February 12, 2014

The University of Maryland School of Public Health is a partner in a new research program in Cancer Control and Population Sciences established by the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. The program is focused on issues of cancer epidemiology, behavioral science, and health disparities and will be led jointly by Dr. Cheryl Holt, Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health (University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park) and Dr. Joanne Dorgan, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore).

Dr. Holt is known for her leadership of the CHAMP Health cancer education projects, which include the M-PACT (Men's Prostate Awareness Church Training) program and Project HEAL (Health through Early Awareness and Learning). Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, M-PACT is a faith-based intervention program designed to increase African American men's informed decision making about prostate cancer screening. Project HEAL, also a long-term intervention program, is supported by the National Cancer Institute and aims to increase screening for breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer through African American faith-based settings. These programs have already been effective in increasing knowledge about cancer, cancer screening behaviors, and perceived benefits of screening.

The new Population Science Program is the result of a multi-year strategic effort led by Dr. William Blattner, Associate Director for Population Science at the Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health ((University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore); and Dr. Mei-Ling Ting Lee, Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Director, Biostatistics and Risk Assessment, (University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park). It will enhance the Cancer Center's efforts in epidemiology and behavioral science and will coordinate cancer research efforts on the University of Maryland Baltimore and College Park campuses. The new program will bring together investigators with a range of expertise including cancer disparities, tobacco control, molecular epidemiology, genetics and genomics of pain, as well as other disciplines. The initiative is also expected to push the Greenebaum Cancer Center forward in its efforts to achieve NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center designation when the Cancer Center Support Gant (P30) is renewed in 2016.

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Cheryl L. Knott, Mei-Ling Ting Lee