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Cancer Prevention and Control

What we do

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Arizona. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 40,000 new cancer cases in Arizona in 2023. Over the past 30 years, cancer mortality has steadily declined.

The primary reasons for this decline are increased cancer prevention and control (CPC), which includes early detection (e.g., biological markers), prevention (e.g., interventions or approaches to block and delay early cancer), screening, health care delivery, quality of life and/or survivorship related to cancer. More specifically, improved early detection via screening (e.g., breast cancer), reductions in smoking and improvements in the quality of cancer care are major reasons for this decrease, but much more research is needed to further reduce cancer mortality, with particular focus on underserved populations because reductions have not been as great in that population.

The College of Health Solutions has a strong body of faculty with expertise in cancer prevention and control, but there has been no effort to bring that expertise together to foster collaboration within the college and between Health Solutions faculty and others within and outside of ASU to foster advances in CPC research.

The goal of this translational team is to develop greater collaborative team research across the cancer prevention and control spectrum, with particular emphasis on the development of community partnerships (health care, nonprofits, government, business, schools) and engagement of students.

Our team leads

Dorothy Sears, PhD

Dorothy Sears, PhD

Executive Director and Professor

Team Co-Lead

Dorothy Sears holds the position of executive director and is a professor of nutrition at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions. She has conducted cardiometabolic disease and cancer research since 1995 and is an internationally recognized expert. Her scope of study spans the molecular to population health levels. Her transdisciplinary research approach incorporates dietary and behavioral intervention, systems biology, metabolomics, gut microbiome, epigenetics, gene expression profiling, and single-gene analyses in human and rodent models. Dr. Sears aims to discover and characterize innovative health-promoting behaviors, therapeutic targets and diagnostic tools. Currently, she is actively investing in the health benefits associated with nightly fasting and circadian alignment of food intake.

Alexis Koskan, PhD

Alexis Koskan, PhD

Assistant Professor

Team Co-Lead

Alexis Koskan is an assistant professor of population health at Arizona State University's College of Health Solutions. Using a community-engaged research approach with training in public health and health communication, Dr. Koskan uses qualitative research and mixed methods to explore community needs, perceptions and preferences for intervention research. Her research has predominantly focused on the prevention and control of HPV-related cancer. She finds fulfillment in working in team science to conduct community-based research aimed at identifying intervention strategies that promote the utilization of disease prevention resources, specifically vaccines and cancer screening.

Where we work

850 PBC

850 N 5th St
Room 310G
Phoenix AZ 85004

Arizona Biomedical Collaborative

425 N 5th St
Room 123
Phoenix AZ 85004