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Cancer Health Equity Center of Excellence Members

 

Bianca Anuforo headshot
Bianca Anuforo, Masters of Public Health
Research Teaching Specialist IV/Research Study Coordinator, Rutgers University, Population Sciences

Research Interests
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cancer screening
  • Chronic disease prevention
  • Health education
Nashwah Azam headshot
Nashwah Azam, BSci
Program Assistant, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Cancer Health Equity

Research Interests
  • Project HERO, an exercise intervention study for men who experience fatigue due to cancer treatment
Elisa Bandera headshot
Elisa Bandera, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Cancer Epidemiology and Health Outcomes/ Medical Oncology, RWJMS/ Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Nutritional factors, mainly obesity and body composition
  • Cancer survivorship, including treatment, quality of life and survival outcomes
  • Primarily working on breast and ovarian cancers
Toni Beninato headshot
Toni Beninato, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Endocrine Surgery/Surgical Oncology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Research Interests
  • Socioecominc disparities related to diagnosis and treatment in patients with endocrine-related cancer
  • Insurance-related disparities in thyroid cancer
Adam Berger headshot
Adam Berger, MD
Professor, Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Associate Director for Shared Resources; Chief of Melanoma and Sarcoma Surgical Oncology

Research Interests
  • Clinical trials in Melanoma, Cutaneous Oncology, and Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • Response of Comprehensive Cancer Center and Surgical Oncology Workforce to COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Access to skin screening for melanoma survivors
  • Disparities in care and access for GI cancer patients
Trishnee Bhurosy headshot
Trishnee Bhurosy, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow Population Science, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; American Public Health Association, American Society for Nutrition

Research Interests
  • Behavioral scientist who conducts formative research with a focus on the belief determinants of dietary behaviors underlying breast cancer and colorectal cancer
  • Priority populations include women, older adults and African-American cancer survivors
  • Prior to being at Rutgers, I led programs that improved access to nutritious foods among older people and young college students in rural Indiana, coordinated meditation sessions in adults with poor mobility and prepared meals in the local Community Kitchen in Bloomington, Indiana
Steven K Burley headshot
Steven K Burley, BSc, DPhil, MD
University Professor and Henry Rutgers Chair, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; School of Arts and Sciences, Founding Director, Institute for Quantitative Biomedicine; Director,RCSB Protein Data Bank

Research Interests
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Precision Medicine
  • Epigenetics and Cancer
Emily Carey headshot
Emily Carey, BSci
Staff, Cancer Health Equity and Engagement, Community Outreach and Engagement, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; NJ Registered Environmental Health Specialist

Research Interests
  • Public health and primary prevention
  • Multi-modal adult and professional education
  • Evidence-based practice implementation and process improvement
Abha Simran Chaudhary headshot
Abha Simran Chaudhary, BS, MS
Research Assistant, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • mental health and cancer survivorship
  • cancer prevention and control
  • mental health of cancer patients support team
  • community health and community advocacy for cancer prevention mesures
  • health disparities in access to cancer services and mental health services
Sunita Chaudhary headshot
Sunita Chaudhary, PhD
Director, Research and Education, Education & Training, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Evaluation of student learning
  • Behavioral/career outcomes of educational programs that promote STEM career choice by underserved students
  • Evaluating interventions that promote research or research related career choice
Wendie S. Cohick headshot
Wendie S. Cohick, MS, PhD
Dean of Research and Graduate Education for School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; Professor of Animal Sciences, SEBS/Rutgers University

Research Interests
  • Hormonal regulation of normal mammary gland growth, development and lactation
  • Mechanisms by which dysregulation of endocrine systems contributes to breast cancer
  • Effect of alcohol exposure during different developmental windows on breast cancer risk
Paul Duberstein headshot
Paul Duberstein, PhD
Professor & Chair, Dept. of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health

Research Interests
  • Behavioral interventions
  • Caregiving
  • Patient-oncologist communication and decision making
  • Palliative care/end-of-life
  • Financial toxicity
  • Health care utilization
Jeanne Ferrante headshot
Jeanne Ferrante, MD, MPH
Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health, Research Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Director, New Jersey Primary Care Research Network

Research Interests
  • Cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment among urban minority women
  • Obesity, gut microbiome, and cancer outcomes in African Americans
  • Racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes among males with HPV-associated cancers
  • Role of primary care on cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and outcomes
Angela Fong headshot
Angela Fong, PhD
Instructor of Medicine: Section of Behavioral Sciences; Division of Medicine Oncology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Research Interests
  • Promotion of physical activity behavior among cancer survivors (primarily cancers that disproportionately affect women and women of color)
  • Using dissemination and implementation science theories, frameworks, and strategies to design, implement, and disseminate behavior change interventions among cancer survivors in the community
  • Examine psychosocial determinants and outcomes and identify mechanisms of behavior change interventions among cancer survivors focusing on health disparities and equity
Olivia Foran headshot
Olivia Foran, BSci
Program Assistant, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Cancer Health Equity Research

Research Interests
  • genetic risk evaluations and assessments
  • biobehavioral research
  • prevention and screening guidelines
Evelyn Fuertes headshot
Evelyn Fuertes, BA, AAS
Community Cancer Control Specialist, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Cancer Heath Equity, Community Outreach & Education
Ollie T. Ganz headshot
Ollie T. Ganz, DrPH, MSPH
Instructor, Dept. of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health; Member, Center for Tobacco Studies; Member, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Tobacco use and mental health
  • Sexual and gender minority health
  • Tobacco regulatory science
Judith Graber headshot
Judith Graber, PhD
Associate Professor, Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Rutgers School of Public Health

Research Interests
  • Cancer risk and risk factors among volunteer and career firefighters, with focus on engagement in New Jerseys diverse communities.
  • Adverse effects of occupational dust exposure and interactions with modifiable personal risk factors,including tobacco and alcohol use and obesity.
  • Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure and health outcomes in occupational and community settings, wit a focus on environmental justice

Perry N. Halkitis headshot
Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH
Dean
Professor, Depts. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Urban-Global Public Health
Director Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS)
Rutgers School of Public Health

Research Interests

  • Documenting the exposure to bacterial and viral pathogens associated with health disparities and cancer disparities in gay men
  • Understanding the behavioral, biological, psychosocial, and structural factors that predispose infection with these pathogens and other health burdens
  • Implementation research that integrates biomedical and behavioral approaches to deliver healthcare services to gay men within the community to prevent these disparities
Carolyn Heckman headshot
Carolyn Heckman, PhD, BA
Associate Professor with Tenure Cancer, Prevention and Control Program, Population Science, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Skin cancer prevention and detection
  • Dissemination and Implementation Science
  • E/mHealth Interventions
  • Tobacco use and cessation
Emily Kathryn Heidt headshot
Emily Kathryn Heidt, BSci
Program Coordinator, The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Cancer Health Equity

Research Interests
  • Germline Mutations
  • Genetic Risk
  • Hereditary Cancer
  • Cascade Testing
  • Emotional Implications of Cancer Risk Communication
Howard S. Hochster headshot
Howard S. Hochster, MD, FACP
Distinguished Professor of Medicine Medical Oncology, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Associate Cancer Center Director for Clinical Research

Research Interests
  • Clinical Trials outreach
Shawna Hudson headshot
Shawna Hudson, PhD
Professor and Research Division Chief, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Director, Center Advancing Research and Evaluation for Patient-Centered Care (CARE-PC)

Research Interests
  • chronic disease focused with an emphasis on vulnerable populations, particularly underserved groups including cancer survivors and racial/ethnic minorities in healthcare settings.
  • cancer health equity work in cancer survivorship documents poor patient transitions between specialty and primary care; differential patient activation for care seeking; and, need for system change related to how long-term care coordination is managed in oncology and transition to primary care settings.
Yiban Kang headshot
Yibin Kang, PhD
Professor, Molecular Biology, Princeton University; Associate Director for Consortium Research, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Triple negative breast cancer
  • Cancer metastasis
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Cancer therapeutics
Lesie Kantor Kim headshot
Leslie Kantor, PhD, MPH
Profressor and Chair, Urban-Global Public Health, Rutgers School of Public Health

Research Interests
  • HPV vaccine, especially parental knowledge and attitudes
  • Advancing health equity
  • Urban public health
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Community based participatory research
Kohler headshot
Racquel "Kelly" Kohler, PhD, MSPH
Instructor, Dept. of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy
Rutgers School of Public Health

Research Interests
  • Breast and cervical cancer screening
  • Early diagnosis and treatment initiation
  • Access to and quality of cancer care
Edmund Lattime headshot
Edmund Lattime, BA, MS, PhD
Professor with Tenure, Dept. of Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Associate Director for Research and Education Affairs, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Director of Education and Training with focus on training programs at all academic levels
  • Co-Leader of the Cancer Metabolism and Growth Program
  • Translational researcher in cancer immunology resulting in multiple grants and clinical trials
Richard Marlink headshot
Richard Marlink, MD
Professor (Henry Rutgers Professor of Global Health), Rutgers Global Health Institute, Rutgers University-New Brunswick; Director, Rutgers Global Health Institute

Research Interests
  • Cancer care and prevention inequity in developing countries, especially Africa
  • Using Information Technology to address cancer inequalities at home and in developing countries
Rose Marie Maruca headshot
Rose Marie Maruca, RN, BSN, MBA
Senior Market Development Manager, Acadia Pharmaceuticals; Market Development, University of Pennsylvania; Instructor in Masters of Health Care Innovation program

Research Interests
  • My interest is in patient advocacy, in ensuring that all patients have access to information that enables them to maintain their health and wellness, to improve their health literacy, and become one's own health advocate or an advocate for loved ones.
  • Currently I am involved in community outreach in South Jersey through Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice's Diversity and Inclusion Board committee. In this role, I have provided talks to lay audiences of various ethnic backgrounds on how to be your own health advocate.
Rita M. Musanti headshot
Rita M. Musanti, PhD, APN-BC
Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Engagement; Adjunct, School of Nursing, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • New Jersey disparities profile: descriptions and research.
  • Facilitation of community input/engagement related to both outreach and research with our vulnerable communities
  • Incorporation of community and state resources into solution of community problems that are associated with increasing cancer risk.
Ana Natale-Pereira headshot
Ana Natale-Pereira, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division Chief-General Internal Medicine, Assistant Dean for Primary Care and Community Initiatives Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Research Interests
  • Cancer Screening in underserved populations
  • Use of Patient Navigation to improve the cancer continuum
  • Community engagement in cancer education to improve prevention
Domonique Noel headshot
Domonique Noel, BSci
Community Cancer Control Specialist, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Department of Cancer Health Equity and Engagement

Research Interests
  • LGBT health disparities and outcomes including smoking rates, HPV-associated cancers, the co-infection of HPV and HIV
  • HPV vaccination disparities among under-served groups
Mary O'Dowd headshot
Mary O’Dowd, MPH
Executive Director, Health Systems and Population Health Integration, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; Founding Member and Co-Director, ScreenNJ

Research Interests
  • Public health and healthcare program and policy interventions to increase screening rates and decreased cancer incidence within NJ
  • Particular interest in developing and supporting initiative aimed at identifying, addressing and eliminating cancer outcomes for subsets of the population.
Denalee O’Malley headshot
Denalee O’Malley, PhD, MSW
Instructor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Research Division, RWJMS

Research Interests
  • Disparities in cancer care delivery, particularly among low-income and racial/ethnic minorities
  • Socioeconomic drivers of comorbidity and multi-morbidity among cancer survivors
  • Implementation of targeted cancer prevention strategies for high-risk populations seen primarily in safety-net settings
  • Cancer self-management and risk-based supportive care interventions to optimize post-cancer wellness
Coral Omene headshot
Coral Omene, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor Department of Medicine, Medical Oncology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Translational Therapeutic Interventions for Breast Cancer including Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
  • Evaluating the Differential Responses to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer and its impact on Health Care Disparities.
Sharon R. Pine headshot
Sharon R. Pine, PhD
Associate Professor Pharmacology and Medicine, Cancer Pharmacology, RWJMS, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Racial health disparities in lung cancer
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Race-associated biomarkers in pre-clinical studies
Bo Qin headshot
Bo Qin, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Cancer Epidemiology and Health Outcomes, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Epidemiology of breast and ovarian cancer, particularly among minority women
  • Diet, nutrition and cancer
  • Metabolomics in epidemiology
Yonaira M. Rivera headshot
Yonaira M. Rivera, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Rutgers University School of Communication & Information

Research Interests:
  • Social media and cancer communication among Latinx communities
  • Cancer misinformation and digital health literacy
  • Cancer control and prevention
  • Community engagement via lay health education
Lois E Rockson headshot
Lois E Rockson, PhD, MPH, MAEd, SCT(ASCP)
Assistant Professor, Clinical Laboratory and Medical Imaging Sciences, Rutgers School of Health Professions; Program Director, MS-CLS Cytopathology Program

Research Interests:
  • Research interest in cancer health disparities among Black immigrants from Caribbean Basin and Central America
  • Completed PhD in Urban System with focus in Urban Health, joint degree with Rutgers School of Nursing, NJIT School of Architecture and Rutgers Graduate School Newark, January 2020
  • Dissertation work examined disparities in breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening among Garifuna women in New York City
  • Title “Knowledge, Perceptions and Practices regarding cancer screening among Garifuna women”
  • Research consultant Global Garifuna Health and Development Institute Inc.
Jason Roy headshot
Jason Roy, PhD
Professor and Chair, Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Rutgers School of Public Health

Research Interests:
  • Causal inference
  • Bayesian nonparametrics
  • Missing data
  • Machine learning
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
Jaya M Satagopan headshot
Jaya M Satagopan, PhD
Professor, Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Director, Center for South Asian Quantitative Health & Education 
Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
Rutgers School of Public Health; 
Full Member, Cancer Prevention and Control Program,
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Research Interests
  • Risk modeling / cancer risk assessment
  • Dimension reduction for large-scale genetic / genomic data
  • Gene-environment interaction
  • Case-control design
  • Multi-stage design for high-throughput studies
Charles Senteio headshot
Charles Senteio, PhD, MBA, MSW
Assistant Professor, Library and Information Science, Rutgers School of Communication and Information

Research Interests
  • Equity (incidence, prevalence, mortality)
  • Community-based participatory action research and participatory design of interventions
  • Recruitment of populations underrepresented in research
Eric A Singer headshot
Eric A Singer, MD, MA, MS, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery and Radiology, Surgery, Urologic Oncology, Rutgers RWJMS; Associate Chief of Urology and Urologic Oncology; Director, Distinction in Bioethics Program, Rutgers RWJMS

Research Interests
  • Disparities in screening/access/treatment for genitourinary malignancies
  • Non-medical determinants of urologic health
  • Disparities in advance directives among patients with cancer
  • Culturally competent/sensitive clinical ethics consultation
  • Diversity in clinical trial participation
Dee Sparacio headshot
Dorinda (Dee) Sparacio, MS Material Science, BsChe Chemical engineering
Co Founder, Research Advocate, #gyncsm (Gyn Cancer Social Media) Twitter Community

Research Interests
  • Reduce health disparities among women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers
  • Better understand the factors that lead to disparities among women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers
  • Raise awareness of cancer disparities by posting information and research results to my blog (Women of Teal - womenofteal.blogspot.com) and to Twitter (@womenofteal)
  • Continue to discuss disparity issues during #gyncsm ( GYN Cancer Social Media) Twitter Community chats. (A March 2017 chat focused on disparities. While a 2020 chat discussed the higher mortality rates for African-American women from #endometrialcancer.)
Antoinette Stroup headshot
Antoinette Stroup, PhD, MS
Associate Professor, Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology; Rutgers School of Public Health; Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Director, New Jersey State Cancer Registry

Research Interests
  • Cancer Surveillance Research
  • Cancer Health Disparities
  • Life course approach and geographic disparities in cancer risk and outcomes
  • Enhancing and retooling cancer surveillance systems
Sutton headshot
Amy J. Sutton, BA
CEO, Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey

Research Interests
  • CSCCNJ has developed a comprehensive research project to embed our unique approach to address psychosocial needs directly into clinical workflows and then measuring the impact of this support in terms of patient experience, health outcomes, and cost of care.
  • CSCCNJ is working with leaders across vulnerable communities, including Hispanic-Latinx, South Asian, Caribbean and African-American, Veteran, LGBT to bridge gaps and bring support to culturally diverse patients where they are.
  • CSCCNJ is integrating psychosocial support, evidence based nutrition education, and hands-on experiential learning into nutrition interventions.
Pamela Valera headshot
Pamela Valera, PhD, MSW
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Urban-Global Public Health, Rutgers School of Public Health

Research Interests
  • Cancer Education
  • Community-based participatory Research
  • Special Populations (Sexual and Gender Minority Populations, Criminial Justice Populations, People Living with HIV/AIDS)
  • Tobacco and Nicotine Dependence
Eileen White headshot
Eileen White, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Deputy Director, Chief Scientific Officer, Associate Director for Basic Research

Research Interests
  • Race-based cancer metabolism differences
  • Obesity and cancer
  • Breast cancer metabolism
Nur Zeinomar headshot
Nur Zeinomar, PhD, MPH
Instructor of Medicine, Cancer Epidemiology and Health Outcomes, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Research Interests
  • Breast cancer epidemiology
  • Molecular epidemiology, genetics, epigenetics
  • Gene-environment interaction
  • Modifiers of cancer risk including environmental factors and lifestyle factors
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cancer education and community translation