Angelica Roncancio, Ph.D. is a motivated postdoctoral fellow, trained as a behavioral scientist, who is currently working at the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston (UTHSC-H) School of Public Health. The overall goal of this NCI K01 career development proposal is to provide Dr. Roncancio with the additional research skills necessary to launch an independent career focused on reducing HPV-related cancer disparities among Latinas. Dr. Roncancio's research examines the psychosocial and cultural determinants of cervical-cancer screening and HPV vaccination among Latinas and seeks to modify health behavior through innovative approaches to screening and vaccination completion. Under the mentorship of Dr. Maria Fernandez she will receive specialized, mentored training in the following areas: 1) cancer disparities in Latino populations, 2) the development of theory-based interventions, and 3) the use of technology in health promotion. UTHSC-H's rich training environment provides junior investigators with the resources necessary to become independent, productive, and highly successful researchers. For example, it provides outstanding opportunities for developing skills in grant writing, manuscript publication, and project management. UTHSC-H also offers a large variety of courses, workshops, and seminars relevant to public health and behavioral science, along with access to some of the most renowned prevention scientists in cancer research. Dr. Roncancio's long-term career goal as an independent health researcher is to improve both cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination rates, ultimately aiding in the reduction of cervical cancer disparity in Latinas. She will develop a research program focused on the development and implementation of innovative, culturally appropriate, theory-based interventions to increase cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination among underserved Latinas. In addition, Dr. Roncancio outlines four short term goals to be achieved throughout the award period that will serve as the foundation for an independent research career: 1) to increase her science-based knowledge in behavioral theory and its application to the development of cancer interventions for underserved populations, particularly Latinas;2) to increase her knowledge in the use of technology in interventions targeted at hard-to- reach underserved populations;3) to increase experience in implementing interventions in hard-to-reach populations;and 4) to participate in professional development activities related to cancer health disparities. These goals will be achieved through a combination of formal coursework and directed readings, experience in implementing several research projects, experience in developing and publishing manuscripts, and intensive mentoring to ensure that Dr. Roncancio achieves each of her specific short term goals and becomes a successful independent cervical cancer disparities researcher.
The aims of the proposed research are to: 1) develop an Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction (IM) that explains Spanish-speaking Latino mothers'decisions to have their adolescent daughters complete the HPV vaccine series, and 2) develop and pilot test an innovatively-delivered IM-based intervention (via video text messaging) for Spanish-speaking Latino mothers to encourage HPV vaccine series completion for their adolescent daughters. This research is both important and timely given the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer's 2012 recommendation to increase HPV vaccination efforts to combat the rise in incidence rates of some HPV-associated cancers and the finding that Latino adolescent girls are less likely non-Latino white adolescent girls to complete the HPV vaccine series. The proposed aims will be accomplished through four successive plans of study: 1) a qualitative study to identify the beliefs that underlie Latino mothers'decisions to have their adolescent daughters complete the HPV vaccine series;2) a longitudinal study to identify the associations between the IM predictor variables, intentions, and behavior;3) a usability study to evaluate the acceptability and appropriateness of the video texts to be delivered to the mothers'cellular phones that were developed to increase HPV vaccine series completion;and 4) a longitudinal pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of a theory-based intervention that uses video text messaging as an innovative channel of delivery.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research will address a significant gap in our knowledge of the factors that influence Latino mothers'decisions to have their adolescent daughters complete the HPV vaccine series and will result in the development of an innovatively-delivered, theory-based intervention that may increase vaccine completion in this population. This intervention will be the first of its kind and has the potential to increase HPV vaccine completion in an underserved population known for low completion rates and for being disproportionately affected by cervical cancer disparities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RTRB-A (O1))
Program Officer
Vallejo-Estrada, Yolanda
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Texas Health Science Center Houston
Schools of Public Health
United States
Zip Code