Prevention and Etiology
About the Prevention and Etiology Program
Anne Joseph, M.D., M.P.H.
Heather Nelson, Ph.D., M.P.H.
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:
Jasjit Ahluwalia, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Health inequities and improving health of underrepresented populations; nicotine addiction and smoking cessation in African American tobacco users
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
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
Alicia Allen, Ph.D., M.P.H.
How sex hormones influence smoking behavior and smoking cessation outcomes
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Sean Elliott, M.D., M.S.
Improvement of cancer survivorship by addressing the adverse effects of surgery and radiation to the urinary tract
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
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.
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
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
Rahel Ghebre, M.D., M.P.H.
Cervical cancer prevention in underscreened and underserved populations of women.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Anne Joseph, M.D., M.P.H.
Smoking cessation and health services clinical trials; new methods to engage and maintain smokers in treatment
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
Shalini Kulasingam, Ph.D.
HPV and cervical cancer, cancer screening, vaccines, decision modeling, cost-effectiveness, design and conduct of studies to evaluate screening tests
Karen Kuntz, Sc.D.
Decision analytic modeling for prevention, screening, and treatment of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer; simulation modeling; post-diagnostic surveillance strategies
Harry Lando, Ph.D.
Smoking cessation with a focus on high-risk, medically compromised populations
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
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
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
Amy Linabery, Ph.D.
Etiology of childhood and adolescent lymphomas; the role of immune-mediated factors in the development of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas in the young through the application of molecular biology techniques. By characterizing molecular phenotypes and examining their correlation with potential risk and prognostic factors, this work may inform future prevention and treatment initiatives.
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
Alexander McBean, M.Sc., M.D.
Cancer prevention, program evaluation, outcomes research, and use of administrative data, particularly Medicare data, for research
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.
M. Susie Nanney, Ph.D., M.S.
Community obesity prevention interventions, food policy research, and health disparities
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Julie Ross, Ph.D.
Etiology of childhood cancer with a focus on pediatric leukemias; molecular epidemiology studies of adult leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome
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
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
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
Logan Spector, Ph.D.
Etiology of childhood cancer; specifically childhood leukemia, bone sarcomas and hepatoblastoma
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
Janet Thomas, Ph.D.
Tobacco control in underrepresented communities, including young adults
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.
Todd Tuttle, M.D., M.S.
Evaluation of outcomes of therapy for cancers including breast cancer, melanoma, and gastrointestinal malignancies
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
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
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
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