Grantee: Dorothy W. Pekmezi, PhD

Dorothy W. Pekmezi

Dorothy W. Pekmezi, PhD

Behavioral Scientist/Researcher
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Pekmezi's research program focuses on promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyle and addresses health disparities related to cancer prevention and control. She uses behavioral theory and innovative technology to enhance the efficacy and reach of her intervention efforts. Her passion for such work stems from her background and training as a licensed clinical psychologist and public health professional and, more specifically, her early clinical work at teaching hospitals with mostly indigent, minority patients. Dr. Pekmezi's current NCI-funded research project (CA233550), titled "Testing scalable, IVR-supported cancer prevention interventions in the rural Alabama Black Belt," combines all three of her research interests (behavioral theory, technology, health disparities) by using tailored, Interactive Voice Response (IVR)-supported physical activity phone counseling to supplement and extend the efforts of community health workers in rural Alabama counties.

The most profound influences on my research program have come from clinical encounters and qualitative research, in which patients/participants are often eager to eat healthier and exercise more but describe real barriers to accessing related programs/resources (costs, transportation, etc.) and desire encouragement and accountability.”

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