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Healthy & At-Risk Populations Program



Roshan Bastani

 Beth Glenn

 May Wang

Roshan Bastani, Ph.D.
Director

Beth Glenn, Ph.D.
Co-Director

May Wang, DR.P.H.
Co-Director

Overview:

The Healthy and At-Risk Populations Program focuses on the prevention and early detection of cancer and on applying new findings in the basic biologic and behavioral sciences to intervention research with clinical and community populations. The program’s research portfolio encompasses a broad range of studies including: investigations in tobacco control; the role of dietary patterns and consumption of specific nutrients and bioactive compounds in cancer causation; nutrition and physical activity promotion; breast, cervix, prostate, and colorectal cancer screening; control of vaccine preventable cancers (liver, cervix); and interests in economic and community level factors as predictors of cancer-related outcomes. A major focus of the program is to bring cancer prevention and control to low-income, minority and underserved populations in an effort to reduce cancer-related disparities.

Goals:

  • Reduce the cancer burden in the population at large by promoting widespread adoption of known and effective cancer prevention and control technologies. Examples include: tobacco control, healthful eating and physical activity and early detection via screening (e.g., mammography, colonoscopy).
  • Address cancer disparities by focusing on the excess cancer burden among low-income, minority and other socially and medically underserved populations.
  • Foster new discoveries in cancer causes, for example by investigating food intake patterns and food sources of nutrients for cancer risk.
  • Understand the role of economic and societal level factors in cancer protective behaviors and cancer outcomes.

Meetings and Events:

  • Annual Minorities and Cancer Symposium
  • Monthly Seminar Series, held jointly with the Patients and Survivors and Molecular Epidemiology and Carcinogenesis programs
  • Monthly tea for program area members and staff of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research
  • Annual retreat with Patients and Survivors and Molecular Epidemiology and Carcinogenesis programs
  • Tobacco Working Group quarterly meetings
  • Workshops and symposia jointly organized with School of Public Health
  • Postdoctoral fellows' weekly journal club

Leadership:

Director Dr. Roshan Bastani, the Healthy and At-Risk Populations Program Director, is a professor and associate dean for research in the UCLA School of Public Health, and Co-Director of its Center to Eliminate Health Disparities. Bastani is a nationally recognized leader in the area of cancer disparities research. She studies access to health care in low income and ethnic minority populations with special emphasis on the community, organizational and individual determinants of cancer-related health practices. Over the past two decades, she has conducted numerous community-based intervention trials designed to rigorously test the most effective and efficient strategies to promote the uptake of proven cancer control practices and technologies. She leads an National Cancer Institute (NCI)/Center for Disease Control (CDC) funded Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network and co-leads a CDC funded Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities. She is currently conducting a randomized trial to increase Hepatitis B testing among Koreans and an experiment to increase informed decision-making regarding prostate cancer among Latino men.

Co-Director Dr. Beth Glenn is an assistant professor of health services in the UCLA School of Public Health. Her main research interests are in the area of cancer prevention and control among ethnic minority and underserved populations. Glenn serves as an investigator on a number of ongoing projects, including a CDC-funded project aimed at facilitating community-based cancer control research in Los Angeles County and nationally, a NIH-funded liver cancer prevention intervention conducted in Korean churches, a NIH funded obesity control intervention at worksites, and a CDC-funded project aimed at disseminating evidence-based strategies to integrate physical activity and healthy nutrition into organizational routine. She has also led a number of studies including a series of projects focused on breast cancer among South Asian women, a qualitative study aimed at understanding perceived benefits and barriers to genetic evaluation and testing for breast cancer risk among minority women, and a survey assessing skin cancer prevention strategies among a statewide sample of children at increased risk for melanoma due to family history. In addition to her research activities, Glenn, a licensed psychologist, has served as a clinical consultant for the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.

Co-Director Dr. May Wang is an associate professor in residence in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health. Her research focus is in the social, cultural and environmental determinants of nutrition, as well as pediatric obesity and bone health.

Last updated: 10/17/2014 11:37:48 AM