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

Shari Barkin, M.D., M.S.H.S.

Physician Scientist and Child Behavioral Health Researcher
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center

My "ah-ha" moment was recognizing that knowledge is necessary but not sufficient to change behavior. Behavior change requires setting new defaults that make achieving good health simpler.”

Paul Duberstein, Ph.D.

Clinical and Community Psychologist
  • University of Rochester Medical Center

After receiving NCI funding for a caregiver study, I was unexpectedly thrust briefly into a caregiver role. My personal experiences taught me that I knew less than I thought about caregiving. It motivated me to work harder to incorporate first-hand experiences into my research by using qualitative methods and by adding patients and caregivers to my research teams.”

Annice E. Kim, Ph.D.

Social Scientist
  • RTI International (formerly Research Triangle Institute)

The allure of big data has to be tempered by a healthy dose of skepticism about who and what these data represent.”

Alex H. 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.”

Poorna Kushalnagar, Ph.D.

Health Disparity Research Scientist and Public Health Advocate for the Deaf Community
  • Gallaudet University

Simply comparing a minority group with the general population can obscure real differences within the minority population.”

Amy McQueen, Ph.D.

Social Psychologist and Behavioral Scientist
  • Washington University in St. Louis

I am passionate about designing and testing more effective interventions for those who struggle to make health behavior changes and to make health a priority.”

Lisa M. Miller, Ph.D.

Cognitive Psychologist and Behavioral Scientist
  • University of California - Davis

The most compelling thing I've observed is that prior knowledge engages adults of all ages in learning and eases the burden of acquiring new knowledge and skills, which has huge implications for how we promote the adoption of new, often effortful, health behaviors.”

Gloria M. Petersen, Ph.D.

Cancer Genetic Epidemiologist
  • Mayo Clinic

A profound influence for me was seeing how cancer gene discoveries translated quickly to genetic testing, with consequences for patients and families.”

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.”

Urmimala Sarkar, M.D., M.P.H.

Primary Care Physician and Health Services Researcher
  • University of California - San Francisco

I've learned from my primary care patients that I have to understand their social context to be able to partner with them to achieve healthy behaviors. You can't improve anyone's health in a vacuum.”

Anthony J. Viera, M.D., M.P.H.

Family Physician, Public Health Advocate, and Researcher
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Several years ago, in an MD-MPH class on prevention strategies, I explained to my students that I didn't think calorie labeling worked. I said to the class (somewhat jokingly at the time!), "They should show how far you have to walk to burn off the calories..."”