Holly Prigerson, Ph.D., DFCI
Director, Center for Psycho-oncology & Palliative Care Research; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Adan Colon-Carmona, Ph. D., UMass Boston
Associate Professor, Biology; UMass Boston
Andrew Grosovsky, Sc.D., UMass Boston
Dean, College of Science and Mathematics; UMass Boston
Christopher Lathan, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., DFCI
Instructor in Medicine, Adult Oncology; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Joan Becker, Ed.D., Ed.M., UMass Boston
Vice Provost, Academic Support Services; UMass Boston
Karen Burns White, M.S., DFCI
Deputy Associate Director, Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, Office of Research Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Holly Prigerson, Ph.D., DFCI
Director, Center for Psycho-oncology & Palliative Care Research; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Zong-Guo Xia, Ph.D., UMass Boston
Vice Provost, Research; UMass Boston
Lois Biener, Ph.D., UMass Boston
Study Director, Center for Survey Research; UMass Boston
Laura Hayman, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, UMass Boston
Associate Dean for Research, College of Nursing; UMass Boston
Dr. Holly G. Prigerson is director of the Center for Psycho-oncology and Palliative Care Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at HarvardMedical School. She was trained in psychosocial epidemiology as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale and ultimately became Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Epidemiology and Public Health there. She has served as PI on several NCI-, NIMH-, and NIA-funded multi-site prospective studies of ethnic/racial disparities in end-of-life care. She sits on numerous scientific advisory boards (e.g., DSM-5, Department of Defense, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Center for Palliative Care Research) and NIH study sections (e.g., Behavioral Medicine Interventions and Outcomes). Dr. Prigerson is the associate director of the Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities where she is actively involved in a project to define and measure cultural competency in cancer care and the development of a disparities research think tank. She received the Harvard Medical School A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2008 and has served on the Harvard Medical School Council of Mentors since 2009. She is particularly focused on promoting research and researchers in the area of racial/ethnic disparities in advanced cancer care.
Adan Colon-Carmona, Ph. D.
Dr. Adán Colón-Carmona is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His basic science research projects are focused on: understanding how plant growth is influenced by physical and chemical environments, the roles of the motor proteins kinesins in check-point control and organ development; and understanding bacterial-plant interactions in the root system. Dr. Colón-Carmona received his B.S. degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. He did his post-doctoral training on growth control and cell signaling at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of California, Davis.
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Andrew Grosovsky, Sc.D.
Dr. Andrew Grosovsky, is Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at UMass Boston. He has served in a leadership capacity on the U56 since he joined the University in 2007. He received his training in physiology and cancer biology from Harvard University. Prior to his appointment at UMB, Dean Grosovsky served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at the University of California Riverside and as a professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience. Dean Grosovsky’s research interests focus on the mechanisms of environmental carcinogenesis, with an emphasis on mutagenesis, recombination, and genomic instability in human cells. His research has been supported by major grants from NIH, US Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Dr. Grosovsky is an invested leader; skilled in creating and directing initiatives to improve retention and graduation rates among diverse undergraduate and graduate student populations and building opportunities for interdisciplinary research collaborations among faculty.
Christopher Lathan, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Dr. Christopher Lathan serves as Medical Oncologist and Faculty Director for Cancer Care Equity at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His area of clinical interest is thoracic oncology.His research investigates racial disparities in lung cancer treatment and diagnosis. His published work includes studies that discuss the role of patient perceptions, site of care, and access to care on receipt of surgery for lung cancer. Early studies suggested that African American patients obtained surgery less often than their White counterparts even when they underwent appropriate procedures for staging the cancer. Dr. Lathan believes the underpinnings of racial disparities are very complex and multifactorial, involving poverty, access to care, insurance, as well as patient and physician communication. By uncovering these specific elements, his work aims to improve trust, communication, referral to specialists, and quality of life for vulnerable patient populations with lung cancer.
Joan Becker, Ed.D., Ed.M.
Joan Becker is the Vice Provost for Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she provides leadership for Undergraduate Studies, the University Advising Center, Academic Support Programs, the Office of Career Services and Internships, the Ross Center for Disability Services, and Pre-collegiate and Educational Support Programs. She oversees 11 grant-funded programs which generate $4 million annually and are an important pipeline for low-income, first-generation students to pursue and successfully complete undergraduate and graduate education. Among the university committees she has served on are the University of Massachusetts Life Sciences Task Force and its workforce subcommittee, the Urban Health and Public Policy Research Cluster and STEM Learning Research Cluster Work Groups, and the University Research Council. She is currently chairing a university-wide committee charged with developing and implementing a plan to improve the university’s undergraduate graduation rates and is a member of the Strategic Planning Implementation Design Team. Becker represents Boston’s higher education institutions on the Success Boston Work Group and is a member of the Boston After School and Beyond Advisory Committee. She also is actively involved in state, regional, and national initiatives focused on advancing educational opportunities for low-income and minority youth.
Karen Burns White, M.S.
As Deputy Associate Director of the Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Karen Burns White coordinates the planning and implementation of the Center's efforts to increase minority participation at all levels of the Cancer Center activities. Ms. Burns White has co-led the implementation of an integrated structure that involves a multi-prong approach including community engagement, cultural competency, recruitment and retention of minority faculty and training. In 2002, Ms. Burns White secured the first training grant supplement to the existing P30 cancer center grant that established a pipeline program, known as the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE), to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in cutting-edge cancer research. This successful, high-profile program provides research opportunities at the undergraduate, pre- and postdoctoral, and faculty levels. Ms Burns White and her colleagues have strengthened the cancer center’s training portfolio by increasing both NIH and foundation funding to support student training initiatives and the number of students who have benefited by their CURE experiences. Ms Burns White is a servant leader in a variety of civic and community organizations. In 2007, Ms Burns White was asked to serve on the board and lead the grant-making program for the Susan G. Komen for the CURE – Massachusetts Affiliate. In June 2009 she was appointed to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Advisory Committee.
Zong-Guo Xia, PhD
Dr. Zong-Guo Xia is a Professor of the Department of Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences and the Vice Provost for Research & Strategic Initiatives at the UMass Boston. Prior to his current role, he served as the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies at UMass Dartmouth from 2008 to 2009, and Vice President for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer and the Chair of the Department of Environmental, Geographic and Geological Sciences at Lehman College of the City University of New York from 2003 to 2008. Over the years, he has also taught at Central South University, State University of New York at Albany, Hunter College, University of Cincinnati, Tufts University, Lehman College, and UMass Dartmouth. He was Co-Director of the Joint Center for GIS and Spatial Analysis at the University of Cincinnati from 1992 to 1993 and Director of the Geographic Information Technologies program at UMass Boston from 1993 to 2003. His teaching and research interests include computer cartography, remote sensing, digital image processing, database systems, environmental modeling, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and GIS-based policy analysis. He has completed about forty externally-sponsored research, education and professional service projects, published in refereed journals and conference proceedings, and supervised several dozen visiting scholars, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students.
Lois Biener, Ph.D.
Dr. Lois Biener, a Senior Research Fellow at the UMass Boston Center for Survey Research (CSR) since 1990, received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Columbia University. Prior to her tenure at CSR, she held faculty positions at UMass Boston, Wellesley College, and Brown University Medical School. Much of her research and writing has focused on the impact of media, marketing and policy interventions on the smoking behavior of adults and youth. Her current research, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is exploring the response of smokers to new smokeless tobacco products that were introduced in the U.S. in 2006. Dr. Biener has particular expertise in research methodology, and in the design and implementation of population surveys. She has served on federal advisory panels for major tobacco control interventions in the US and has provided expert assistance to the statewide programs in Massachusetts, California, Maine, New York, and Wisconsin. Dr. Biener has contributed to the design and evaluation of survey questions for a number of national surveys in the US, and has conducted original work on refining survey measures of awareness and response to new tobacco products coming into the market. In addition to the National Cancer Institute, her research on tobacco control has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Legacy Foundation.
Laura Hayman, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Dr. Laura Hayman’s program of research and scholarship focuses on prevention of obesity and cardiovascular disease in children, adolescents and families from diverse backgrounds. Her research and scholarship have centered on the role of health behavior in life course health promotion and disease prevention. Currently she is serving as co-principal investigator of a multidisciplinary intervention trial focused on change in cardiometabolic risk factors during an interactive fitness program in urban middle school children. Dr. Hayman has participated in development and implementation of evidence-based statements and clinical and public health guidelines issued by the American Heart Association and other child health expert panels focused on primary prevention of obesity and cardiovascular and cardiometabolic conditions. A past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Dr. Hayman currently serves on the Society’s Health Policy Committee. She has also served in leadership roles within the American Heart Association and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. In recognition of her collective interdisciplinary contributions to cardiovascular health promotion and risk reduction in children and adolescents, she was selected to receive the 2010 American Heart Association National Meritorious Achievement Award.