Cancer Prevention & Population Health

The goals of the Cancer Prevention and Population Health (CPH) program are to investigate modifiable cancer risk and disparities and develop and implement interventions that reduce the burden of cancer in the University of Virginia Comprehensive Cancer Center (UVACCC) catchment area and beyond.

The CPH program has enjoyed extraordinary and sustained growth, maturing into a robust scientific program. The program now includes 26 members with substantial peer-reviewed, grant-funded research.

CPH Program Goals

To accomplish the overarching goals, the research of the CPH program is organized around two specific aims.

Aim 1: Identify and investigate a confluence of biological, behavioral, and socioeconomic factors and mechanisms driving disparities in cancer risk and outcomes. CPH members:

  1. Identify and characterize novel risk factors through molecular and epidemiological research
  2. Develop novel tools for cancer risk assessment and enhanced screening
  3. Identify deleterious behavioral, lifestyle, and social processes and contexts that promote cancer risk, focusing primarily on diet and lifestyle factors leading to obesity and cancer risk and tobacco use, which is responsible for the high rates of lung and other tobacco related-cancers in the catchment area

Aim 2: Develop novel interventions and implement research advances in diverse populations to reduce cancer risk and cancer disparities. CPH research targets key social, environmental, and behavioral factors known to affect cancer risk and patient outcomes, with an emphasis on cancer disparities in the catchment area.

This aim groups members whose research:

  1. Tests the effectiveness of novel interventions to reduce cancer risk and improve patient outcomes
  2. Improves cancer care delivery and outcomes through real-world data
  3. Addresses and reduces racial disparities in risk and survival with the ultimate goal of implementing and disseminating evidence-based treatments and services to reduce known cancer disparities, particularly high-risk populations (especially rural Appalachia), palliative care, and hospice cancer patients

Program Leadership

CPH is led by Li Li, MD, PhD, and Jamie Zoellner, PhD. The program is represented by a wide variety of research interests and expertise across the Cancer Center and UVA Health.

Read more about program members and their research interests.