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Project Investigator Biography

Karen M. Emmons, Ph.D. Karen M. Emmons, Ph.D.

Dana Farber Cancer Center
44 Binney Street, LW-703,
Boston, MA 02115
phone: (617) 632-2188
fax: (617) 632-1999

Dr. Karen Emmons is a Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health at Harvard School of Public Health. Her research focuses primarily on community-based approaches to cancer prevention and control among low-income and underserved populations, with an emphasis on strategies for enhancing motivation to change related health behaviors. Her work has focused on interventions to (1) reduce the risk of cancer among children and families, (2) target multiple risk factors for cancer, and (3) enhance motivation to change cancer risk factors. In addition, she has also conducted a number of large-scale studies examining risk-factor reduction in the healthcare setting. Dr. Emmons’work represents an effort to investigate the theoretical principles and mediating mechanisms that underlie the challenge of changing multiple behaviors in an optimal and cost-effective manner. Important associations between risk factors were found which have implications for the design of cancer-prevention intervention for at-risk populations. Her research also targets efforts to change behaviors in those with familial risk.

Dr. Emmons has a strong interest in the reduction of cancer disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic position. She recently completed a study examining reduction of multiple risk factors for cancer among working class, multiethnic populations. Her research team is now focused on developing a more sustainable approach to delivery of this intervention strategy within healthcare settings.

Dr. Emmons received her Ph.D. in 1988 from the State University of New York, Stony Brook. After serving on the faculties of the University of Illinois and Brown University, she joined DFCI and Harvard School of Public Health in 1994.

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Other Project Investigator
Adán Colón-Carmona, Ph.D.
Updated: 04/30/12