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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention
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.
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:
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.
Learn more about the Center for Community-Based Research
Gregory A. Abel, MD, MPHAssistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolHealth Services Research, Hematologic Oncology
Tracy Balboni, MD, MPHAssociate Professor in Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical SchoolOutcomes Research, Radiation Oncology, Palliative Care, Spirituality and Medicine
Kira Bona, MD, MPHInstructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical SchoolOutcomes Research, Palliative Care, Pediatric Hematologic Malignancies
Gabriel A. Brooks, MDInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolHealth Services Research, Gastrointestinal Cancer
Aileen B. Chen, MD, MPPAssistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical SchoolHealth Services Research, Thoracic Oncology, Radiation Oncology
Andrea C. Enzinger, MDInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolPalliative Care, End-of-life Communication, Gastrointestinal Cancer
Judy E. Garber, MD, MPHProfessor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolDirector, Center for Cancer Genetics and PreventionCancer Genetics and Prevention, Breast Oncology
Stacy W. Gray, MD, AMAssistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolOutcomes Research, Genomics, Health Communication, Thoracic Oncology
Michael Hassett, MD, MPHAssistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolHealth Services Research, Breast Oncology
Jennifer C. Kesselheim, MD, M.Ed, MBEAssistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical SchoolEthics, Medical Education, Pediatric Oncology, Hematologic Oncology
Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPHAssistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolCommunity-Based Research, Health Services Research, Thoracic Oncology
Ramona Lim, MDInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolCancer Genetics & Prevention, Gastroenterology
Jennifer W. Mack, MD, MPHAssistant Professor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical SchoolOutcomes Research, Palliative Care, Pediatric Oncology
Rinaa S. Punglia, MD, MPHAssociate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical SchoolHealth Services Research, Radiation Oncology, Breast Oncology
Huma Q. Rana, MDInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolClinical Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and PreventionCancer Genetics and Prevention, Geneticist
Deborah Schrag, MD, MPHProfessor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolChief, Division of Population Sciences, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteHealth Services Research, Gastrointestinal Cancer
Glorian C. Sorensen, PhD, MPHProfessor, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public HealthDirector, Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteCommunity-Based Research, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Sapna Syngal, MD, MPHProfessor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolDirector, Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics and Prevention ClinicCancer Genetics and Prevention, Gastrointestinal Cancer
Andy Tan, PhD, MPH, MBA, MBBSAssistant Professor, Division of Population Sciences, Center for Community-Based ResearchAssistant Professor, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Reginald Tucker-Seeley, ScD, ScM, MAAssistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/ Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public HealthCommunity-Based Research, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Christina K. Ullrich, MD, MPHAssistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical SchoolOutcomes Research, Palliative Care, Pediatric Oncology
Hajime Uno, PhDAssistant Professor, Harvard Medical SchoolBiostatistics, Health Services Research
K. "Vish" Viswanath, PhDProfessor of Health Communication, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public HealthDirector, Health Communication Core, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer CenterFaculty, Center for Community-Based Research, Population Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPHAssociate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical SchoolDivision Chief, Pediatric Palliative Care Service, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative CareQuality of Life, Pediatric Oncology, Palliative Care
Alexi Wright, MD, MPHAssistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolOutcomes Research, Gynecologic Oncology
Matthew B. Yurgelun, MDInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolCancer Genetics and Prevention, Gastrointestinal Cancer
Karen M. Emmons, PhDProfessor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public HealthVice President for Research and Director of Kaiser Foundation Research Institute
Deborah Schrag, MD, MPHChief, Division of Population Sciences617email@example.com
Judy E. Garber, MD, MPHDirector, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention617firstname.lastname@example.org
Glorian C. Sorensen, PhD, MPHDirector, Center for Community-Based Research617email@example.com
Betsy HoffmanDivision Administrator, Division of Population Sciences617firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorraine WallaceAssociate Director, Center for Community-Based Research617email@example.com
Jennifer WindSenior Research Project ManagerCenter for Outcomes and Policy Research617firstname.lastname@example.org
Eileen McDonaldAdministrative DirectorCenter for Cancer Genetics and Prevention617email@example.com
Nicole SantangeloLead Executive Administrative Assistant617firstname.lastname@example.org
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