MiCaP Editorial Team

Folakemi Odedina, PhD | Principal Investigator
Dr. Folakemi Odedina (PhD) is Professor in the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine and Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the CTSI Translational Workforce Development Program at University of Florida, USA. She is also the Program Director of the NIH/National Cancer Institute Florida MiCaRT Center; Director of the Research Core for the Florida Health Equity Research Institute (HERI); Principal Investigator of the NCI EGRP Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC); and founding chair of the Florida Prostate Cancer Health Disparity group.

Dr. Odedina has a global consortium focused on understanding the burden of prostate cancer disparities in Black men of West African ancestry, and developing tailored and targeted community-centered interventions to eliminate health disparities in minority populations. Her research traverses across the world with an international consortium group in North America, Africa, Caribbean Islands, and Europe. Supported by funds from several funding agencies (such as the US NIH/National Cancer Institute and Department of Defense), she is working with several investigators to develop a global bio-behavioral model of prostate cancer risk factors in Black men.

Dr. Odedina has directed over 30 research projects in her over 20 years as a cancer scientist. She is well published, has received numerous national and international awards for her work, and serves on several national and international cancer initiatives. As far back as 2009, her leadership in health disparities was recognized by the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy (ASHP) and the Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists (ABHP) when she was awarded the Inaugural (1st) Leadership Award for Health Disparities. Due to her extensive experience in prostate cancer disparity research, she was selected by the US Army Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to give the Inaugural (1st) Dr. Barbara Terry-Koroma Health Disparity Legacy Lecture in 2013.

In 2016, due to her effort in training underrepresented minorities for over two decades, she received the INSIGHT Into Diversity 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award. Her landmark research on prostate cancer disparities has been recognized by many organizations, including the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) during the 2010 Cancer Disparities Conference and the Department of Defense (DoD) Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) during the 2011 Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer Today (IMPaCT) conference. Her work has also been featured in multiple medical news including the Medscape Medical News and Oncology News.

Dr. Odedina’s international accomplishments includes leading the African Cancer Control Plan published by the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), contributing to the preparation of the World Cancer Report (2013) by the World Health Organization (WHO) and authoring two chapters of a Handbook for Cancer Research in Africa published by the WHO.  She has received multiple fellowships to elevate cancer research in Africa. For example she spent six months in Nigeria as an African Region Fulbright Research Scholar in 2006 and recently (in 2017) spent three months in Nigeria as a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow.

In June 2017, she was received a “Living Legend Award” for innovations with health/economic impact from the African Vision 2020 Initiative.

Kim Walsh-Childers, PhD | Co-Principal Investigator
Dr. Walsh-Childers will serve as the co-PI for the proposed project. Dr. Walsh-Childers is professor in the College of Journalism and Communications and an expert in the intended and unintended effects of mass media on health behavior. Her research has been supported by grants from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute; the NCI grant focused on the role of magazines and the Internet in providing breast cancer information. Dr. Walsh-Childers is well versed in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and has published extensively on the issues of media use in health communication. She is currently writing a book on the intended and unintended effects of mass media on individual health behavior and public health policy development. Before turning to academia, she was an award-winning newspaper health reporter, giving her significant experience and expertise in translating complex health information into language appropriate for lay audiences.

Mary Ellen Young, PhD | Co-Investigator
Dr. Young is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. Dr. Young has authored or co-authored 40 peer-reviewed publications and has given over 50 professional presentations. She holds master and doctoral degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling and Counselor Education from the University of Georgia, with postdoctoral research training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Young’s research interests can be broadly defined as the study of adaptation to disability, especially catastrophic injury or chronic illness. She has led or consulted on numerous studies using qualitative research design and analysis, including projects on spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. She has expertise in qualitative grounded theory methods and narrative analysis, and specializes in computer-assisted data analysis (CADAS) using NVivo software.

Deidre Pereira, PhD | Co-Investigator
Dr. Pereira is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology (CHP) in the College of Public Health and Health Professions (PHHP) at the University of Florida (UF). She is also a Florida Licensed Psychologist and the Attending Psychologist at the UF Health Cancer Center. The long-range goal of her research program is to improve health outcomes and promote the well-being of individuals with chronic and/or life-limiting illnesses. Grounded in the biobehavioral model of health, her research seeks to understand the complex biopsychosocial influences on (a) initiation/progression of chronic/life-limiting illnesses, and (b) quality of life and lived experiences of individuals with these illnesses. Specifically, her research seeks to understand these relationships in individuals with advanced, poor prognosis, and underfunded cancers.

She has extensive experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research with racial/ethnic minority populations. She previously served as a Project Leader on a study examining cognitive behavioral stress management effects on cervical neoplasia and quality of life in racial/ethnic minority women living with HIV through an NCI-funded P50 Mind-Body Center (Michael H. Antoni, PhD, PI). In addition, she previously served as a Co-Investigator on a NINR-funded funded R01 examining the effects of a intervention grounded in community based participatory research techniques on chronic illnesses and ability to work among primarily racial/ethnic minority women in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (Shawn Kneipp, PhD, PI). Dr. Pereira is currently the PI of an NCI-funded R01 examining cognitive behavioral intervention effects on sleep, pain, mood, cortisol, and cytokines among women receiving adjuvant therapy for gynecologic cancers. She has received over $1.8 million (total costs) in grant funding (sources: ACS Institutional Grant Award to UF and NCI) as PI to examine psychosocial influences on health and well-being in gynecologic cancers. She previously received UF internal funding to supplement this program of biobehavioral research with phenomenological research examining quality of life in understudied cancer populations, such as gynecologic cancers.

Janice Krieger, PhD | Co-Investigator
Dr. Krieger is an Associate Professor of Advertising at the University of Florida. She is also the Director of the Communications Research Program at the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Dr. Krieger’s expertise is in the fields of health communication intervention development, community-based participatory research, and evaluation. Her research is funded through the National Cancer Institute as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse and has been published in top communication and interdisciplinary journals including Human Communication Research, Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, Prevention Science, and the Journal of Community Psychology. Dr. Krieger’s research has been recognized by a number of prestigious organizations, including the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association, and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her studies have been featured in a number of popular press outlets addressing a wide variety of readers (e.g., TIME magazine, MSNBC) and serve as the basis for both clinic and school-based interventions.

As a co-investigator, she will contribute to the intervention protocol team, data collection and management team, and the research digest editorial board. She will use her experience working with UF Public Media (WUFT), which is located within the College of Journalism and Communication, to facilitate the successful planning, execution, and evaluation of the community-based research forums within the proposed budget period. Dr. Krieger will also contribute to the development and publication of manuscripts on the project.

Dr. Krieger is also the Director of the STEM-H Translational Communication Research Program in the College of Journalism and Communication. The mission of the STEM-H TCR program is to improve human health and well-being by making scientific research more accessible, understandable, and actionable. Properly translated and communicated to various audiences, basic research in science, technology, engineering, math, and health (STEM-H) can lead to enhanced individual, family, group, and policy-level decision-making. The TCR Program fosters strategic partnerships among university researchers, community members, and industry around evidence-based communication programs. The messages, techniques and strategies resulting from these collaborations can foster improved science and health literacy, which in turn can yield enhanced knowledge, engagement, and behavioral change.

The goals of the TCR program are to: (1) Advancing basic translational communication science by facilitating original research on STEM-H message design, dissemination, and evaluation; (2) Offering services that enhance the ability of researchers to communicate more effectively with audiences outside the university; and (3) Fostering community interest and involvement in academic research through interactive forums.

Dr. Getachew A. Dagne | Editorial Team Member
Dr. Getachew A. Dagne is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health. He is also Director of the MPH/MSPH Biostatistics Program. His main research focus is to develop Bayesian hierarchical methods for analysis of longitudinal / multilevel / spatial data in the specific areas of social behavioral interactions, depression and mental health problems, prostate cancer in black men, HIV/AIDS, and comparative effectiveness. His other areas of specialization include generalized linear mixed models, network meta-analysis longitudinal data analysis, and spatial statistics.

Ernest Kaninjing, PhD | Post-Doctoral Fellow
Ernest  Kaninjing, DrPH  is a postdoctoral associate with the University of Florida’s Minority in Cancer Research Training (MiCaRT) center. He manages projects in the MiCaRT center and projects relating to the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC). In addition, Dr. Kaninjing is responsible for recruitment and management of the Florida Prostate Cancer Research Training Opportunity for Outstanding Leaders (ReTOOL) program. Prior to joining the University of Florida, he worked as a research associate for the Florida A&M University’s Community Outreach and Preventive Services (COPS) program. Dr. Kaninjing earned his doctoral degree in Public Health from Florida A&M University. His dissertation work focused on factors that influence screening for prostate cancer among men in Bamenda, Cameroon. Dr. Kaninjing’s research interest are in cancer disparities and community health outreach.

Nissa Askins, MPH | Research Coordinator
Ms. Askins is a research coordinator with the University of Florida’s Minority in Cancer Research Training (MiCaRT) center.  She coordinates research projects in the MiCart center, projects relating to the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC), and is also responsible for the coordination of the Florida Prostate Cancer Research Training opportunity for Outstanding Leaders (ReTOOL) program. Her interest is health services research with a focus on utilizing big data to address the complex network of factors that result in health outcomes disparities. In 2016, her oral presentation on “Assessing Equitable Outcomes in Tonsillectomy-Adenoidectomy Patients at a Pediatric PACU Using an Integrated Database” was selected to be highlighted in a press release for the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting. This work shed light on addressing outcome equity in acute care settings, not just chronic and primary care settings as is traditionally the case.

Clayton Yates, PhD | Scientific Anchor and Member, External Advisory Board
Dr. Yates’ primary research interest is the dissection of dynamic tumor-host interactions during prostate cancer progression. The host microenvironment that has long been recognized but under-appreciated, because cells in the tumor milieu are generally perceived only as silent bystanders. The focus of his research is to extensively explore the general concept that the seeding of metastatic cancer cells is dependent upon the host organ microenvironment; i.e. “seed and soil” concept. To explore these dynamic interactions, Dr. Yates utilizes a tissue engineered bioreactor, that he previously developed, which fosters the recreation of a physiology relevant tissue-microenvironment with the advantage of real-time visualization.

The innovative aspects of this approach, is the feasibility of being all human for species-specific factors and responses, long term (2-4 weeks) viability with continuous monitoring, ex vivo manipulation of tumor and/or bone prior to testing, and potentially high throughput. Through the use of 3-D and 2-D cocultures, his lab critically explores the rate limiting events of metastatic seeding/attachment (i.e cell adhesion) events such as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) or the reversal, MET (mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition) and correlate these finding to the clinical situation. Within this context, he also explores in depth the associated signaling cascades associated with prostate cancer transdifferentiation, within the microenvironment, with emphasis on differences between African American and Caucasian men with prostate cancer.

Renee Reams, PhD | Member, External Advisory Board
Dr. Renee Reams is a biochemist and tenured professor in the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Reams is the FAMU PI and Program Director for the NCI Florida Minority Cancer Research & Training Center. She is also the an associate member of the FAMU P20 Centers of Excellence Cancer Research, Education, and Community Outreach Training grant and a tri-chair for the RCMI translational research network. This network fosters collaborative solutions for improving minority health and reducing ethnic and geographic disparities in cancer. She has trained 6 PhD students and more than 48 undergraduate research trainees in her laboratory.

Dr. Reams’ research program uses genomics to hunt for genes/gene signatures that might explain the increased CaP incidence and mortality observed in Black males. Her research suggests that understanding the genetics of CaP aggressiveness in Black males may lie in prostate tumor immunological differences and in overexpression of members of the ATP-binding cassette family. In 2013, Reams and a larger body of Florida scientists, clinicians, and community leaders worked to draft Florida’s first Health Disparities Research (HDR) agenda. Reams also co-chaired the first Florida Prostate Cancer Disparities Symposium with Odedina (chair) in 2014. The symposium goal was to develop a prostate cancer (CaP) research agenda for men of African ancestry.

Frank Chinegwundoh, MBBS | Member, External Advisory Board
Dr. Chinegwundoh is Consultant Urological Surgeon at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Chief of surgery & anesthesia at Newham University Hospital in England. He serves on the British Department of Health advisor on Cancer (since 2007), Department of Health’s Prostate Cancer Advisory Group, Cancer Reform Strategy Group, and Bowel Cancer Screening Advisory Group. He is the Chairman of the registered Charity Cancer Black Care and spokesman for the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action. Dr. Chinegwundoh is the first person to publish evidence in England that Black men have a three-fold excess risk of developing prostate cancer in the UK. His collaborative group (PROCESS) published several papers on the ethnic epidemiology of prostate cancer. He is a member of the the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC) and has published with Dr. Folakemi Odedina (PI).

Dr. Chinegwundoh’s minority populations in England are primarily Caribbean and West African Black men. His personal website www.urologyconsultant.co.uk has a Health on the Net accreditation, which is a quality indicator of health information. In 2013, he received the MBE from the Queen of England for his services to the St Bartholomew’s Health NHS Trust, especially due to his work in the Black community. He is uniquely qualified to consult on aim 1.

James West | Community Co-investigator
Mr. James West is a prostate cancer survivor and an American Cancer Society trained facilitator and educator for prostate cancer. He is the founder of the J West Prostate Cancer Foundation Inc. According to Mr. West:

“My experience with Prostate Cancer is not what I want for you. I wished, at the time I was diagnosed, that I had someone to guide me through the maze of treatments. It was then that I made a determination to become that Guide, with that was born the JWest Prostate Cancer Foundation (JWPCF). I want to say to those diagnosed men and families, you do not have to go through this agony alone. There is much information to be shared by the JWest Prostate Cancer Foundation. We stand ready to be of assistance.”

Angela Adams, PharmD | Community Co-investigator
Dr. Adams has her Bachelor and Doctoral degrees in Pharmacy and her Master’s in Public Health. She serves in the military as a Commander in the United States Naval Reserves and works as a community pharmacist at a local community pharmacy in Orlando. For the past 16 years, Adams has been working diligently and tirelessly to educate Black men about prostate cancer. As Executive Director of The Central Florida Pharmacy Council (CFPC), she has been responsible for coordinating an Annual Health Summit in Orlando, Florida since 1996. Each year the Summit has continued to grow, with more than 2,500 men in attendance in 2014. There is no cost for participants to attend the Summit’s health education program and screenings for prostate cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, HIV, kidney disease, stomach ulcers, oral cancer, and lung function.

Since 1997, the CFPC has provided health education to more than 20,000 Central Florida residents and “free” health screening to more than 10,000 underinsured and uninsured men. Our research team regularly participates in the annual Summit and has had successful participants’ recruitment and data collection for prostate cancer prevention projects annually since 2007.

Adams  is  a  member  of  the  Florida  Prostate  Cancer  Disparity  Group,  an  academic- community research partnership committed to eliminating prostate cancer disparities in Florida.

Oladapo Odedina, CFE | Community Co-investigator
Oladapo Odedina, CFE has over fifteen (17) years experience consulting on research participants’ recruitment, research dissemination, and community education on research. His national and international experiences in multiethnic communities, including the Appalachian regions of West Virginia as well as ethnically diverse countries in the United States, United Kingdom and West Africa provides Mr. Odedina the unique global expertise in research participants’ recruitment.

His experiences include coordinating the recruitment of ethnically diverse BM for a US Department of Defense CaP grant in Florida (over 2,000 BM recruited through his effort) and participants’ recruitment for a trauma research project in Nigeria.

Mr. Odedina is a member of the Florida Prostate Cancer Disparity Group, an academic-community research partnership committed to eliminating prostate cancer disparities in Florida.