My primary responsibilities include pursuing individual and collaborative research in human papillomavirus (HPV), HPV-associated cancers, and in cancer disparities; as well as providing education and mentoring to medical students, residents and fellows.
I received both my bachelors (Computer Information Systems) and masters (Healthcare Management) in Minnesota. Whiles working on my masters, I worked for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Even though my job was more analytical, I was fortunate to work with a lot of physicians and researchers and that is where I developed a love for research. So I left Mayo Clinic to purse a PhD at Saint Louis University where I obtained my PhD in health outcomes research. I joined the Department of Population Science and Policy in fall of 2018.
My work during PhD education focused on head and neck cancer prevention and survivorship improvement. My research 1) elucidated the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations in preventing oropharyngeal cancer, 2) promoted increased in knowledge about HPV, the HPV vaccine, and the association between HPV and head and neck cancer, and 3) described cancer survivorship and outcomes such as cancer-related health disparities. My goal is to help prevent and reduce HPV-associated cancers through the HPV vaccine and to help improve survivorship outcomes among cancer survivors. In the future, I seek to understand factors associated with HPV knowledge and vaccine uptake and develop interventions to improve HPV vaccine uptake especially in Central and Southern Illinois. In addition, my research will focus on improving survivorship among cancer patients by evaluating the risks of developing second primary cancers, which are a leading cause of death in cancer patients as well as accessing the effects of social support on survival among cancer patients.