What is your relationship to cancer?
I am a member of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Research Group and conduct tobacco prevention and control and colorectal cancer screening research.
Why this research interest?
My entire family on my maternal grandmother’s side has been impacted by cancer. Most of my grandmother’s brothers and sisters died of some type of cancer. My maternal grandmother died prematurely of breast cancer. She did not tell anyone that she had cancer because she thought cancer was a death sentence. I wanted to do something to prevent my family and community members from dying prematurely from cancer. Tobacco use is 100% preventable. Lung cancer is about 90% preventable because 90% of all lung cancers are caused by tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.
What do you hope to contribute through your research to the Cancer Institute?
My goal is to reduce the disproportionate burden of cancer on African Americans and residents in rural areas.
Tell us about your current research?
My current research aims to identify effective strategies to reduce secondhand smoke exposure, help smokers quit, and reduce menthol and flavored tobacco use among racialized groups, young people, women and marginalized groups. I spend quite a bit of time conducting community-based research and tobacco regulatory science research. My regulatory science research seeks to influence policy change at the federal level. My goal is the reduce the toll of tobacco-caused cancers among groups who experience health and social disparities.