Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

Prevention and Etiology

About the Prevention and Etiology Program

AHCMCC2 - Image - Karen Kuntz 180AHCMCC2 - Image - Heather Nelson_180x272AHCMCC2 - Image - 180x272 - Anne JosephProgram co-Leaders:

Anne Joseph, M.D.
Karen Kuntz, Ph.D.
Heather Nelson, Ph.D.

The scientific goals of the Prevention and Etiology Program are to understand biological and behaviroal factors in the etiology of cancer, to reduce behaviors that may lead to cancer or the enhance behaviors that decrease cancer risk, we have strong research in the following themes:

  • Pediatric and adult cancer epidemiology
  • Cancer risk reduction
  • Cancer diagnosis, outcomes, and survivorship

Using a mulitdisciplinary approach to accomplish these goals, the program brings together investigators from the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, Medical School, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Hormel Institute, and from the Minnesota Department of Health. The program is composed of 60 research program members representing 17 departments and 9 schools or colleges.

The program's multidisciplinary projects include:

Selected Research Studies
Program Meeting Schedule


    Research Program Members
  • AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Sal'Absi Mustafa

    Mustafa al'Absi, Ph.D.
    Relationship between tobacco use and stress, with emphasis on examining psychological mechanisms of stress and pain as potential pathways through which stress may increase health problems and tobacco addiction

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander, Ph.D.
    Health effects of occupational and environmental exposures including large occupational cohort studies requiring complex exposure reconstruction, studies of asbestos- and dust-related diseases, and involving multidisciplinary collaborations with statisticians, epidemiologists, toxicologists, industrial hygienists, physicians, chemists and molecular biologists

    AHCMCC2 - Image - AliciaAllen_70x80

    Alicia Allen, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    How sex hormones influence smoking behavior and smoking cessation outcomes

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Allen Michele

    Michele Allen, M.D., M.S.
    Tobacco prevention

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Sharon Allen

    Sharon Allen, M.D., Ph.D.
    Tobacco use in women; the role of ovarian hormones in short-term smoking abstinence in premenopausal women and the effect of exercise on smoking cessation outcome in postmenopausal women

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Kristin Anderson

    Kristin Anderson, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Pancreatic cancer etiology with a focus on meat-borne carcinogens; analysis of common cancers in a prospective cohort of women, the Iowa Women's Health Study

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Sudipto Banerjee

    Sudipto Banerjee, Ph.D.
    The application of Bayesian methodology to biostatistical applications, including classes of survivor models and cure models appropriate for analyzing datasets that show a significant portion of cure among subjects

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Nelli Bejanyan

    Nelli Bejanyan, M.D.
    Clinical interest is the treatment of hematologic malignancies and blood and marrow transplantation; research interests focus on prevention and treatment of disease relapse following stem cell transplantation

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Anne Blaes

    Anne Blaes, M.D., M.D.
    Cancer survivorship, focusing on quality-of-life and vascular outcomes in cancer survivors

    Sally Bushhouse, D.V.M., Ph.D.
    Dr. Bushhouse is a cancer epidemiologist who directs the Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System for the Minnesota Department of Health. She is a key community partner in the ascertainment of cancer cases for population-based epidemiologic studies.

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Bradley Carlin

    Bradley Carlin, Ph.D.
    Development of methods and software for hierarchical Bayesian models for complex biomedical datasets; methods for geographically-indexed datasets (especially disease mapping and for the design and analysis of adaptive multicenter clinical trials, especially in cancer

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Chu Haitao

    Haitao Chu, Ph.D.
    Statistical methods for the design and analyses of continuous biomarker assay data, mismeasured and missing data, and correlated data analyses in both observational studies and randomized clinical trials, and hierarchical Bayesian modeling using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) computational methods

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Timothy Church

    Timothy Church, Ph.D.
    Detection (screening) and prevention of cancer; methods for clinical trials and epidemiologic studies, including estimating screen parameters from randomized and observational studies; identifying, assessing and adjusting for early detection bias in case-control and cohort studies; selection effects and adjustment in clinical trials analysis; and Bayesian approaches to trial design

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Sean Elliott

    Sean Elliott, M.D., M.S.
    Improvement of cancer survivorship by addressing the adverse effects of surgery and radiation to the urinary tract

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Jean Forster

    Jean Forster, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Community approaches to chronic disease prevention: public health policy to reduce the population rate of chronic disease risk factors in adolescents, health disparities related to issues of class and race, and the role of prevention policies and area-level factors in addressing these issues

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Simone French

    Simone French, Ph.D.
    Social and environmental influences on eating and physical activity behaviors; community-based strategies for eating behavior change; adolescent nutrition and physical activity.

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Fu Steven

    Steven Fu, M.D., M.S.C.E.
    Tobacco-related health disparities; best practices for improving the delivery and utilization of tobacco dependence treatments among diverse populations, including racial/ethnic minorities and veterans; the study of the mechanisms of health care disparities as a guide to developing and evaluating effective, evidence-based interventions to eliminate health care disparities

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Gaugler Joseph

    Joseph Gaugler, Ph.D.
    The longitudinal ramifications of family care in chronic disease; the effectiveness of community-based and psychosocial interventions for care-giving and their disable elderly relatives; social integration in long-term care; developmental and mixed methods approach to data analysis

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Rahel Ghebre

    Rahel Ghebre, M.D., M.P.H.
    Cervical cancer prevention in underscreened and underserved populations of women.

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Lisa Harnack

    Lisa Harnack, Dr.PH
    Development of improved methods and tools for assessing food and nutrient intake and its association with health outcomes including cancer; evaluation of public health strategies for obesity prevention

    AHCMCC2 - Image - Andrew Harris_70x80

    Andrew Harris, Ph.D.
    Preclinical pharmacology of nicotine and other addictive drugs: developing animal behavioral models using cigarette smoke exposure or tobacco extract to more accurately stimulate tobacco exposure in humans;  studying factors contributing to the earliest stages of nicotine and opiate physical dependence;  understanding role of withdrawal and other factors in individual differences in vulnerability to drug use

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Dorothy Hatsukami

    Dorothy Hatsukami, Ph.D.
    Nicotine addiction and is treatment; tobacco product evaluation and methods to reduce tobacco harm, including reducing nicotine in cigarettes; constituent analysis of tobacco products, developing biomarkers of toxicant exposure and toxicity

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Deborah Hennrikus

    Deborah Hennrikus, Ph.D.
    Methods to promote use of smoking cessation resources to groups of workers who have high smoking rates; effectiveness of low-intensity work safety smoking cessation intervention for small manufacturing companies; how to promote use of smoking cessation benefits offered by Taft-Hartley Health and Welfare funds to union members in blue collar and service jobs

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Susanta Hui

    Susanta Hui, Ph.D.
    Quality of life of cancer survivors, with a focus on breast cancer and transplant survivors; development of a radioactive calcium tracer for earlier detection of bone remodeling; targeted radiation therapy

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Robert Jeffrey

    Robert Jeffrey, Ph.D.
    The effectiveness of obesity management intervention efforts aimed at the population as a whole can be effective in achieving weight loss or prevention of weight gain; non-educational factors related to diet and exercise choice, such as fool availability and price

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Johnson L'Aurelle

    L'Aurelle Johnson, Ph.D., M.S.
    Pediatric oncology;effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients and how responses differ depending on genetics and other factors

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Anne Joseph

    Anne Joseph, M.D., M.P.H.
    Smoking cessation and health services clinical trials; new methods to engage and maintain smokers in treatment

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Kotlyar Michael

    Michael Kotlyar, Pharm.D.
    Tobacco dependence, including the relationship between stress and smoking; optimizing use of pharmacotherapy in assisting with the smoking cessation attempt, and evaluating newer smokeless tobacco products

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Shalini Kulasingam

    Shalini Kulasingam, Ph.D.
    HPV and cervical cancer, cancer screening, vaccines, decision modeling, cost-effectiveness, design and conduct of studies to evaluate screening tests

    AHCMCC2 – Image – 70x80 – Karen Kuntz

    Karen Kuntz, Sc.D.
    Decision analytic modeling for prevention, screening, and treatment of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer; simulation modeling; post-diagnostic surveillance strategies

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Harry Lando

    Harry Lando, Ph.D.
    Smoking cessation with a focus on high-risk, medically compromised populations

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Melissa Laska

    Melissa Laska, Ph.D., R.D.
    Cancer prevention through obesity prevention and nutrition promotion; obesity prevention during the transition from adolescence and young adulthood; behavioral, social and environmental influences on weight-related behaviors, with a secondary line of research in the area of neighborhood food access

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - DeAnn Lazovich

    DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Cancer epidemiology and cancer control, from prevention through survivorship; causes and prevention of melanoma skin cancer; indoor tanning as a behavior and in relation to melanoma development

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Hee Lee

    Hee Yun  Lee, Ph.D.
    Culture-based cancer health behavior, quality of cancer care and life, and development of a psychosocial intervention for Asian American cancer survivors; development of new media approaches (e.g., mobile applications) to increase cancer screening among Asian American women

    Mark LeSage, Ph.D.
    Pre-clinical models to examine environmental and pharmacological variables that modulate the addiction-related behavioral effects of stimulant drugs in animals, with an emphasis on nicotine and tobacco to better understand the mechanisms involved and tobacco and other drug addictions; development of science-based tobacco control policies

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Jennifer Linde

    Jennifer Linde, Ph.D.
    Cancer prevention via behavioral approaches to target obesity, including weight gain prevention and weight loss, with specific interests in intervention development, public health message delivery, and behavior monitoring and goal setting during weight control

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Alexander McBean

    Alexander McBean, M.Sc., M.D.
    Cancer prevention, program evaluation, outcomes research, and use of administrative data, particularly Medicare data, for research

    AHCWMHLTH2-Image-70x80-Rebekah Nagler

    Rebekah Nagler, Ph.D.
    Intersection of communication, public health, and cancer prevention; how general and clinical populations use media to acquire health information, how conflicting health messages in the mass media influence cancer prevention and screening behaviors, and how persuasive messaging can be used to address these behaviors; communication inequalities, health disparities (along racial/ethnic minority, socioeconomic status, and gender lines), and tobacco control.

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Marilyn Nanney
    612 626-6794

    M. Susie Nanney, Ph.D., M.S.
    Community obesity prevention interventions, food policy research, and health disparities

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Joseph Neglia

    Joseph Neglia, M.D., M.P.H.
    Long-term effects of cancer therapy in cancer survivors and the occurrence of second malignancies following childhood cancer

    AHCMCC2 - Image - Rosser_70x80

    B.R. Simon Rosser, Ph.D., M.P.H., L.P.
    The effects of cancer on the sexual lives of cancer patients, with the long-term objective of developing and testing bio-behavioral approaches to improve sexual outcomes following cancer diagnosis and treatment

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Heather Nelson


    Heather Nelson, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Inter-individual variation in immunity and its relationship to cancer etiology and clinical progression; genetic susceptibility to HPV infections; and epigenetic change in cancer development

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Kola Okuyemi

    Kolawole Okuyemi, M.D., M.P.H.
    Health disparities; smoking cessation; breast and cervical cancer screening; recruitment and retention of study participants. Principal Investigator of the NCI U54 Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations that aims to reduce cancer disparities among racial/ethnic minorities

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Pentel Paul

    Paul Pentel, M.D., Ph.D.
    Preclinical development of medications and related strategies to treat addictions, with an emphasis on tobacco dependence; development of nicotine vaccines for the treatment or prevention of tobacco addiction and studying the role of non-nicotine components of tobacco in mediating addiction

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Jenny Poynter

    Jenny Poynter, Ph.D.
    Germ cell tumor development, specifically genetic susceptibility and epigenetic alterations in pediatric germ cell tumors; DNA methylation, genomic imprinting, and susceptibility to cancer

    AHCMCC2 - Image - Anna Prizment_70x80

    Anna Prizment, Ph.D.
    Cancer etiology and survival with a focus on the role of inflammatory and immune processes in the development of cancer;studies of colorectal, pancreatic, and lung cancers with the exposure information obtained from questionnaires as well as using circulating, genetic, and tissue biomarkers

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Alex Rothman

    Alexander Rothman, Ph.D.
    Application of social psychological theory to illness prevention and health promotion through a synthesis of basic research on how people process and respond to health information with the development and evaluation of theory-based interventions to promote healthy behavior

    AHCMCC2 - Image - Sarah Schram_70x80

    Sarah Schram, M.D.
    Prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer; use of laser technologies for the prevention of skin cancer in solid organ transplant recipients

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Aasma Shaukat

    Aasma Shaukat, M.D., M.P.H.
    Development and validation of biomarkers that predict an individual's risk of incident colorectal adenomas and colon cancer; chemopreventive agents, such as calcium and vitamin D that my modulate risk

    Jonathan Slater, Ph.D.
    Early detection/screening for cancer in randomized community-based trials in a CDC-funded Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program at the Minnesota Department of Health; increasing screening among the under-and uninsured population

    MEDPEDS2 - Photo - 70x80 - Spector, Logan - New

    Logan Spector, Ph.D.
    Etiology of childhood cancer; specifically childhood leukemia, bone sarcomas and hepatoblastoma

    MEDPEDS2 - Image - 70x80 - Steinberger

    Julia Steinberger, M.D., M.S.
    Clinical and epidemiologic studies of metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk factors in children and young adults; metabolic syndrome in childhood cancer survivors

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Thomas Janet

    Janet Thomas, Ph.D.
    Tobacco control in underrepresented communities, including young adults

    AHCMCC2 - Image - Lucie Turcotte_70x80

    Lucie Turcotte, M.D., M.P.H.
    Second malignancies and short- and long-term outcomes in pediatric cancer survivors; childhood leukemias and lymphomas, as well as in histiocytic disorders.

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Todd Tuttle

    Todd Tuttle, M.D., M.S.
    Evaluation of outcomes of therapy for cancers including breast cancer, melanoma, and gastrointestinal malignancies

    AHCMCC2 - Image - vanRyn_70x80

    Michelle van Ryn, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Psychosocial factors and health; provider-patient interaction; provider behavior; race/ethnicity and health and health care; determinants of screening behavior

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Beth Virnig

    Beth Virnig, Ph.D.
    Cancer surveillance, treatment and outcomes using administrative data such as the SEER-Medicare linkage; end-of-life care and hospice for the elderly

    AHCMCC2 - Image - 70x80 - Wang Jian-Ping

    Jian-Ping Wang, Ph.D.
    Development of nanomagnetic and spintronic devices and fabricating and understanding novel magnetic materials for information technology and biomedical applications such as cancer screening

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Mark Yeazel

    Mark Yeazel, M.D., M.P.H.
    Cancer epidemiology and cancer control, from screening to survivorship (particularly for survivors of childhood cancer), including efforts to improve cancer screening ranging from clinical systems change to promote screening to community-based projects

    AHCMCC - Image - 70x80 - Bevan Yueh

    Bevan Yueh, M.D., M.P.H.
    Clinical epidemiology and treatment effectiveness of head and neck cancer; quality of life after treatment; baseline predictors of swallowing dysfunction after treatment for advanced laryngeal cancer

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  • Last modified on October 5, 2015