Cancer Control & Population Health

UVA Cancer Center catchment area map

The Cancer Control and Population Health (CCPH) program promotes population health sciences research focused on cancer prevention, access to optimal and effective treatment, and support of cancer survivors. The three overall aims of the CCPH program are to:

  1. Identify molecular, genetic, environmental, or behavioral factors related to cancer risk
  2. Create and implement strategies to reduce cancer risk in our communities
  3. Develop and test methods that can support cancer survivors and reduce cancer burden

Across these aims, the CCPH program is focused on research that highlights health disparities in cancer care and rural access to cancer care, particularly in rural Appalachia. Additionally, the Cancer Center Without Walls (CCWW) research program comprises a novel UVA initiative to reach patients across Virginia to provide quality cancer care and to reduce cancer burden across the state. The CCPH program utilizes the Cancer Control Core and Community  Engagement and Outreach in addressing these research goals.

The Cancer Control Core (CCC) is the primary resource by which CCPH supports its research efforts. Established in 2014, the CCC has been led by Dr. Rajesh Balkrishnan to support population-based cancer control research at UVA. The Core provides expert advice and support in three areas: community-based research support, data services, and study design and measure development. 

The Cancer Center’s Community Outreach and Engagement team provides community cancer resources and also assists with and promotes CCPH population research. This team provides community cancer education and service programs and activities aimed at promoting cancer prevention and survivor support. Through the CCC, Outreach and Engagement supports researchers by serving as a liaison with community partners to promote, recruit, and assist with research studies.

CCPH is led by Roger Anderson, PhD and Wendy Cohn, PhD. The program is represented by a wide variety of research interests and expertise across the Cancer Center and UVA Health System.

Read more about program members and their research interests.


2018 CCPH Research Symposium: Health Disparities in Cancer Genetics, Treatment & Survivorship

Friday, December 14

Pinn Hall Conference Center Auditorium

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

Join us for our annual research symposium, a great opportunity to share new and innovative population-based cancer research ongoing at the UVA Cancer Center with the larger Health System and University communities. 

The symposium will feature:

  • Three presentation sessions

  • A lunch-hour poster session (with lunch provided)

  • Dr. Li Li, from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University, providing the keynote address 

While we hope you will join for as much of the day as possible, feel free to come and go as your schedule allows.

Register now

All welcome.

CCPH 2019 Pilot Grant Cycle 

We invite applicants to submit proposals to our active cycle of pilot grant funding for new initiatives in population-based cancer research.

Funding Amount and Period 

Total pilot project support will range up to $150,000 for up to an 18-month project period. Individual applications should target $50k in funding; specific requests for higher funding must be made prior to application submission. 


All applications must indicate cancer research conducted in the UVA Cancer Center’s catchment area (scroll to the above image) that clearly addresses behavioral risk factor interventions, quality of care, evidence-based interventions for rural areas, or predictive or mediating roles of social determinants of health. 

CCPH Priorities

CCPH pilot funding is aimed to improve near-term readiness for extramural funding and inter-programmatic collaboration in specific cancer sites. Funding will be prioritized for proposals that demonstrate:

  1. A strong likelihood of progressing to an external grant proposal relevant to NCI programmatic areas
  2. Collaboration with investigators in other Cancer Center research programs at UVA
  3. Focus on melanomas, colorectal, or lung cancers


Letter of intent: December 17, 2018

Optional: Submit a letter of intent if you want to receive feedback prior to submission of your full proposal. 

Full applications: January 15, 2019

Funding decisions: Made by February 15, 2019


Interested applicants should contact Dr. George Batten in advance to receive a full PDF of detailed instructions and to address any questions. 

Opioid Adherence Among Breast Cancer Patients 

Drs. Raj Balkrishnan, Leslie Blackhall and Virginia LeBaron’s recent publication in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment highlights the lack of adherence to breast cancer treatment due to the stigmas associated with opioid use.