UNC Center for Women’s Health Research, Director
Gynecologic Oncology Program
Area of Interest
I am a Co-Investigator for several projects designed to identify populations at risk for disparate treatment and poor outcomes in endometrial, colon, ovarian and cervical cancers. For example, the standard of care for cervical cancer requires multiple visits for the evaluation of an abnormal pap test and the subsequent treatment. This precludes effective evaluation of the most susceptible women because of the high loss to follow-up rates. In a large randomized study, I demonstrated that severe cervical dysplasia can be treated in a single visit with resultant higher treatment rates, acceptability of the process and higher compliance with follow-up visits than women who treated with the standard of care. This study received editorial comment in JAMA and numerous citations in national newspapers and media outlets because it demonstrated that a radical and new paradigm for treatment of cervical cancer could be successfully applied to special populations. It clearly demonstrated that the obstacles to treatment of precancerous lesions of the cervix can be overcome if tailored to the groups at highest risk. The greatest impact of this study is that it clearly presents a successful strategy for reducing cervical cancer in poor countries and areas with limited resources.
The most rewarding aspect of academic attainment is the extent to which the scientific and lay communities benefit from these endeavors. I have functioned under a variety of conditions, not always optimal, and have been able to adjust to them in a manner that has produced reasonably successful results. This adaptability, my penchant for building bridges for cooperation among academicians and colleagues with professional sensitivities has been in large measure responsible for my success to date. This is underscored by my involvement in various institutional, professional and community activities where I have accepted leadership roles in several instances. This demonstrates my readiness to undertake responsibility for guiding the affairs and fortunes of situations under my charge.
I provide direct clinical care to patients at UNC in Chapel Hill and Greensboro. This care is comprehensive and includes open radical and state of the art robotic minimally invasive oncologic surgery, administration of chemotherapy and the clinical and supportive care of women with gynecologic cancers and other challenging gynecological conditions. These women are my inspiration for decreasing the incidence of cancer.