Staff: Lilian Perez, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Lilian Perez

Lilian Perez, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Former Fellow, Transitioned Outside of the Program

Cancer Prevention Fellow
Former Organization:

Lilian Perez, Ph.D., M.P.H., was a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Health Behaviors Research Branch of the Behavioral Research Program.

Dr. Perez's research focuses on the multilevel influences of cancer risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity; neighborhood environment measures (perceived and objective); as well as health disparities with a focus on racial/ethnic minorities and immigrants in the US. She is also interested in the role of policies and understudied environmental factors such as gentrification on cancer prevention.

In September 2019, Dr. Perez became a Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation.


"Where are they now?": Following up with past BRP fellows
Updated May 2020

Current Title
Associate Policy Researcher
RAND Corporation

How has your BRP fellowship influenced your career?
As a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Health Behaviors Research Branch (HBRB) of BRP, I found a range of opportunities to build on my area of research (neighborhood environments, obesity, and physical activity) but also work on new topic areas such as state policies for physical education. HBRB's multilevel approach to understand and improve on cancer preventive behaviors was vital to my development as a researcher focused on the contextual - environment and policy - determinants of health. BRP prepared me with the skills and knowledge to lead research that can have important implications for how we design communities to promote health and equity. For example, at my new position, I aim to launch new projects examining the role of policies in shaping the housing opportunities and neighborhood conditions of disadvantaged populations.

Describe a favorite memory or two from your fellowship experience.
Some of my favorite moments as a Fellow in BRP were the team meetings and holiday gatherings. Our group was very cohesive, and it was clear that our leadership cared about each member. Accomplishments (both professional and personal) were always acknowledged and celebrated. During the holidays, there were always festivities where we shared meals and enjoyed each other's talents (including musicians!).

Describe your current position, your current organization, and what you do.
I am an Associate Policy Researcher in the Behavioral and Policy Sciences (BPS) Department at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. RAND is a non-profit organization committed to quality and objective research that can inform public policy on a range of issues, including health, security, education, sustainability, etc. My current projects include conducting implementation evaluations of two NIH-funded church-based interventions targeting physical activity and mental health among Latinos in southern California. I am also developing several research proposals to start new projects focused on the environmental, housing, and socio-economic determinants of health.

Publications from Fellowship Work


Current and/or past BRP mentors include David Berrigan.

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