license in psychology and held joint appointments in the Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics. In 1990 Dr. Rowland moved to Washington, DC to become founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center. Nine years later, she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship. During her tenure as Director, Dr. Rowland helped build the visibility of the Office of Cancer Survivorship and created numerous governmental and non-profit partnerships to advance public awareness about and funding for research promoting the healthspan and post-treatment care of the growing population of cancer survivors of all ages, and their families.
Since retiring from her NCI position in September 2017, Dr. Rowland has assumed the role of Senior Strategic Advisor to Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a 24-year old non-profit that provides integrative care programs and services to cancer survivors, their family caregivers and healthcare providers in the heart of Washington, DC. In this new role, she hopes to bring the growing evidence-base for best practices in quality survivorship care to the broader community.
Grace Ryan, PhD, MPH, Affiliate Member
Susan Sabatino, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Dr. Sabatino is a medical officer in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Sabatino’s research interests include examining quality of cancer care from screening through treatment and survivorship, with a particular interest in how access to care influences care received. Dr. Sabatino also works with The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide), leading systematic reviews of the effectiveness of interventions to promote cancer screening, and collaborates on several multi-institutional initiatives including the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN). Dr. Sabatino received her undergraduate degree from Yale University, her medical degree from the Brown University School of Medicine, and a master of public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in general internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
Nasim Sabounchi, PhD, MSc, New York University – City University of New York
Dr. Nasim Sabounchi is a Research Associate Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy where she is also affiliated with the Center for Systems and Community Design (CSCD). She is an industrial and systems engineer, and a systems scientist in the field of public health and healthcare and recipient of the Systems Science Scholarship, Academy of Health - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her research interest involves adopting tools including systems science methodologies, systems engineering and data analytics to model complex systems and problems pertaining to health outcomes at both the individual and population levels. Dr. Sabounchi contributes to the advancement of system dynamics modeling and computer simulation for studying complex health and social systems and leads various projects in the domain of public health and health policy analysis including prevention of prescription misuse, enhancing access to care for socio-economically disadvantaged populations, antibiotic resistance, Lyme Disease, HPV and epidemics.
Mayank Sakhuja, MHA, University of South Carolina
Mayank Sakhuja is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior in the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina. He completed his graduate degree in Health Administration from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. During and after completing his graduate degree, he gained experience in managing health programs while working in a public health department of state governments and non-profit organizations such as CARE India. He is currently engaged as a graduate research assistant on a Duke Endowment-funded grant aimed to enhance quality of care by improving health literacy through implementation of an evidence-based intervention that improves patient-provider interaction in South Carolina. He is interested in tobacco cessation, health and risk communication, and how evidence-based practices can improve screening for lung and oral cancers in low- and middle-income countries.
Aaron Scherer, PhD, University of Iowa
Dr. Aaron Scherer is currently an Associate faculty member with the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa. Aaron earned his PhD in Psychology from the University of Iowa and utilizes methodologies from social psychology, social cognition, and neuropsychology to study the causes and consequences of biased beliefs. His current research has focused on the causes and consequences of biased beliefs regarding health and politics. One line of his research examines the causes of biased beliefs, primarily focusing on biased information seeking, highlighting the role that desirability (e.g., positive affect associated with being right; money) plays in biasing information seeking and subsequent confidence and decision making. His other line of research examines the consequences of biased beliefs across a variety of contexts such as the impact of comparative biases on intentions to change eating behaviors; metaphors on intentions to get vaccinated; and political stereotypes on political polarization.
Randy Schwartz, MSPH, Affiliate Member
Aaron Seaman, PhD, University of Iowa
Dr. Aaron Seaman is an Associate member of the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and an Associate of UI Internal Medicine. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in comparative human development. His research interests include gerontology, qualitative methods, ethnography, medical anthropology, aging, dementia care and cancer survivorship.
Jason Semprini, BSc Finance, MPP, University of Iowa
Parth Shah, PharmD, PhD, University of Washington
Dr. Parth Shah is a behavioral scientist and pharmacist who integrates these two disciplines to study and improve clinical practice and health policy in the delivery of cancer care. Dr. Shah’s research focuses on how pharmacies can be better used to provide cancer prevention and care services to their communities, such as HPV vaccinations for adolescents and colorectal cancer screenings for adults.
Jackilen Shannon, PhD, MPH, Affiliate Member
Jackilen Shannon is the Director of the Integrated Program in Community Research, Director of OHSU’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Community and Collaboration Core and Director of Community-Engaged Research at the Knight Cancer Institute. Her research program has three areas of focus. First, her work in nutritional and molecular epidemiology focuses on the impact of environmental risk factors, primarily dietary intake, on the early development of disease. This research also expands into the broader role of metabolic factors, including obesity and fat distribution on disease risk. Additionally, she contributes methodologic expertise in the development and conduct of observational studies, including case-control and cohort studies and clinical trials. Second, she developed and expanded an education and research program, Let’s Get Healthy!, that provides personalized health education to school children and adults through an interactive health fair. This program supports the development and maintenance of a population-based anonymous data repository for academic and community use while also providing tailored, community-friendly feedback about individuals’ multiple cancer risk factors, including dietary intake and body composition while also offering specific information on risky behaviors for skin and lung cancer. Finally, as an epidemiologist, her work has largely utilized population based methodologies, with a long-term goal of translation to the community and policy. To this end, she has worked toward developing a formal mechanism for working collaboratively with community groups and hospital systems in Central Oregon and the North Coast region to bring the power of academic research to community level decision-making. The result of this work has been the establishment of Research Coalitions which employ a liaison who works closely with community leaders to identify areas of research need, and with academic institutions to identify investigators able to assist.
Rashmi Sharma, MD, MHS, University of Washington
Rashmi Sharma, MD, MHS is a board certified physician at the University of Washington (UW) Medical Center and an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at UW. Dr. Sharma's research focuses on improving care for patients with serious illness with a focus on racial and ethnic minorities and immigrant populations. In addition to her research in the area of health equity and serious illness, she also serves as Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the UW Medicine Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence.
Krishna Sharma, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Jingxi Sheng, BSN, University of South Carolina
Jingxi Sheng is a third-year PhD student in the College of Nursing at the University of South Carolina. Her long-term research focuses are healthy behaviors and cancer prevention and control among Asian Americans. Her doctoral research is interested in understanding attitudes and beliefs about the role of physical activity in breast cancer prevention and investigating physical activity factors among Asian Americans. She is interested in inventions other than surgical or pharmaceutical treatments that can help reduce breast cancer risk, such as engaging in regular physical activity. She expects to disclose cultural context on Asian American women’s physical activity experience and better understand the physical activity determinants through her doctoral research.
Meghan Skiba, PhD, MS, MPH, RDN, University of Arizona
Dr. Skiba is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Arizona. She received her doctorate from the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona and completed post-doctoral training at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Skiba has experience delivering remote diet and physical activity interventions as well as health coaching, accelerometry, mixed-methods, and data analysis. Her research has emphasis in biological aging, technology, and dyads. She is interested in addressing cancer health disparities by connecting cancer survivors to the skills and behaviors to live their healthiest and longest life.
Lisa Spees, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lisa Spees is an Assistant Professor in the Health Policy and Management Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a health services researcher interested in examining and reducing health disparities by improving cancer care quality and access among minority and rural populations. To date, her research in this area has focused on identifying multi-level (patient, provider, and organizational) barriers across the cancer care continuum using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Dr. Spees is especially knowledgeable in handling complex datasets including CIPHR (North Carolina cancer registry data linked to private and public insurance claims data) and SEER-Medicare.
Dr. Spees is currently leading projects focused on 1) examining the financial impact of hematopoietic stem cells transplant among pediatric cancer patients and their families and 2) improving access to guideline-concordant care for patients with gynecologic malignancies.
Lena Spotleson, MA, Affiliate Member
Daniel Stein, MPAS, BS, Affiliate Member
Daniel Stein is a physician assistant with a special clinical interest in providing health care for underserved populations. He has spent much of his career focusing on systems change regarding quality improvement, focusing on colorectal cancer screening, hypertension and diabetes control in underserved populations. He also leads a clinical team in treating Hepatitis C in a primary care setting.
After earning his undergraduate degree from the Evergreen State College in Washington, Stein completed his Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies at OHSU. He was awarded a National Health Service Corps Scholarship, and then fulfilled his commitment in a rural, underserved area in Northern California.
Jamie Studts, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health
Florence Tangka, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Florence Tangka, PhD, MS, is a health economist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control's Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is the principal investigator for a number of CDC cancer economics studies. Her research focuses on the economics of cancer, economics of the cancer registration, economics of CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program, and use of cancer screening services. Dr. Tangka received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom and a Masters from Rutgers. In 2008, she received an alumni award from Rutgers. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Florida and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Prevention Effectiveness at CDC. Dr. Tangka is a lead author of a book, two monographs (guest editor) and several book chapters and has authored and coauthored over 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Cynthia Thomson, PhD, MS, RDN, University of Arizona
Cynthia (Cyndi) Thomson, PhD, MS, RDN is a cancer prevention scientist with over 20 years of lifestyle intervention clinical trials research effort focused on cancer survivors. Her doctoral degree in nutritional sciences served as the foundation for her translational science career. In 2019 she completed the TIDIRC training and complimented her research program with a focus on implementation and dissemination of evidence-based information and programming with an interest in reaching those under-represented in biomedical research and under-served by cancer survivorship programming.
Lorna Thorpe, PhD, MPH, New York University – City University of New York
Erika Trapl, PhD, Affiliate Member
Dr. Erika Trapl is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She is Associate Director of the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods and PI of the CWRU Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Collaborating Center. Dr. Trapl is trained as an epidemiologist and has been conducting health behavior intervention research for over 15 years. Her work currently focuses on understanding and addressing the influence of the physical and social environment on lifestyle risk factors such as diet and tobacco use through policy, systems, and environmental change approaches, with a particular focus on health equity and disparities. Dr. Trapl has applied classical epidemiological methods to understand the characteristics, risk factors, and correlates of adolescent and young adult tobacco use in order to develop successful tobacco prevention and cessation interventions. She is also conducting a study exploring the use of the 2-1-1 help line to promote smoking cessation among low-income smokers.
Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, New York University – City University of New York
Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Population Health (DPH) and Medicine at NYU School of Medicine. Within DPH, Dr. Trinh-Shevrin serves as Vice Chair for Research and heads the Section for Health Equity. For more than 20 years, Dr. Trinh-Shevrin has been involved in health promotion, disease prevention, and health disparities research programs utilizing community-based participatory research principles (CBPR) among Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander and other underserved populations. Her research spans cancer, mental health, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, healthy aging, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Currently, she is MPI of an NIH NIMHD Specialized Center of Excellence—the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health; a CDC-sponsored Prevention Research Center that is a partnership between the NYU School of Medicine and the CUNY School of Public Health, and a NIA R24 Engagement in Longevity and Medicine (ELM) Research Collaborative. Dr. Trinh-Shevrin is PI of a CDC-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Collaborating Center. Dr. Trinh-Shevrin also serves as associate director of Community Outreach and Engagement for the Perlmutter Cancer Center and co-director of the Community Engagement and Population Health Research Core and the Integrating Special Populations Unit for the NYU-Health + Hospitals (H+H) Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). In these institutional roles, she is involved in fostering community-engaged research collaborations and developing research training programs for community and academic partners aimed to strengthen equitable campus-community partnerships. Dr. Trinh-Shevrin is a social epidemiologist with a doctorate in public health from Columbia University and a master in health policy and management from SUNY Albany.
Justin Trogdon, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
John Ureda, DrPH, University of South Carolina
Ben Urick, PhD, PharmD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ben Urick, Pharm.D., Ph.D., is a research assistant professor at the Center for Medication Optimization in the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education. His academic interests lie at the intersection of pharmacy practice, healthcare and health policy.
Dr. Urick’s primary research focuses on the role of community pharmacists in the evolving healthcare system and the use of secondary data to measure healthcare quality and spending. His current research includes evaluation of pharmacy services interventions, scientific reliability of provider-level quality measures, and factors which influence medication-related healthcare quality.
Patricia Valverde, PhD, MPH, Colorado School of Public Health
Patricia Alvarez Valverde, PhD, MPH is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health of the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Valverde has conducted research on patient navigation, care coordination, and community health work as director of the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative and Co-Chair of the Training and Certification work group of the National Navigation Round Table. Dr. Valverde was the research manager of the Denver site of the Patient Navigation Research Program and continues to develop protocols and supervise navigators. Dr. Valverde has developed curricula related to patient navigation and care coordination for over 15 years and conducted local, national, and international trainings for this workforce. Dr. Valverde also conducts research on Latinx youth vaping behaviors and is appointed to the State Tobacco review Committee, which is responsible for state tobacco policy and distribution of tobacco tax revenues to local communities and organizations.
Mark Vander Weg, PhD, University of Iowa
Mark Vander Weg is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa an an Investigator with the Center for Access & Delivery Research and Evaluation (CADRE) Center of Innovation in the Iowa City VA Health Care System. He is trained as a clinical health psychologist and has a background in the design, conduct, implementation, and evaluation of interventions targeting health behavior change, particularly related to tobacco use.
Robin Vanderpool, DrPH, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dr. Vanderpool is the Chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch(HCIRB) in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). HCIRB, part of NCI's Behavioral Research Program (BRP), leads the advancement of research on processes and outcomes of communication and consumer health informatics across the cancer control continuum.
As Branch Chief, Dr. Vanderpool leads the development of health communication research initiatives in areas such as patient-provider communication, cancer risk communication, health literacy, social/new media, and connected health.
Dr. Vanderpool came to NCI from the University of Kentucky, where she was a professor in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society, part of the College of Public Health, and was Principal Investigator of CPCRN's University of Kentucky Network Center from 2014-2019. She also held leadership positions at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, as the Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement and Co-Director of the Behavioral and Community-Based Research Shared Resource Facility.
Dr. Vanderpool's research background includes HPV vaccination, cancer screening, cancer survivorship, implementation science, and rural cancer control. She earned her Doctorate of Public Health, with a concentration in Health Behavior, from the University of Kentucky. She received her Masters of Public Health in Public Health Education from Western Kentucky University and her Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from Centre College.
Aubrey Villalobos, DrPH, MEd, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Aubrey Van Kirk Villalobos, DrPH, MEd, is a Health Scientist with the Implementation Science (IS) Team in the Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In this role she will be leading a number of efforts to advance the involvement of practitioners in IS to enhance the integration of evidence-based guidelines, programs, and policies for cancer control in public health and clinical practice. Following the 2020 Implementation Science Consortium in Cancer (ISCC), she is co-leading the Capacity Building for Engaged IS priority area within the Community Participation in IS Action Group. Dr. Villalobos will also cultivate research-practice partnerships through the Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partnership.
Prior to joining the NCI, Dr. Villalobos served as director of cancer control and health equity at the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center where she supported strategic planning for the center’s community outreach and engagement activities and directed a multi-million-dollar portfolio of sponsored projects providing technical assistance and training to public health and health care professionals. Previously, she served as the cancer education outreach coordinator in the international outreach program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Dr. Villalobos’s scientific and programmatic interests include social and structural influences on health behaviors and inequities, particularly related to primary cancer and chronic disease prevention and early detection. Her mixed methods dissertation research focused on social norms and breastfeeding among African American women and was supported by fellowships from the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness and the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health Clara Schiffer Project. She has expertise in social/behavioral science; community engagement and partnership-building; policy, systems, and environmental change for health promotion; and clinician, professional, patient and community education.
Dr. Villalobos received a Doctor of Public Health in health behavior from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she also earned a Master of Public Health in health promotion. She holds a Master of Education from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN and a Bachelor of Science in biological chemistry from Bates College in Lewiston, ME.
Cynthia Vinson, PhD, MPA, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Cynthia A. Vinson, PhD, MPA is a Senior Adviser for the Implementation Science Team in the Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Vinson works on building and sustaining the field of implementation science in order to enhance the integration of evidence-based guidelines, programs, and policies for cancer control in public health and clinical practice. Dr. Vinson leads dissemination and implementation research training activities including the annual Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) Research in Health. She is responsible for working both within NCI and with other agencies and organizations at the international, national, state and local level to translate research funded by DCCPS into practice.
Dr. Vinson came to the DCCPS as a Presidential Management Fellow and spent three years rotating in various office across NCI including science planning, legislation and communication. Prior to working at NCI, Dr. Vinson was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Gabon where she served as a health educator. Dr. Vinson was also previously a supervisor at the Kern County Department of Human Services in California. Dr. Vinson holds a doctoral degree in Public Administration and Health Policy from George Washington University, a master in public administration/international development from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Bakersfield.
Rosi Vogel, BBA/MBA, University of Arizona
Rosi Vogel graduated from Universidad Anáhuac in Mexico City from the College of Business Administration and Economics. Rosi is a certified health coach and has 18 years of experience in business management and community outreach. Rosi is the Senior Program Coordinator of "Nosotros Comprometidos a Su Salud," a research program to foster community-engaged research collaborations, service, and education to advance health equity. Mrs. Vogel is an integral part of outreach in the Tucson and Southern Arizona communities for the UACC, and is a bilingual and bi-cultural Mexican woman who will serve as the study coordinator.
Thuy Vu, MPH, University of Washington
Cheyenne Wagi, MA, MPH, Affiliate Member
Cheyenne Wagi graduated from the University of South Florida with an MA in Medical Anthropology and an MPH with a concentration in Global Health Practice. Her interests are in sexual and reproductive health, qualitative research, and implementation science. Cheyenne is a research assistant under CPCRN affiliate, Dr. Sarah Birken, at the Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Casey Walsh, PhD, MSW, University of Washington
Casey Walsh, PhD, MSW is a post-doctoral fellow in the Biobehavioral Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her research focuses on the social functioning and health-related quality of life of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors. She is a pediatric medical social worker and volunteer wellness guide with Project Koru. She received her MSW from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and her PhD in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a recipient of the American Cancer Society Oncology Social Work Doctoral Training Grant. She is passionate about bridging clinical care and research with the experiences and perspectives of patients and families.
Mary Wangen, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mary Wangen is a Research Associate for the Comprehensive Cancer Control Collaborative of North Carolina (4CNC). She earned her MPH in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research interests include disseminating and implementing evidence-based interventions into practice to promote healthy behaviors and prevent chronic disease. She has experience in qualitative research, program evaluation, project management, and research administration. Mary is also the Project Manager of HeartHome, a home-based, nurse-driven cardiac rehabilitation pilot at the UNC School of Nursing. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Shannon Watkins, PhD, University of Iowa
Dr. Watkins is a scholar of public affairs whose work aims to illuminate social and structural barriers that individuals face in achieving their full health potential in order to inform efforts that promote health equity. Her current work investigates patterns of tobacco initiation, product change, and cessation among youth and young adults, with a particular focus on the role of additive flavors in tobacco initiation, use, and tobacco-related health disparities. Another thread of research has focused on urban environments, particularly understanding social and environmental impacts of citizen engagement in caring for urban environmental resources and evaluating evidence, determinants, and outcomes of urban forest inequity. She approaches her research with an interdisciplinary lens and employs a variety of methodological approaches, including econometric techniques, meta-analysis, spatial analysis, and qualitative methods. A core component of her research program is engagement with public and policy stakeholders and public dissemination of her work.
Bryan Weiner, PhD, University of Washington
Jessica Wells, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, Emory University
Jessica Wells is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, and received a PhD from Emory University in 2012, along with a Certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in 2015 at Emory University. She earned a BSN from Howard University in 2006. Dr. Wells’ overarching focus is cancer control and prevention in HIV infected and vulnerable populations. She recently completed a K01 Career Development Award where she examined individual, interpersonal, and neighborhood factors of adherence to follow up after an abnormal anal Pap test in HIV infected individuals. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.
Kelly Wells Sittig, CCPH, University of Iowa
Kelly Wells Sittig is the executive director for the Iowa Cancer Consortium, a partnership of more than 500 health care providers, public health professionals, caregivers, researchers, cancer survivors, volunteers and other Iowans who work together to reduce the burden of cancer in the state. Through collaboration, the Consortium enhances partners’ abilities to address cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and quality of life in Iowa.
Elsa Weltzien, MPH, Colorado School of Public Health
Elsa currently supports implementation of the Colorado Cancer Screening Program (CCSP), housed at the University of Colorado, as well as additional cancer prevention and control initiatives. CCSP is one of the largest preventive screening programs in Colorado, focused on utilizing patient navigation to reduce health disparities for colorectal and lung cancer screening, as well as hereditary cancers. Elsa has been working in the cancer prevention field since 2016 and has also worked as a project coordinator for a college skin cancer prevention initiative and the Research Engagement Manager for a national colorectal cancer nonprofit. Elsa has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Education and Communication from Tulane University. She is passionate about working with communities across the state and nationwide to increase equitable access to and reduce barriers to preventive care.
Samantha Werts, MPH, University of Arizona
Samantha Werts is currently a PhD student in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She completed a Master of Public Health degree in May of 2020 at the University of Arizona concentrating on health behavior and health promotion. Her areas of interest span cancer prevention and control. She is interested in developing and implementing lifestyle interventions to improve health outcomes for cancer survivors. Samantha has been and is currently involved in a wide breadth of research within the area of cancer prevention and control, including work in ovarian cancer survivorship, nutrition and physical activity interventions, and tobacco cessation. After receiving her doctorate degree, she hopes to design and implement lifestyle interventions for underserved cancer survivor populations.
Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, MPH, CPCRN Coordinating Center at UNC
Dr. Wheeler is Professor with tenure in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a health services researcher and decision scientist focused on quantifying the social, behavioral, clinical, and organizational factors that affect healthcare access, quality, value and equity. Her research portfolio, amounting to more than $20million in external funding and over 125 publications, is primarily focused on cancer care delivery, with particular emphasis on improving value, understanding the financial and psychosocial impacts of cancer, and reducing cancer health disparities. Methodologically, she is a resource for simulation modeling and systems science, ‘big data’ linkages and analytics, behavioral intervention studies, mixed methods, and comparative and cost effectiveness research. Dr. Wheeler is especially knowledgeable and well-versed in using economic, epidemiological, and systems modeling to support better healthcare decisions, and she is adept in analyzing complex datasets, including cancer registry data linked to all payer insurance claims data, epidemiological cohort data, healthcare workforce data, and more. Dr. Wheeler directs the CDC-funded and NCI-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) as PI of the Coordinating Center; co-directs the NCI-funded T32 Cancer Care Quality Training Program (CCQTP); and co-directs the NCI-funded Geographic Management of Cancer Heath Disparities Program (GMaP) Region 1 South. She was appointed to lead the Community Outreach and Engagement office at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2019. In 2017, she was awarded the Early Career Award from the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health (ASPPH) and the UNC Hettleman Prize for Scholarly and Artistic Achievement.
Arica White, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Arica White, PhD, MPH is an epidemiologist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. She joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer. Her research is focused on understanding and addressing breast and colorectal cancer disparities. She is currently leading a project to help state public health departments mobilize their data resources more effectively to inform strategies to reduce disparities in breast cancer mortality. She also serves as the lead project officer for the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. Dr. White completed her undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins University, and earned her master of public health degree from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She also completed a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH). During her tenure at UTSPH, she was a predoctoral fellow in the Cancer Education and Career Development Program, a training program funded by the National Cancer Institute.
Mary White, ScD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Since 2002, Mary C. White has served as Chief of the Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. In this position, Dr. White leads a program of applied research and science dissemination to support CDC programs and partners and address national priorities in cancer prevention and control. The branch contributes data and scientific expertise on cancer prevention and risk behaviors, the appropriate use of cancer screening tests, the cost and cost-effectiveness of preventive health services, coordination of services and quality of life after a cancer diagnosis (cancer survivorship), and innovations to reduce cancer health disparities. She has special interests in cancer prevention and aging.
Dr. White received a master of public health in epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a doctorate of science in epidemiology and occupational health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She has published and lectured widely on topics related to the control of cancer and other chronic diseases, the risks associated with environmental exposures, and the interpretation of scientific evidence for public health. She is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. In her spare time, she is working on her MFA in narrative nonfiction at the University of Georgia.
Karen Wickersham, PhD, RN, University of South Carolina
Dr. Wickersham is an Assistant Professor, Tenure-Track at the University of South Carolina, College of Nursing. She is a core faculty member of the Cancer Survivorship Program. She received her BSN in 1991 from the University of Virginia, her MSN with a specialty in Nursing Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011, and her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. Dr. Wickersham completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Nursing where she conducted her fellowship study, “Genetic, Clinical, and Biomarker Correlates of EGFR Inhibitor-related Rash” (NINR F32NR014753; American Nurses Foundation). Her program of research focuses on interventions to promote adherence to oral targeted therapy (OTT) and manage side effects of OTT to improve quality of life for individuals with advanced cancers who experience disparities in cancer care (race, age, rurality). Her goal is to develop: 1) interventions for management of side-effects related to OTT use, including tailoring of those interventions (i.e., dose, duration, and timing), and 2) markers for response to those interventions.
Rebecca Williams, PhD, MHS, CPCRN Coordinating Center at UNC
Dr. Williams is the Chief Technology Officer of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, where she has honed her skills in designing online collaboration tools and custom-built data collection tools, including software development and online survey development. Her strong history of research productivity led to her becoming the first ever non-professor awarded a full membership in the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Since 1999, Dr. Williams has conducted Tobacco Control policy research at UNC with a focus on new media, including studying online sales, marketing, and usage trends in tobacco products, leading the NCI and FDA Center for Tobacco Products-funded Internet Tobacco Vendors Study, which includes extensive surveillance of the online retail environment for tobacco, evaluating the implementation and impact of state and federal policies on the industry’s practices, with a focus on issues such as tax evasion, youth access prevention, and emerging products like e-cigarettes.
Dr. Williams is the nation’s leading expert in the study of online tobacco marketing, leading the first, the largest, and the longest running study of Internet tobacco sales, and developing cutting edge research methodology and proprietary applications for web content analysis, data collection, online surveys, and social media analysis. Her research has had (and continues to have) a strong impact on informing state and federal policy surrounding Internet tobacco sales and marketing, going beyond publications to congressional briefings, presentations to the NIH and FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Program, and to the National Association of Attorneys General, with whom she is collaborating to develop regulatory compliance assessment and enforcement programs for Internet E-cigarette Vendors.
Kerri Winters-Stone, PhD, Affiliate Member
Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone is an exercise scientist and the Elnora Thomson Distinguished Professor in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing. She is also co-director of the Knight Community Partnership Program and co-program leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. As a scientist, Dr. Winters-Stone’s research focuses on the effects of cancer treatment on fracture, frailty and cancer recurrence risk and the ability of exercise to improve health and longevity in cancer survivors. The long-term goal of her research is to develop prescriptive exercise programs for cancer survivors that meets their needs and preferences and optimizes their health outcomes. Her research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Movember Foundation and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. She has completed several randomized controlled exercise trials aimed to optimize health, physical function and survival in breast and prostate cancer survivors and recently completed the largest clinical exercise trial aimed to reduce falls among women cancer survivors. Dr. Winters-Stone is committed to translating her evidence-based interventions to the community and to survivors across the country. She has authored the book “Action Plan for Osteoporosis” which is part of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Action Plan series of evidence-based exercise guides for health, and is leading a project sponsored by the Movember foundation to develop an internet based tailored exercise and support program to prostate cancer survivors across the US.
Lauren Workman, PhD, University of South Carolina
Lauren Workman, PhD, MPH, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Policy and Management and the Center for Applied Research and Evaluation (CARE) at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina. Dr. Workman’s research expertise is in program evaluation, with a specific focus on community health development, health systems transformation, and use of qualitative methods. Her current research is focused on evaluating maternal and child health home visiting programs, partnerships to support pregnant and parenting teens, healthcare networks for uninsured individuals, and community based health promotion interventions. Dr. Workman received an MPH (2006) and PhD (2013) in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health.
Kate Yeager, PhD, RN, MS, Emory University
Alexa Young, MPH, CPCRN Coordinating Center at UNC
Alexa Young, MPH is a research assistant at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP), located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Within the department, Alexa works for the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) Coordinating Center, where she contributes to the coordination and evaluation of scientific, cross-center research activities among Network members, affiliates, and federal agency partners, focused on accelerating the adoption and implementation of evidence-based strategies around a range of cancer prevention and control topics. Additionally, Alexa works for the Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) Methods Unit of the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS), of the UNC School of Medicine. In this role, she supports various projects designed to advance the field of implementation science. Currently, her team is conducting an evaluation of a quality improvement learning collaborative carried out by UNC Health.
Prior to working at UNC, Alexa obtained her bachelor’s degree in Human Health Sciences from Emory University in 2017, and her Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2020.
Yousra Yusuf, PhD, MPH, New York University – City University of New York
Yousra Yusuf, PhD, MPH is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Section for Health Equity at NYU School of Medicine. Her current research focuses on the intersection of social determinants of health around COVID-19 vaccine uptake, food and nutrition decisions, and cancer management. Her background is on reproductive health priorities through the life course among individuals in underserved, immigrant communities. She uses mixed methods in community-engaged research to explore gender equity in racial/ ethnic and religious minority groups in the United States.
Dr. Yusuf serves as the President of the South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA), a national nonprofit that aims to promote the health and well-being of South Asian communities in the United States through advocacy, communication, and collaboration. In addition, she is involved in various capacities in nonprofits serving the Asian and South Asian communities in New York and internationally. Dr. Yusuf completed her Masters in Public Health at the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology and a research focus in maternal health and her PhD in reproductive and maternal health with a certificate in health communications at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Whitney Zahnd, PhD, University of Iowa
Whitney Zahnd, PhD is a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa where she is also a full member of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer Epidemiology and Population Sciences Program. Her research employs health services research, social epidemiological, and spatial methods to address rural cancer disparities across the continuum and to evaluate access to health care services. She is actively involved in the CPCRN’s Rural Cancer Workgroup and Social Deprivation Interest Group. Dr. Zahnd is a 2021 National Rural Health Association Rural Health Fellow and currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Rural Health. Before joining the University of Iowa faculty, Dr. Zahnd completed post-doctoral training and served as research faculty at the Rural & Minority Health Research Center at the University of South Carolina. Prior to earning her doctorate in community health from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2018, she worked for eleven years as a master’s trained researcher at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine supporting rural health and cancer disparities research.
Steve Zeliadt, PhD, MPH, University of Washington
Steve Zeliadt is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services in the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and the Associate Director for the Seattle VA Health Services Research & Development Center of Innovation to Promote Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care. One of his key roles as Associate Director is to support early stage investigators at the Center, which includes working with students, recruiting graduates into our post-doctoral programs, and supporting them on the path to independent academic careers in grant-funded research.
Steve trained as a health economist/health services researcher and has focused his career on using data to appropriately inform care delivery targeting gaps in knowledge about population outcomes associated with implementation of policies and healthcare interventions. His work has been used to guide policy makers in understanding broad implications of healthcare policies at the population level, and to help providers and patients in making individual care decisions. His expertise involves pragmatic study design and methods for untangling potential biases observed in real-world adoption of health technologies and interventions. He is leading the cost and outcome assessment of VHA’s response to the CARA Act of 2016 in which complementary and integrative health interventions are being rolled out to Veterans to help manage chronic pain and reduce opioid utilization. Recent positive findings from the National Lung Screening Trial have led VA and health care systems across the US to work to implement lung cancer screening. His current area of research is focused on helping low-resource health systems, including VA and Federally Qualified Health Centers, implementing lung cancer screening in ways to ensure maximization of its benefits. His work examining smoking cessation has led to the successful pilot testing of care tools in collaboration with VA’s national quitline (1-855-QUIT-VET) for potential national implementation.