Featured Grantees

The researchers highlighted below have been awarded at least one Behavioral Research Program-funded NIH grant. Read on to learn about their experiences as grantees.

Note: The views expressed here are those of the grantees only and do not represent any official position of the National Cancer Institute.

Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch

David Buller, Ph.D.

Health Communication Scientist
  • Klein Buendel, Inc.

The "ah-ha" moment that I repeatedly experience is the importance of interpersonal relations in determining health behavior. Direct personal contacts with change agents, opinion leaders, and peers have been an essential aspect of my successful cancer prevention interventions and, more recently, relationships within organizational contexts, especially as influenced by policy, have emerged as influential for improving individuals' prevention practices.”

Tanya Eadie, Ph.D.

Speech-Language Pathologist and Behavioral Scientist
  • University of Washington

Disruptions to one's voice and speech transcend voice quality or understandability; they impact the ability of individuals to participate in a variety of life roles and responsibilities, to form relationships, and ultimately how they identify themselves as unique human beings.”

Susan Eggly

Communication Scientist and Health Behavior Researcher
  • Wayne State University

I have always been passionate about better understanding how interpersonal communication, especially between people from different social groups, affects how people think and behave. This passion drives my work to better understand and improve patient-physician communication and healthcare in the context of racial disparities and cancer treatment.”

Emily Falk, Ph.D.

Neuroscientist and Psychologist, focused on Health Behavior and Communication
  • University of Pennsylvania

People's brains sometimes know them better than they know themselves. Looking into the brain can help us understand what makes people change their behaviors. Likewise, linking neuroscience studies with field methods is critical to understanding how the brain works in the real world, outside of the lab.”

Wonsun "Sunny" Kim

Health Communication and Behavioral Scientist
  • Arizona State University - College of Nursing and Health Innovation

Cancer patients' and caregivers' personal stories are powerful inspirations for my work.”

Alex Krist, M.D., M.P.H.

Family Physician and Primary Care Researcher
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

We are so much more than the sum of our parts. Health needs to be placed in the context of whole person care, including benefits and harms, values and preference, and family and social context.”

Todd Lucas, Ph.D.

Health Psychology Researcher
  • Michigan State University

Southeast Michigan has been the setting of my scholarly training as well as my career , and this context has greatly informed my sensitivity to the importance of justice for individuals and communities, and my appreciation for the potential that justice holds as a psychological solution to health and social problems.”

Darren Mays, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Behavioral Cancer Prevention Researcher
  • Georgetown University

My background as a public health scientist has inspired me to conduct research that is aimed for population-level impact by focusing on developing effective cancer prevention communication messaging. Some of the most common risk behaviors that are linked with cancer, like tobacco use, sun exposure, and indoor tanning, tend to develop at an early age but are highly preventable. I study how to promote cancer preventive behaviors by designing communication messages that resonate with young people and motivate healthy choices.”

Xiaoli Nan, Ph.D.

Communication and Behavioral Scientist
  • University of Maryland, College Park

My research suggests that people are both highly resistant and susceptible to persuasion. Science-informed persuasive strategies hold the key to developing cost-effective, ethical interventions for health behavior change”

Pallav Pokhrel

Behavioral Scientist/Health Behavior Researcher
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa

The advent of e-cigarettes has marked an epoch in the history of smoking-their impact on public health needs to be studied and studied clear-headedly.”

Brian Primack, M.D., Ph.D.

Physician, Professor, Researcher
  • University of Pittsburgh

As a teacher and a student of social sciences (and an English literature major in college), I realized how important things like communication and interpretation are in all areas of human interaction and behavior. Then, when I became a physician, I realized how powerful these tools could be for prevention and treatment of disease.”

Megha Ramaswamy, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Sociologist and Applied Public Health Researcher
  • University of Kansas School of Medicine

Looking back, it was my early curiosity about inequality (kindled by a childhood in the Deep South and bedtime discussions with my dad about racism and politics) that ultimately motivated me as an adult to tackle the health disparities that affect marginalized women and men.”

Kuang-Yi Wen, Ph.D.

Health Systems Engineer
  • Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Quitting smoking is not an easy process, and it is even more challenging and stressful for the target population we work with, who are usually ethnic-minority single moms with financial hardship.”