Dr. Susan T. Vadaparampil

Dr. Susan T. Vadaparampil Named Moffitt Cancer Center’s Associate Center Director of Community Outreach & Engagement

Posted: December 28, 2018


CPFP alum Dr. Susan T. Vadaparampil has been appointed Associate Center Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at the NCI-designated Moffitt Cancer Center. In her new leadership role, Dr. Vadaparampil will focus her efforts on defining and characterizing Moffitt’s catchment area; engaging with key stakeholders to monitor and prioritize cancer-related research issues with a focus on health equity; facilitate research relevant to those Moffitt serves across scientific programs; accelerate the adoption of new clinical guidelines and evidence-based interventions; and monitor the impact of Moffitt’s activities on the community.

NCI Director Dr. Ned Sharpless recently classified the NCI Cancer Centers Program as an “important program that gives us a way to reach into the community and get information from the community that is very vital to the NCI.” As she strengthens partnerships between Moffitt and its surrounding catchment area, Dr. Vadaparampil is now poised to advance Director Sharpless’ vision for NCI’s Cancer Centers.

Dr. Vadaparampil’s time in the CPFP was essential in preparing her for this stage in her career. Vadaparampil emphasized, “I learned to be comfortable communicating across disciplines, the value of team science, and the need for every scientist, regardless of discipline, to consider how their research contributes to the ‘end game’ of cancer prevention and control research by making an impact on public health and/or clinical practice.”


Susan T. Vadaparampil, PhD, MPH
Alumna, 2000 CPFP Cohort


Drs. Joseph Shearer and Erik Willis

2018 TFRA Recipients: Drs. Joseph Shearer & Erik Willis

Posted: December 14, 2018


The 2018 Trans-Fellowship Research Award (TFRA) recipients are Drs. Joseph Shearer and Erik Willis. This award is specific to the CPFP, and only fellows can serve as Principal Investigators.  The TFRA is a competitive, one-year research award that is meant to foster creative team science approaches to advance the field of cancer prevention, while leveraging the unique diversity of CPFP fellows' scientific backgrounds.

They were awarded $15,000 for their project Physical activity and adiposity risk factors for the development of multiple myeloma in the UK biobank.

Dr. Shearer is a molecular epidemiologist, and Dr. Willis is an exercise physiologist by training. When asked why they decided to collaborate, Dr. Shearer noted, "We both shared a common research interest of studying modifiable risk factors such as obesity, but we approached it differently. The TFRA experience exemplifies the collaborative nature of the CPFP and provides the freedom to develop multidisciplinary projects that we might not have had the opportunity to explore in a traditional postdoctoral setting."


Joseph Shearer, PhD, MPH
Current Fellow, 2017 CPFP Cohort


Erik Willis, PhD, MPH
Current Fellow, 2016 CPFP Cohort


Dr. Tamara Litwin

Dr. Tamara Litwin Receives 2018 NCI Director's Intramural Innovation Award

Posted: November 27, 2018


Dr. Tamara Litwin is one of the recipients of the 2018 NCI Director's Intramural Innovation Award. This distinguished award is designed to support the development of highly innovative and novel approaches and technology aimed at significant cancer-related problems. The program offers one-time Career Development Awards that are targeted to postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists, and staff clinicians at all levels.  Dr. Litwin received $10,000 for her proposal, entitled Evaluation of Biomarkers for in-vivo Imaging-Based Detection of Cervical Precancers in Low-Resource Settings. Dr. Litwin commented, "The MPH obtained as part of the CPFP was critical for me to conduct this type of research and allowed me to frame the research questions." 


Tamara Litwin, PhD, MPH
Current Fellow, 2015 CPFP Cohort


Dr. Brittny Davis Lynn

Publication in Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) Examines Breast Cancer Incidence Trends by Ethnicity

Posted: February 1, 2019


In July 2018, CPFP Fellow Dr. Brittny Davis Lynn published an article in the JNCI titled “Black-White Breast Cancer Incidence Trends: Effects of Ethnicity.” The article examined breast cancer incidence trends among non-Hispanic white women, Hispanic white women, and non-Hispanic black women in the NCI SEER 13 Registries Database from 1990 through 2014. Davis Lynn and colleagues confirmed the convergence of incidence rates for blacks and whites, but when they analyzed incidence rates by Hispanic ethnicity, the pattern did not hold: incidence rates were highest among non-Hispanic whites, followed by non-Hispanic blacks, and then Hispanic whites.

When asked about the public health message of this research, Dr. Davis Lynn explained, “It is important to study racial/ethnic groups separately because they have different health behaviors and social experiences that affect their risk for disease—in this case, breast cancer incidence.”

Dr. Davis Lynn was previously recognized by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for her work on a similar topic. She was awarded an AACR Scholar-in-Training Award to attend the 2017 AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Dr. Davis Lynn received this travel award to present her abstract, “Current and future incidence rates of invasive breast cancer between Black and White women.”


Brittny Davis Lynn, PhD, MPH
Current Fellow, 2015 CPFP Cohort


Drs. Megan Clarke and Claire Meaney

2018 William G. Coleman Jr., Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award Recipients: Drs. Megan Clarke and Claire Meaney

Posted: February 1, 2019


CPFP Fellow Dr. Megan Clarke and CPFP alumna Dr. Claire Meaney were 2018 recipients of the prestigious William G. Coleman Jr., Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award.

The National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) established this competitive award to support innovative research that has the potential for high impact in any area of minority health and health disparities research. Dr. Anna Nápoles, Scientific Director at NIMHD applauded the efforts of the postdoctoral fellow, staff scientist, and staff clinician award recipients: “The work of these researchers will help us move toward championing our mission of improving minority health and reducing health disparities. These projects hold promise of a better understanding of some of the significant health differences which exist within underrepresented race/ethnic groups.”

Drs. Clarke and Meaney, two of the five award recipients, each received this $15,000 research award to study key determinants of health inequities and advance scientific knowledge within the field. Dr. Clarke’s project “Evaluating the associations of symptom appraisal and barriers to care with endometrial cancer presentation and outcomes in a diverse population” and Dr. Meaney’s project “Inflammation-Based markers of lung cancer risk and survival in African Americans” were both recognized in June 2018.


Megan Clarke, PhD, MHS
Current Fellow, 2016 CPFP Cohort


Claire Meaney, PhD, MPH
Alumna, 2015 CPFP Cohort

Dr. Elizabeth Salerno

Dr. Elizabeth Salerno Receives National Recognition for Study: “Dose-Response Effects of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Cognitive Function in Breast Cancer Survivors”

Posted: February 1, 2019


CPFP Fellow, Dr. Elizabeth Salerno, received meritorious abstract and citation awards from the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) during their 39th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions in April 2018. Dr. Salerno received these awards for her abstract titled, “Dose-Response Effects of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Cognitive Function in Breast Cancer Survivors,” which was also featured as a press release to leading media outlets during the meeting.

Cancer survivors often experience cognitive problems, including poor memory, loss of concentration, slower processing of information, and reduced executive function. Dr. Salerno’s study, conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, explored the effects of exercise on cognitive function in breast cancer survivors. Using a sample of 48 breast cancer survivors, she and her colleagues administered a battery of cognitive tasks before and after different durations of exercise and sitting. The results showed that women either maintained or improved their performance on the cognitive tasks after some level of exercise, compared to poorer performance after sitting.

Dr. Salerno highlighted the impact of this study on populations of breast cancer survivors: “Cancer survivors tend to score worse on a wide variety of cognitive functioning tasks compared to people without cancer. These findings suggest that walking for 20-30 minutes may help breast cancer survivors maintain or improve their cognitive function. We know that exercise protects against a host of diseases already, and moderate exercise may also help breast cancer survivors protect their cognitive functioning.”


Elizabeth Salerno, PhD, MPH
Current Fellow, 2017 CPFP Cohort