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Meet the DCCPS New R01 Investigators

  • Marc A. Adams
    Arizona State University - Tempe
    Behavioral Scientist and Epidemiologist

    "Early in my career I discovered the world outside of the skin was just as complex and interesting as the one inside of the skin. That moment led me down a path of discovery of the principles of behavior change in our macro- and micro-environments and how these mechanisms influence preventive behaviors for chronic disease, such as physical activity."
  • Tamar M. Antin
    Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
    Critical Public Health Researcher

    "Critical public health perspectives are essential for explaining the tremendous inequities in health that disproportionately burden marginalized populations."
  • Hoda Badr, Ph.D.
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Social/Health Psychologist

    "My mother was diagnosed with cancer and ultimately died from her disease. That experience showed me how fragile and resilient family relationships can be and how the cancer experience affects family members in different ways. I also realized how few programs exist to support and empower families through this difficult time and resolved to try to change that reality."
  • Kirsten Beyer, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.
    Medical College of Wisconsin
    Health and Medical Geographer

    "Growing up, I was fascinated by the social justice movements of the 1960's and sometimes felt that I had been dropped into the global timeline several decades too late. My research focus on health disparities grew from my realization that there were plenty of problems, rooted in social injustice, to be solved in my own timeline."
  • Ulrike Boehmer, Ph.D.
    Boston University
    Social Scientist

    "When some of my friends were diagnosed and dying of cancer, there was little awareness of the fact that the experiences of LGBT individuals might be different from that of heterosexual individuals because their cancer diagnoses were considered unrelated to sexual behavior. This led me to focus my research on individuals with cancer who are facing additional challenges due to their sexual and gender minority status."
  • Patrick S. Calhoun
    Duke University
    Clinical Psychologist and Health Services Researcher

    "We often spend too much of our time developing the next best possible treatment without spending enough time thinking about how we are going to reach the people who need it most. Mobile health technologies are exciting because they provide a platform to increase the reach of intensive behavioral interventions, and have great potential to increase the impact of smoking cessation treatment."
  • Michele L. Cote
    Wayne State University
    Cancer Molecular Epidemiology Researcher

    "At Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University, I see health disparities on a daily basis and have the unique opportunity to carry out research seeking to reduce the detrimental effects of these disparities in underserved populations."
  • Elliot J. Coups, Ph.D.
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    Behavioral Scientist and Cancer Prevention and Control Researcher

    "In order for our research to be of the greatest utility, I firmly believe that we have to develop efficacious interventions that have strong potential for dissemination, implementation, and sustained impact in clinical and public health practice."
  • Ana-Paula Cupertino, Ph.D.
    University of Kansas Medical Center
    Social Behavioral Researcher focused on addressing cancer disparities faced by Latinos by developing mobile health tools to be implemented in the context of community-based infrastructure

    "I have been fascinated with the opportunity to translate my smoking cessation mobile research interventions into business models to increase access to Latino smokers in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil."
  • Tanya Eadie, Ph.D.
    University of Washington
    Speech-Language Pathologist and Behavioral Scientist

    "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 S. Eggly
    Wayne State University
    Communication Scientist and Health Behavior Researcher

    "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."
  • Farhood Farjah, M.D.
    University of Washington
    Thoracic Surgeon and Clinical Researcher

    "There are few things as profound as witnessing a disease affect individuals in your clinical practice, people you study, and your friends and family - for these reasons I choose to dedicate my energy to improving care and outcomes for individuals with an incidentally (not screen) detected lung nodule."
  • Ilana Graetz, Ph.D.
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center
    Health Services and Policy Researcher

    "Healthcare matters for everybody - no one goes through life without having to deal with the healthcare system in a significant way. My family's experience in dealing with chronic health issues made me realize how deeply flawed the US healthcare system is, and I wanted my research to make a real difference to someone."
  • Heather Greenlee
    Columbia University Medical Center
    Behavioral Scientist and Translational Epidemiologist

    "I am inspired to do this work by the people in my life who have had a cancer diagnosis. In addition to knowing what cancer treatment they should receive, they want to know what they should eat, what kind of exercise they should do, and whether they should use any integrative therapies. At this point in time, we have many more questions than answers. We have a lot of work to do."
  • Chunyan He
    Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
    Molecular and Genetic Epidemiologist

    "My background in both molecular biology and epidemiology has given me a comprehensive knowledge of cancer at the molecular, as well as at the population level, and helped me to develop a unique understanding of the need to integrate basic science and epidemiological studies into cancer research."
  • Tina Hernandez-Boussard
    Stanford University
    Health Services Researcher

    "I find that the manipulation and re-utilization of large datasets provide a goldmine for novel clinical research questions."
  • Brian L. Hitsman, Ph.D.
    Northwestern University
    Behavioral Scientist

    "Although adults with mental health disorders have the most to gain from quitting smoking, they still are the least likely to have their nicotine dependence treated. In order to achieve a major reduction in smoking rates and health disparities, much more work needs to be done to help individuals with mental illness to stop smoking."
  • Megan J. Huchko, M.D.
    University of California - San Francisco
    Obstetrician/Gynecologist and Global Health Researcher

    "The research community has made tremendous strides in demonstrating the efficacy of low-cost cancer prevention strategies for low-resource settings. However, I have realized that for these strategies to be truly effective, consideration of the contextual factors impacting the uptake and sustainability of these interventions in the target populations is crucial."
  • Shehnaz K. Hussain
    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Molecular Epidemiologist Scientist/Researcher

    "Infections and immune dysfunction are root causes for numerous burdensome cancers, and also provide us with targets for cancer prevention and control spanning the continuum from primary prevention to screening to early detection. "
  • Darla E. Kendzor
    University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center
    Behavioral Scientist

    "I had a realization that countless factors adversely impact the health of those living in poverty, and this has compelled me to work towards achieving health equity through behavior change."
  • Stacey Kenfield
    University of California - San Francisco
    Cancer Epidemiology Researcher

    "A cancer diagnosis is a teachable moment when individuals are motivated to change behavior to reduce risk of adverse health outcomes. This has led me to focus my research on elucidating the role of lifestyle factors in relation to patient-reported outcomes (e.g., quality of life, treatment side effects) and clinical outcomes (e.g., recurrence, mortality) in adults with cancer to improve quality of life, cancer prognosis, and overall health."
  • Annice E. Kim, Ph.D.
    RTI International (formerly Research Triangle Institute)
    Social Scientist

    "The allure of big data has to be tempered by a healthy dose of skepticism about who and what these data represent."
  • Mark J. Landau
    University of Kansas - Lawrence
    Social Psychologist and Behavioral Scientist

    "I'm continually fascinated by the notion that metaphor operates at a conceptual (not just linguistic) level to shape thinking, feeling, and behavior, and it's time to apply that notion to understand how people conceive of cancer and their power to reduce their risk."
  • Simon Lee
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
    Medical Anthropologist and Health Services Researcher

    "An early R03 enabled me to conduct serial ethnographic interviews with lung cancer patients and family caregivers in their homes in South Dallas. Taking a breath through his oxygen mask, one patient with a Stage III diagnosis caught me by surprise saying something like, "Dr. Lee, diabetes is the worst thing that can happen to a fellow." That was the moment I realized I needed to study cancer as one of multiple chronic conditions that people are managing in their complex lives."
  • Sara Lindstroem
    Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    Genetic Epidemiologist

    "During my postdoctoral fellowship, we identified a gene that influenced both the composition of breast tissue and the risk of developing breast cancer. These findings made me realize that genetics can link diseases with other traits. My goal is to obtain a better understanding of the genetics behind such connections, as I believe it can ultimately lead to improved strategies for diagnosis and treatments of human disease."
  • Qian Lu, M.D., Ph.D.
    University of Houston
    Behavioral Scientist and Health/Social Psychologist

    "Around the time I completed my medical training, I came across a life-changing article in Science magazine by G.L. Engel that addressed the limitations of the biomedical model of disease and how it left no room in its framework for the social, psychological, and behavioral dimensions of an illness. Since then, a biopsychosocial model has guided my research, teaching, and approach to patient care."
  • Todd Lucas, Ph.D.
    Wayne State University
    Health Psychology Researcher

    "Detroit 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 M. Mays, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Georgetown University
    Behavioral Cancer Prevention Researcher

    "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."
  • David C. Miller, M.D., M.P.H.
    University of Michigan
    Cancer Surgeon and Health Services Researcher

    "Solving the problems of individual patients with cancer was my primary motivation for becoming a surgeon. At the same time, I am optimistic that my research will serve as a "force multiplier" that improves health care and health outcomes not only for my individual patients, but-just as importantly-for diverse populations that I will never meet."
  • Ritesh I. Mistry, Ph.D.
    University of Michigan
    Behavioral Scientist and Cancer Prevention Researcher

    "Being an immigrant, early on it seemed apparent to me that the country a person lives in and who they live with have profound impacts on their life. The mission of my career is to study how these contexts impact cancer risk behaviors."
  • Kerrie P. Nelson, Ph.D., M.S., B.Sc.
    Boston University Medical Campus
    Biostatistician

    "My undergraduate training introduced me to the use of statistics in medical studies, and compelled me to see the novel, exciting and challenging opportunities for biostatisticians as part of a team of researchers."
  • Suzanne C. O'Neill
    Georgetown University
    Behavioral Scientist and Clinical Health Psychologist

    "My graduate training coincided with the publication of many of the first studies of the psychosocial and behavioral impact of cancer genetic susceptibility testing. I became increasingly interested in applying my expertise in stress and coping research to studying how individuals interpret, apply and cope with individualized cancer risk information."
  • Pallav Pokhrel
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Behavioral Scientist/Health Behavior Researcher

    "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."
  • Megha Ramaswamy, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    University of Kansas School of Medicine
    Sociologist and Applied Public Health Researcher

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

    "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."
  • Daniel Schauer, M.D.
    University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
    Clinician and Outcomes Researcher

    "In my years of training I saw over and over that patients struggled to make major medical decisions and lacked the hard data to support their choices. With my passion for statistics and research, I realized that I could provide data points and build tools that would help people feel confident about their medical decisions."
  • Rebecca Smith-Bindman, M.D.
    University of California - San Francisco
    Clinician and Comparative Effectiveness Researcher

    "We have had some very exciting preliminary results in helping hospitals standardize their practice. However, some sites were less than responsive to our feedback (either because they did not trust the results or did not perceive dose optimization to be a priority). This helped me realize that in order for practices to change, institutions need to have not only the tools and expertise to make a change, but also the will to do so."
  • Irina Stepanov, Ph.D.
    University of Minnesota
    Analytical Biochemist and Cancer Researcher

    "I have been very fortunate to be mentored by and collaborate with the prominent leaders in tobacco carcinogenesis research. Their example and guidance, along with my personal motivation to contribute to the prevention of suffering caused by cancer, shaped my research interests and direction."
  • Natasha K. Stout
    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc.
    Decision Scientist and Health Services Researcher

    "For breast cancer screening, the growing recognition of anxiety and stress related to false positive test results and unnecessary biopsies highlights how more is not necessarily better. Decision modeling coupled with population-based data on real world outcomes can help us understand the benefits and risks associated with different screening approaches, as well as identify effective strategies to improve population health."
  • Natasha Tasevska
    Arizona State University - Tempe
    Nutrition Scientist and Nutritional Epidemiologist

    "Sugars are one of the most controversial nutritional topics today. Thus, we need validated and objective tools to accumulate strong scientific evidence to obtain the right answers."
  • Emily Tonorezos, M.D., M.P.H.
    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    Physician Scientist

    "I am deeply gratified for the opportunity to help this unique population through both clinical care and research, as childhood cancer survivors have ongoing health needs that are not being met."
  • Connie M. Ulrich
    University of Pennsylvania
    Nurse Bioethicist and Nurse Scientist/Bioethics Researcher

    "Interviewing participants enrolled in cancer clinical trials greatly influenced my decision to design my study to learn more about their perceptions of the benefits and burdens of cancer clinical trials, how these relate to their decision to remain in their trials, and other related factors. I have also had the great honor to work, collaborate, and study under prolific interdisciplinary scholars who have guided my research trajectory in bioethics"
  • Wenyi Wang, Ph.D.
    MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Statistician and Data Scientist

    "My passion for applying statistical modeling to genomic studies, with a focus on clinical utilities for complex human diseases such as cancer, stems from my training in biology and statistics, and the realization that creating a dialogue between the two fields can vastly improve our understanding of disease."
  • Erika A. Waters
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Social and Health Psychologist

    "My passion for primary prevention stems from witnessing firsthand the devastating consequences of engaging in unhealthy behaviors. However, it wasn't until my postdoctoral experience, which provided the opportunity to learn the multitude of ways that other disciplines approach the same problem, that I realized the importance of involving many disciplinary perspectives in my own work."
  • Karen Wilson, M.D., Ph.D.
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
    Pediatric Clinical Tobacco Researcher

    "I realized when I was talking to parents of children who were in the hospital that while this is an incredibly stressful event in their lives, it also opens up avenues for communication and motivation to quit smoking that they often don't have in the rush of their normal lives. We have an opportunity to help parents and children at a time when they are perhaps most open to positive change, and help both lead healthier lives."
  • Hui Xie
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Biostatistician and Data Scientist

    "I am fascinated by the capabilities of new real-time data-capturing methods to improve behavioral research. I am excited to be developing appropriate analytic techniques and computational tools for use with these new kinds of data and emerging research approaches."
  • Yuanqing Ye, Ph.D.
    MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Statistical Geneticist

    "I'm fascinated by the potential application of mathematical, statistical, and computational approaches to the analysis of big data. I think these methods may revolutionize our research and advance the scientific understanding of human health and disease"
  • Heather T. Gold
    New York University School of Medicine
    Project Investigator

    "Dr. Gold came to this field of research through studying disparities in breast cancer care. Not only are treatment patterns and outcomes affected by socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequities in care, but underlying comorbidities, separate from cancer, may be influencing cancer care. This confluence of factors, from environmental, health system and individual, is hard to tease apart, yet this study aims to do just that."
  • J T. Hays
    Mayo Clinic Rochester
    Physician Clinical Investigator

    "My patients inspire me to find the best way to free them from the grip tobacco has on their lives."

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