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Investigator Highlights

Dr. Melissa Marzan appointed as the Chief Epidemiologist at the Department of Health of Puerto Rico: Dr. Melissa Marzan was recently appointed as the Chief Epidemiologist at the Department of Health of Puerto Rico. Dr. Marzan has more than 13 years of public health experience, including a role in Puerto Rico's epidemiological response to HIV. Dr. Marzan is a co-leader of the Outreach Core and a project co-leader for the the Y09 - Y10 Pilot Research Project: Adaptation of an HPV education resource to promote HPV vaccination among unvaccinated Spanish language preferring YLMSM in Puerto Rico and Florida. Congratulations to Dr. Marzan! 

Welcome Community Health Educator!

Brenda I. Ramos González, MPHE has a master’s degree as a Public Health Educator, with a special interest in community outreach. Before joining the Partnership, Ms. Ramos worked at Susan G. Komen Puerto Rico as an Education and Banderas Programs Coordinator. As the Partnership’s Community Health Educator (CHE), Ms. Ramos works closely with the Outreach Core in the planning and implementation of community outreach and educational activities. She will contribute to the planning and evaluation of Partnership outreach efforts and research. Ms. Ramos’ efforts will focus on the Hispanic/Latino (H/L) communities in the Tampa Bay area as well as Southwestern Puerto Rico. She will also collaborate with the NCI’s National Outreach Network (NON) to develop and disseminate culturally appropriate, evidence-based cancer information that is tailored to the specific needs and expectations of the H/L communities.

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Grant Highlights

Dr. Brian González awarded first R01: Dr. Brian González was recently awarded $1,171,450 in direct costs over five years by NIH/NCI for his research project titled “Identifying and Reducing Disparities in Patient-Reported Outcomes Among African America Prostate Cancer Survivors." The peer-reviewed award is Dr. González’s first R01. The project proposes to reduce morbidity as related to health disparities in prostate cancer survivors by identifying and reducing disparities in symptom burden among African American prostate cancer survivors. This will be among the first and most comprehensive studies to compare symptom burden between African American and White prostate cancer survivors, and will be the first to examine genetic predictors of symptom burden in this population.

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Publication Highlights

Early Stage Investigators

Pérez-Morales J, Tunali I, Stringfield O, Eschrich SA, Balagurunathan Y, Gillies RJ, Schabath MB. Peritumoral and Intratumoral Radiomic Features Predict Survival Outcomes Among Patients Diagnosed in Lung Cancer Screening. Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 29;10(1):10528. PMID: 32601340.

González BD, Eisel SE, Qin B, Lllanos AAM, Savard J, Hoogland AI, Jim H, Lin Y, Demissie K, Hong CC, Bandera EV. Prevalence, risk factors, and trajectories of sleep disturbance in a cohort of African American breast cancer survivors. Support Care Cancer. 2020 Sep 29. [Online ahead of print].

Lee S, Mu C, González BD, Vinci CE, Small BJ. Sleep health is associated with next-day mindful attention in healthcare workers. Sleep Health. 2020 Oct 1;S2352-7218(20)30197-2. [Online ahead of print]. PMID: 33012668.

Oswald LB, Schumacher FA, González BD, Moss KA, Penson DF, Morgans AK. What Do Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer Consider When Making Treatment Decisions? A Mixed-methods Study. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2020 Oct 14;14:1949-1959. PMCID: PMC7569052.

Peres LC*, Bethea TN*, Camacho TF, Bandera EV, Beeghly-Fadiel A, Chyn DL, Harris HR, Joslin CE, Moorman PG, Myers E, Ochs-Balcom HM, Rosenow W, Setaiwan VW, Wu AH, Rosenberg L, Schildkraut JM. Racial differences in population attributable risk for epithelial ovarian cancer in the OCWAA Consortium. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2020 Nov 30;djaa188. [Online ahead of print].

Fusco MJ, Saeed-Vafa D, Carballido EM, Boyle TA, Malafa M, Blue KL, Teer JK, Walko CM, McLeod HL, Hicks JK, Extermann M, Fleming JB, Knepper TC, Kim DW. The Identification Targetable Gene Fusions and Structural Rearrangements to Foster Precision Medicine in KRAS Wild-Type Pancreatic Cancer. JCO Precision Oncology. [Accepted]

Hoogland AI, Jim HSL, González BD, Small BJ, Gilvary D, Breen EC, Bower J, Fishman M, Zachariah B, Jacobsen PB. Systemic inflammation and symptomatology in prostate cancer patients treated with androgen deprivation therapy: preliminary findings. Cancer. [In Press].

Full Project - Understanding how mitotic kinases drive EMT in breast cancers

Maan M, Agrawal NJ, Padmanabhan J, Leitzinger CC, Rivera-Rivera Y, Saavedra HI, Chellappan SP. Tank Binding Kinase 1 modulates spindle assembly checkpoint components to regulate mitosis in breast and lung cancer cells. BBA-Mol Cell Res. [Accepted December 7, 2020].

Research Education Core

Palm R, Martir D, Grass G, Welsh E, Eschrich S, Torres-Roca J, Wuthrick E, Ahmed K. Utilizing the Genomic Immune Profile to Predict Progression in Melanoma. IJROBP, 2020 Oct 1;108(2):E5-E6.

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Outreach Events

Ponce, PR Salud! Serie de Charlas: Nov. 2021

Tampa, FL Salud! Serie de Charlas: Feb. 8, 2022


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​Click here for the Fall 2021 Partnership Newsletter.

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