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  • Integrative Research Centers

    McGraw/Patterson Center for Population Sciences

    Faculty in the McGraw/Patterson Division of Population Sciences conduct a wide range of research projects that aim to reduce health disparities, promote healthy behaviors, promote best practices in health communication, manage genetic cancer risk and susceptibility, design effective and efficient cancer care delivery systems, and optimize care quality. Investigators focus on three main areas of research: 1) health communications and community-based health; 2) genetic risk of cancer; and 3) health services research.

    About the Division of Population Sciences

    researchers in the Division of Population SciencesResearchers in the Division of Population Sciences include (left to right): Hajime Uno, PhD; Alexi Wright, MD, MPH; Rinaa S. Punglia, MD, MPH; Aileen B. Chen, MD, MPP; Christina K. Ullrich, MD, MPH; and Michael Hassett, MD, MPH.

    Adjacent to the campus of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the Division of Population Sciences investigators collaborate with laboratory scientists and clinical researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), and investigators around the world. Training the next generation of cancer-focused population scientists is a core part of our mission. Through these collaborative efforts, population scientists work together toward a shared goal — finding and validating innovative ways to reduce the burden of cancer. The Division thrives as a cornerstone of Dana-Farber's commitment to cancer control research.

    The Division of Population Sciences is comprised of three core centers: the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, the Center for Outcomes and Policy Research, and the Center for Community-Based Research. Our Population Sciences faculty work together across these three centers on interrelated projects and initiatives.

    Division of Population Sciences Centers

    The three core centers that comprise the Division of Population Sciences are: the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention; the Center for Outcomes and Policy Research; and the Center for Community-Based Research.

    Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention

    Cancer Genetics and Prevention Research Program

    Judy Garber, MD, MPHJudy Garber, MD, MPH

    Investigators in the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, led by Judy Garber, MD, MPH, are focused on understanding the role of germline mutations in contributing to cancer risk, prognosis, and response to treatment. Researchers have pioneered ways to identify and treat patients with BRCA-associated breast cancer, Lynch syndrome-associated colorectal cancer, Li Fraumeni Syndrome, as well as many other familial cancer syndromes. Key research relates to the development of strategies to identify families with inherited cancer susceptibility and ways to help them to mitigate risk. An emerging set of projects evaluates treatment strategies that are tailored to the distinct biology of cancers that arise in the setting of germline mutations. Researchers collaborate with local, national, and international investigators and lead large multi-site collaborations aimed at decreasing the burden of cancer driven by heritable risk.

    Cancer Genetics and Prevention Clinical Program

    The Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention includes a remarkable team of medical and surgical oncologists, gastroenterologists, geneticists, genetic counselors, gynecologists, and nurses who provide leading edge cancer risk assessment and comprehensive recommendations for managing cancer risk. We partner with clinicians from diverse specialties, offering cancer risk assessment, genetic counseling and testing, and continuing educational resources in the complex and dynamic field of cancer genetics.

    We work in collaboration with patients and their providers to offer our expertise in the assessment and management of all forms of inherited cancer syndromes. In addition, our team is prepared to assist with the introduction of newer genetic testing methods and the germline aspects of personalized cancer medicine.

    Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention

    Sapna Syngal, MD, MPH
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics and Prevention Clinic
    Director of Research, Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Timothy Rebbeck, PhD
    Professor, Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    Professor, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    Matthew B. Yurgelun, MD
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

    Learn more about the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention

    Center for Outcomes and Policy Research

    Deborah Schrag, MD, MPHDeborah Schrag, MD, MPH

    Researchers at the Division of Population Science's Center for Outcomes and Policy Research, founded in 1995 by Jane Weeks, MD, MSc, and led by Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH, aim to enhance the outcomes of interventions to prevent and treat cancer from both efficacy and cost-effectiveness perspectives. Investigations focus on optimizing the patient experience by ensuring that clinical and societal resources from interventions to services are utilized in the best possible way. By identifying determinants of the quality of care patients receive, investigators can work toward eliminating barriers to optimal care and translate their findings and programs on a large scale.

    Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Chief, Division of Population Sciences, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    Gregory A. Abel, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School

    Aileen B. Chen, MD, MPP
    Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School

    Michael Hassett, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

    Jennifer C. Kesselheim, MD, MEd, MBE
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

    Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

    Jennifer W. Mack, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

    Rinaa S. Punglia, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School

    Alexi Wright, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

    Hajime Uno, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

    Center for Community-Based Research

    The Center for Community-Based Research, led by Glorian Sorensen, PhD, MPH, is committed to reducing cancer risk and minimizing disparities in cancer risk. The research aims to:

    Glorian Sorensen, PhD, MPHGlorian Sorensen, PhD, MPH
    • promote behaviors that reduce cancer risk
    • reduce potential exposures that increase cancer risk
    • modify social policies to reduce cancer risk
    • increase access to and comprehension of cancer risk information.

    Center investigators also seek to improve the efficacy of cancer prevention communications. These community-based research efforts embed cancer prevention interventions within the social context in which people live and work, and pay particular attention to disparities in cancer outcomes.

    Glorian C. Sorensen, PhD, MPH
    Professor, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    Director, Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Institute

    K. "Vish" Viswanath, PhD
    Professor of Health Communication, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    Director, Health Communication Core, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
    Faculty, Center for Community-Based Research, Population Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    Andy Tan, PhD, MPH, MBA, MBBS
    Assistant Professor, Division of Population Sciences, Center for Community-Based Research
    Assistant Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

    Reginald Tucker-Seeley, Scd, ScM, MA
    Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

    Learn more about the Center for Community-Based Research

    Division of Population Sciences Faculty

    Gregory A. Abel, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Health Services Research, Hematologic Oncology

    Kira Bona, MD, MPH
    Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Outcomes Research, Palliative Care, Pediatric Hematologic Malignancies

    Aileen B. Chen, MD, MPP
    Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
    Health Services Research, Thoracic Oncology, Radiation Oncology

    Andrea C. Enzinger, MD
    Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Palliative Care, End-of-life Communication, Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention
    Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Breast Oncology

    Katie Greenzang, MD, MEd
    Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Outcomes Research, Pediatric Oncology, Medical Education

    Michael Hassett, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Health Services Research, Breast Oncology

    Junne Kamihara, MD, PhD
    Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Pediatric Oncology

    Jennifer C. Kesselheim, MD, M.Ed, MBE
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Ethics, Medical Education, Pediatric Oncology, Hematologic Oncology

    Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Community-Based Research, Health Services Research, Thoracic Oncology

    Ramona Lim, MD
    Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Cancer Genetics & Prevention, Gastroenterology

    Jennifer W. Mack, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Outcomes Research, Palliative Care, Pediatric Oncology

    Jonathan Marron, MD
    Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Ethics, Health Services Research, Genomics, Pediatric Oncology

    Oreofe Odejide, MD
    Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Health Services Research, Hematologic Oncology

    Rinaa S. Punglia, MD, MPH
    Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
    Health Services Research, Radiation Oncology, Breast Oncology

    Huma Q. Rana, MD
    Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Clinical Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention
    Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Geneticist

    Timothy Rebbeck, PhD
    Professor, Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    Professor, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Molecular epidemiology, health disparities, global health

    Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Chief, Division of Population Sciences, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Health Services Research, Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Glorian C. Sorensen, PhD, MPH
    Professor, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health
    Director, Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Community-Based Research, Social and Behavioral Sciences

    Sapna Syngal, MD, MPH
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics and Prevention Clinic
    Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Andy Tan, PhD, MPH, MBA, MBBS
    Assistant Professor, Division of Population Sciences, Center for Community-Based Research
    Assistant Professor, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

    Reginald Tucker-Seeley, ScD, ScM, MA
    Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
    Community-Based Research, Social and Behavioral Sciences

    Hajime Uno, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
    Biostatistics, Health Services Research

    K. "Vish" Viswanath, PhD
    Professor of Health Communication, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
    Director, Health Communication Core, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
    Faculty, Center for Community-Based Research, Population Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    Alexi Wright, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Outcomes Research, Gynecologic Oncology

    Matthew B. Yurgelun, MD
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Research Scientists

    Eve Nagler, PhD
    Senior Scientist, Center for Community-Based Research

    Deborah McLellan, MHS
    Senior Scientist, Center for Community-Based Research

    Sloane Furniss, PhD
    Research Scientist, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention

    Shoba Ramanadhan, ScD
    Senior Scientist, Center for Community-Based Research

    Daniel Gundersen, PhD
    Senior Scientist, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Data and Survey Core

    Affiliated Faculty

    Karen M. Emmons, PhD
    Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

    Research Support

    The following Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) core facilities provide research services to investigators in the Division of Population Sciences and throughout the DF/HCC institutions.

    Health Communication Core (HCC)

    K. "Vish" Viswanath, PhD, Director
    Catherine Coleman, Assistant Director

    The Health Communication Core (HCC) offers professional creative services to researchers, clinicians, and health leaders across the United States and internationally. HCC combines evidence-based practice with communication expertise to develop strategies and materials that are targeted and cost-effective. HCC was founded by researchers in the Center for Community-Based Research at Dana-Farber, and is a shared resource of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. HCC operates under the direction of K. "Vish" Viswanath, PhD, Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and in the Dana-Farber's McGraw-Patterson Center for Population Sciences.

    HCC offers a full spectrum of evidence-based communication services and in-depth knowledge of health issues. The Core's members have extensive experience meeting the informational needs of diverse populations, including researchers, healthcare professionals, patients, and the general public. 

    Learn more about the Health Communication Core.

    Survey and Data Management Core (SDMC)

    Wendy London, PhD, Director
    Carol Lowenstein, Associate Director

    The Survey and Data Management Core (SDMC) provides high quality survey, qualitative, and data management research support to investigators conducting observational, behavioral, and clinical outcomes studies. Housed within the Division of Population Sciences at Dana-Farber, SDMC is dedicated to rigorous quantitative and qualitative data collection and management.

    SDMC's experienced staff has a wide range of behavioral and social science experience, along with the expertise and capabilities to ensure that studies are designed and implemented using evidence-based methods and contemporary best practices for survey data collection, qualitative data collection, database design, and project management systems.

    SDMC has extensive experience working with underserved patient and community populations in both pediatric and adult settings, and is uniquely positioned to assist its users to understand or intervene with underserved groups.

    Tailored to the individual needs of each project, the SDMC Core offers a full range of consultation and technical services to support data collection and management needs, from initial conception to final analysis. Many of the projects undertaken by the Core involve multiple services. SDMC staff manages the coordination of services to ensure the successful fielding of survey operations and qualitative data collection, while minimizing demands on the investigator and his or her project team.

    Learn more about the Survey and Data Management Core.

    Germline Genetics Core (DGGC)

    Matthew Freedman, MD, Director
    Michaela Bowden, Lead Scientist

    The completion of the human genome project has ushered in an era of intense genetic investigation to unravel the genetic causes of human traits. Dana-Farber's Germline Genetics Core (DGGC) is a centralized repository created to enable investigators to store and access clinically annotated germline samples, as well as to plan and execute genetic association studies. We envision that the study of germline genetics will inform personalized cancer medicine through increasing the understanding of cancer susceptibility, response to treatment, and treatment toxicity.

    Business contacts

    Betsy Hoffman
    Division Administrator
    617-632-6769
    betsy_hoffman@dfci.harvard.edu

    Gail Dudley
    Department Grants Management Specialist
    617-632-2192
    gail_dudley@dfci.harvard.edu

    Leah Gibbons
    Program Manager, Cantor Center
    Division of Population Sciences, Department Grants Management Specialist
    617-632-5719
    leah_gibbons@dfci.harvard.edu

    Amy Hayward
    Department Grants Management Specialist
    617-632-5485
    amy_hayward@dfci.harvard.edu

    Jennifer Riconda
    Department Grants Management Specialist
    617-632-5410
    jennifer_riconda@dfci.harvard.edu

    Contact Information

    Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH
    Chief, Division of Population Sciences
    617-582-8301
    deb_schrag@dfci.harvard.edu

    Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH
    Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention
    617-632-2282
    judy_garber@dfci.harvard.edu

    Glorian C. Sorensen, PhD, MPH
    Director, Center for Community-Based Research
    617-632-2183
    glorian_sorensen@dfci.harvard.edu

    Betsy Hoffman
    Division Administrator, Division of Population Sciences
    617-632-6769
    betsy_hoffman@dfci.harvard.edu

    Lorraine Wallace
    Associate Director, Center for Community-Based Research
    617-632-5037
    lorraine_wallace@dfci.harvard.edu

    Jennifer Wind
    Senior Research Project Manager
    Center for Outcomes and Policy Research
    617-582-7238
    jennifer_wind@dfci.harvard.edu

    Eileen McDonald
    Administrative Director
    Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention
    617-632-2359
    eileenf_mcdonald@dfci.harvard.edu

    Nicole Santangelo
    Lead Executive Administrative Assistant
    617-632-6622
    nicole_santangelo@dfci.harvard.edu

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