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Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in
Cancer Prevention and Control

The Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control is an NCI-funded T32 postdoctoral program that will equip participants to work at the interface between behavioral and social science, technology, clinical oncology and cancer biology. The program will provide an immersion in 1) the fundamentals of cancer biology and clinical oncology, 2) theory-based, technology-supported behavioral interventions, 3) outcomes science and measurement, and 4) community engagement strategies, all as applied to cancer prevention, control, and survivorship. The two year training program will consist of research, educational, and career development components and will prepare participants for academic and related careers. Participants will have the opportunity to enroll in one of four relevant Master’s degree programs: an MPH, an MS in Clinical Investigation, an MS in Health Sciences and Outcomes Research, or an MS in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

In addition to the Lurie Cancer Center, Northwestern University’s Department of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Institute for Public Health and Medicine Center for Behavior and Health, Cancer Survivorship Institute, and Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies all provide resources for the training program.

Program Director for Cancer Prevention: Bonnie Spring, PhD (Contact PI), Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, bspring@northwestern.edu

Program Director for Cancer Control and Survivorship: Frank Penedo, PhD (MPI), Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, fpenedo@northwestern.edu

Program Assistant: Ana Vallecillos, ana.vallecillos1@northwestern.edu, 312.503.6522

Research Mentors

bilimoria,karl
Karl Bilimoria, MD
Assistant Professor
Surgery

Assessment of surgical outcomes, quality of cancer care

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cameron,kenzie
Kenzie Cameron, PhD, MPH
Research Associate Professor
Medicine

Communication-based health interventions

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cella,david
David Cella, PhD
Professor and Chair
Medical Social Sciences

Outcomes and measurement sciences, quality of life (QOL) assessments, health disparities

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garcia,sofia
Sofia Garcia, PhD
Assistant Professor
Medical Social Sciences

Assessment and management of post-treatment symptoms, health literacy

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hahn,elizabeth
Elizabeth Hahn, MA
Associate Professor
Medical Social Sciences

Health literacy, health disparities, health information technologies

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hitsman,brian
Brian Hitsman, PhD
Assistant Professor
Preventive Medicine

Causes and treatments of tobacco dependence

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hou,lifang
Lifang Hou, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Preventive Medicine

Molecular markers of cancer risk and environmental exposure

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khan,seema
Seema Khan, MD, MD
Professor
Surgery

Cancer prevention clinical trials, breast cancer prevention strategies

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lai,jinshei
Jin-Shei Lai, PhD
Professor
Medical Social Sciences

Psychometrics, health-related QOL assessments

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mohr,david
David Mohr, PhD
Professor
Preventive Medicine

Behavior intervention technologies, psychosocial distress in cancer patients

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moskowitz,judy
Judy Moskowitz, PhD
Professor
Medical Social Sciences

Adaptive role of positive emotion regulation

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penedo,frank
Frank Penedo, PhD
Professor
Medical Social Sciences

Psychosocial, sociocultural, and biobehavioral aspects of cancer survivorship

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phillips,siobhan
Siobhan M Phillips, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine

Physical activity interventions in cancer survivors

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robinson,june
June Robinson, MD
Research Professor
Dermatology

Skin cancer prevention

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siddique,juned
Juned Siddique, DrPH
Associate Professor
Preventive Medicine

Measurement error in diet and activity interventions

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simon,melissa
Melissa Simon, MD
Professor
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Cancer health disparities, community-based participatory research

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spring,bonnie
Bonnie Spring, PhD
Professor
Preventive Medicine

Theory-based technology-supported interventions to alter cancer risk behaviors

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vanhorn,linda
Linda Van Horn, PhD
Professor
Preventive Medicine

Nutritional assessments, dietary interventions

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victorson,david
David Victorson, PhD
Associate Professor
Professor, Medical Social Sciences

Psychosocial, bio-behavioral and mind-body approaches to improve QOL in cancer patients

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wang,lei
Lei Wang, PhD
Assistant Professor
Radiology

Imaging correlates of treatment-related impairment of cognitive function

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wolf,michael
Michael Wolf, PhD

Professor
Medicine
Health impairments due to low literacy, remedial strategies

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woodruff,teresa
Teresa Woodruff, PhD
Professor
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Treatment-related fertility impairments

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wu,lisa
Lisa M Wu, PhD
Assistant Professor
Medical Social Sciences

Quality of life and cognitive impairment in cancer survivors

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yanez,betina
Betina R Yanez, PhD
Assistant Professor
Medical Social Sciences

Patient-centered precision oncology

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Qualified PhDs and MDs are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Please send cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement describing research interests and experience, and at least one letter of recommendation to: Bonnie Spring, PhD, bspring@northwestern.edu

Current Trainees

Whitney Welch, PhD Whitney Welch, PhD

Whitney Welch, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the NCI-funded T32 Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Welch’s research focuses on physical activity and public health, with specific interest in measurement of physical activity, determinants of physical activity and health, and strategies to increase physical activity in adults and older adults. Through collaboration with her primary, Siobhan Phillips PhD MPH, and secondary mentor, Juned Siddique DrPH, Whitney has continued her work in the measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviors in the breast cancer population, across physical activity interventions, and in the development of a context specific smart watch/mobile application EMA sensing system that identifies and prompts reduction of sedentary behaviors. Other projects include applying advanced statistical analyses to explore determinants of physical activity behaviors including identifying moderators to physical activity outcomes across a health behavior intervention in adults and the substitution of physical activity and sedentary behaviors with quality of life outcomes in breast cancer survivors. Finally, she is currently completing a pilot study, using a multi-phase optimization strategy design, to identify essential components to decrease sedentary behavior in breast cancer survivors.

Rina S. Fox, PhD, MPH Rina S. Fox, PhD, MPH

Rina S. Fox, PhD, MPH is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the NCI-funded T32 Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Fox's primary research interests are focused on developing and evaluating interventions to promote health related quality of life among cancer survivors. She is particularly interested in the role of sleep within in the context of chronic illness. She is currently working with Dr. Frank Penedo (primary mentor) and Dr. Lisa Wu (secondary mentor) on projects evaluating novel behavioral interventions, as well as technological adaptations of established cognitive behavioral and stress management interventions, to diminish symptom burden among cancer survivors. She is also working on analyses to better understand psychosocial mechanisms underlying chronic illness among Hispanics/Latinos as part of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Dr. Fox received a BA in Psychology and Spanish from Tufts University in 2007, and an MPH in Epidemiology from the San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship in Health Psychology at Rush University Medical Center, and received a PhD in Clinical Psychology (Behavioral Medicine specialization) from the San Diego State University / University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology in 2016.

Patricia Moreno, PhD Patricia Moreno, PhD

Patricia Moreno, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the NCI-funded T32 Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Moreno's primary research interests are resilience, emotion regulation, and disparities in the context of cancer, as well as psychoneuroimmunology and pathways by which psychosocial factors influence stress biology. Her current research at Northwestern focuses on a) tailoring interventions that maximize wellbeing and psychological adjustment in individuals facing cancer, particularly those with advanced or metastatic disease, b) examining cardiometabolic health risk in cancer survivors, and c) identifying modifiable factors that can be targeted to reduce disparities and improve wellbeing in Latino cancer survivors.

Elizabeth L. Addington, PhD Elizabeth L. Addington, PhD

Elizabeth L. Addington, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the NCI-funded T32 Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Addington's focuse is on decreasing symptom burden and improving wellbeing in adult cancer survivors. She is particularly interested in positive psychological outcomes and their relationship with physical health, as well as yoga and mindfulness-based interventions and the mechanisms by which they are effective. Together with her mentors David Victorson, PhD and Judith T. Moskowitz, PhD, MPH, she works on several projects that examine health outcomes associated with positive affect and posttraumatic growth, resolution of inflammation in response to yoga, barriers to participation in integrative interventions, and eHealth adaptations and community-engaged research to increase access to evidence-based tools for coping and symptom management.

Tammy Stump Tammy Stump, PhD

Tammy Stump is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the NCI-funded T32 Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Stump earned her PhD in social psychology at the University of Utah, where her work focused on the self-regulation of health behavior, especially among individuals with a high risk of skin cancer. Currently, she is working with Bonnie Spring (primary mentor) and June Robinson (secondary mentor) on projects involving multiple health behavior change and the use of technology in interventions. Tammy is currently completing a focus group study with melanoma survivors to examine barriers, facilitators, and intervention preferences related to physical activity and sun protection. She is also collaborating on pilot work on the use of newly developed UV sensors as a research and feedback tool among melanoma survivors. Other projects including a secondary data analysis of mechanisms of change during a technology-assisted healthy lifestyle intervention as well as development of protocols for testing the validity of new passive sensors of physical activity and dietary intake.

Marcia M. Tan, PhD, MPH Marcia M. Tan, PhD, MPH

Marcia M. Tan, PhD, MPH is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the NCI-funded T32 Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her professional goal is to help eliminate health disparities among minority and underserved populations through addressing behavioral risk factors of chronic disease; specifically, her research interests include smoking cessation and weight management among low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations, and understanding how biopsychosocial factors influence cessation and weight outcomes. She is currently working with her primary mentor, Dr. Brian Hitsman, in partnership with the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago to conduct a project aimed to develop condensed trainings of a tobacco cessation curriculum for community health workers who work directly with individuals who have a high prevalence of tobacco use. The project is part of the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative (CHEC) Choose to Change community outreach initiative to disseminate tobacco cessation interventions to underserved communities. In collaboration with her secondary mentor, Dr. Bonnie Spring, she is also conducting a project to examine the interactive effect of race/ethnicity and smoking status on weight in a community sample of state quitline callers. Dr. Tan received a BS in Psychology from the University of Alabama in 2007, and an MPH in Epidemiology from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in 2010. She earned her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Miami, completing a predoctoral clinical internship in health psychology at Miami VA Hospital in 2016.