Leadership and Staff

Jo Anne L. Earp, Sc.D., Co-Director
Dr. Jo Anne Earp, Professor and Chair of Health Behavior, is an experienced cancer prevention and control researcher, mentor and administrator. A medical sociologist, she applies a behavioral science perspective to understanding the role that social and attitudinal factors play in explaining variation in health behaviors among groups of people, especially women and minorities. She has directed the NC Breast Cancer Screening Program, a nine-year long community intervention study funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and others. Her current research concerns barriers preventing older minority women from obtaining mammograms and pap smears and community/physician strategies for overcoming these barriers. Dr. Earp is also an expert in the design of data collection instruments, especially personal interviews with difficult-to-interview respondents, and regularly consults on methodological issues related to community health and patient education research.
Kurt Ribisl, Ph.D., Co-Director
Dr. Ribisl, Professor of Health Behavior and Director of the Coordinating Center for the NCI/CDC-funded Cancer Prevention Research Network (CPCRN), is an expeirenced tobacco policy researcher and now is UNC Lineberger Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control  He has been a CCEP mentor for the past decade.  From 2002-2005, he served as the Training Program Director for the UNC Pre-doctoral Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Training Program, which was funded by the Associations of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) and the American Legacy Foundation. He currently is principal investigator of an NCI-funded U01 (Maximizing State & Local Policies to Restrict Tobacco Marketing at Point of Sale) and principal investigator of a large FDA TCORS P50 grant focusing on using communication science to significantly guide FDA’s messaging about cigarettes and emerging tobacco products.”
Melissa Troester, Ph.D., Co-Director

Dr. Troester, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, is a molecular epidemiologist and co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology program at Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.  She has experience mentoring doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in molecular epidemiology, particularly focused on breast cancer.  She is currently Principal Investigator of a U01 grant from the National Cancer Institute focused on the molecular epidemiology of breast cancer disparities and is an investigator in the University of North Carolina Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE).  She is Co-Principal Investigator of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study and Principal Investigator of the UNC-based Normal Breast Study.

Melissa S. Mack and Sara M. Vandegrift, Program Co-Coordinators

Melissa and Sara provide administrative support for the Program, the fellows, the Training Advisory Committee, and the leadership. In other words, they make the Program work!