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Headshot of Ronny Bell.
UNC Lineberger’s Ronny Bell, PhD, MS.

Ronny Bell, PhD, MS, has been appointed associate director of Cancer Care Access and Excellence at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Bell will continue the role to end cancer disparities for North Carolinians and beyond established by the late Wendy Brewster, MD, PhD, who died of pancreatic cancer last July.

Bell brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role that supports UNC Lineberger’s mission as the state’s public cancer center and a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center to identify and eliminate disparities in cancer care and outcomes in line with the NCI’s national cancer plan and cancer center support grant initiatives. Sam Cykert, MD, a national expert in cancer disparities research and who served as the interim associate director the past six months, will remain part of the cancer center’s senior leadership team advising on initiatives and implementation research focused on expanding access and care to everyone across North Carolina.

“It’s no secret that our state’s population is growing, especially in urban communities, but most of our counties are still defined as rural. In fact, we have the second largest rural population in the country, according to the latest US Census Bureau data,” said UNC Lineberger Director Shelley Earp, MD. “Urban and rural communities have different needs and challenges, especially when it comes to health care. I am confident that under Ronny’s leadership we will continue to make progress as the state’s public cancer center identifying and eliminating barriers to access of the most effective cancer prevention, screening, care and survivorship services in all 100 of our counties.”

Bell was recruited to UNC-Chapel Hill last year to be the chair of the Division of the Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He is a member of UNC Lineberger’s Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program as well as the Lineberger Equity Council and the Community Outreach and Engagement Program. He co-leads with UNC Lineberger’s Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, MPH, the Southeastern American Indian Cancer Health Equity Partnership (SAICEP), a collaboration between UNC Lineberger, Duke Cancer Institute and the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Prior to coming to UNC, Bell established a national reputation in community-based participatory research and held leadership roles with health disparities efforts at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

A UNC graduate and a diehard Tar Heel basketball fan, Bell grew up in Pembroke, North Carolina, the tribal homeland of the Lumbee tribe, of which he is an enrolled member.

Learn more – get to know Ronny Bell