This application is a competitive renewal for a currently funded K05, Established Scientific Investigator Award in Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral, and Population Sciences. I am a Professor of Society, Human Development and Health in the Harvard School of Public Health and the Director of the Dana-Farber's Center for Community-Based Research. I will continue to devote 50% of my effort to this K05, and will split this effort evenly between my research (25%) and mentoring (25%). This application demonstrates the significant contributions to cancer prevention and control resulting from this award to date. The core of my research is randomized worksite-based studies that test the effectiveness of theory-driven interventions targeting individual and organizational change, focusing particularly on low-income, multi-ethnic working populations. A theme of this research is to test the efficacy of behavioral interventions that are embedded in the social context in which people live and work. Funding of the K05 has significantly increased the leadership I have been able to provide in articulating a national worksite health research agenda and has expanded the base of my collaborations. With this award, I have been able to provide evidence for the role of the social contextual model of health behavior change, including through collaborations and mentoring with post-doctoral fellows and students and through newly funded research. It has also made it possible for me to establish a foundation for worksite cancer prevention research in India by providing protected time and resources to build close collaborations, obtain funding for this new line of research, and develop skills for working in a different cultural context. The renewal of this K05 will provide support for meeting my career goal: to make significant contributions to reductions in disparities in cancer risk, in the US and abroad, through improved understanding of the social and physical context of work and its potential impact of worksite interventions. This K05 will contribute to building my understanding of the role of work and job experiences in worker health outcomes, particularly cancer risk-related behaviors. I will apply this understanding of the role of the social and physical context of work to improve the efficacy of comprehensive worksite cancer prevention interventions, particularly for workers at elevated risk. I also aim to adapt this work to worksites in India, in order to understand the role of place and culture in interventions aimed at reducing cancer risk-related behaviors. This K05 will also facilitate my research on the process of worksite adoption and implementation of effective interventions, in order to extend the reach and effectiveness of dissemination efforts. What I aim to accomplish through this K05 cannot be accomplished through other mechanisms, including my current R01's. The K05 provides the opportunity to synthesize research findings across studies in various worksite settings, identify cross-cutting themes, and study the application of these findings to worksite policies, practices, and programs. Although my research portfolio is well-funded, these individual projects do not provide mechanisms to explore shared themes and feedback loops across studies. This K05 also will allow me to expand my knowledge of worksite organizational practices, policies influencing worksite health, and the organization of worksite health promotion and health protection in the marketplace;provide protected time for synthesis and writing about cross-cutting themes and implications for practice;and expand my skills for my research in India. I am eager to expand the mentoring made possible through this award. I will commit 25% of my total effort to provide mentoring for junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and doctoral students, with the aim that they will make significant and meaningful contributions to research aimed at reducing disparities in cancer risk, and increasingly, with a focus on worksite cancer prevention research. I will also expand my leadership around excellence in mentoring, in order to increase the salience placed on mentoring by other senior investigators. In addition, I expect to mentor and build capacity for research among cancer prevention investigators in India and other developing countries. My institutional homes at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the work included in this K05. Each of these institutions provides numerous resources and opportunities for both my research and mentoring activities.

Public Health Relevance

Through this renewal of a currently funded K05, Dr. Glorian Sorensen, Professor of Society, Human Development and Health in the Harvard School of Public Health and the Director of the Dana-Farber's Center for Community-Based Research, will commit 50% of her effort to advancing the science of worksite-based cancer prevention and control, focusing particularly on reducing disparities in cancer risk. This K05 provides an opportunity to advance her research in ways not otherwise possible, by synthesizing research findings across studies in various worksite settings, expanding the base of her collaborations, identifying cross-cutting themes, studying the application of these findings to worksite policies, practices, and programs, and extending this work to include worksite in India. Dr. Sorensen's solid commitment to mentoring also promises to build significant capacity in the next generation of cancer prevention researchers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Scientist Award (K05)
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Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee B - Comprehensiveness (NCI)
Program Officer
Perkins, Susan N
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Budget End
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Fiscal Year
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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
United States
Zip Code
Tamers, Sara L; Allen, Jennifer; Yang, May et al. (2014) Does concern motivate behavior change? Exploring the relationship between physical activity and body mass index among low-income housing residents. Health Educ Behav 41:642-50
Allen, Jennifer Dacey; Caspi, Caitlin; Yang, May et al. (2014) Pathways between acculturation and health behaviors among residents of low-income housing: the mediating role of social and contextual factors. Soc Sci Med 123:26-36
Nelson, Candace C; Wagner, Gregory R; Caban-Martinez, Alberto J et al. (2014) Physical activity and body mass index: the contribution of age and workplace characteristics. Am J Prev Med 46:S42-51
Tamers, Sara L; Okechukwu, Cassandra; Bohl, Alex A et al. (2014) The impact of stressful life events on excessive alcohol consumption in the French population: findings from the GAZEL cohort study. PLoS One 9:e87653
Nagler, Eve M; Viswanath, K; Ebbeling, Cara B et al. (2013) Correlates of fruit and vegetable consumption among construction laborers and motor freight workers. Cancer Causes Control 24:637-47
Sorensen, Glorian; Allen, Jennifer D; Adamkiewicz, Gary et al. (2013) Intention to quit smoking and concerns about household environmental risks: findings from the Health in Common Study in low-income housing. Cancer Causes Control 24:805-11
Sorensen, Glorian; Pednekar, Mangesh S; Sinha, Dhirendra N et al. (2013) Effects of a tobacco control intervention for teachers in India: results of the Bihar school teachers study. Am J Public Health 103:2035-40
Tamers, Sara L; Okechukwu, Cassandra; Allen, Jennifer et al. (2013) Are social relationships a healthy influence on obesogenic behaviors among racially/ethnically diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged residents? Prev Med 56:70-4
Wernli, Karen J; Kitahara, Cari M; Tamers, Sara L et al. (2013) Undertaking cancer research in international settings: report from the american society for preventive oncology special interest group on international issues in cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 22:1638-41
Nagler, Eve M; Pednekar, Mangesh S; Viswanath, Kasisomayajula et al. (2013) Designing in the social context: using the social contextual model of health behavior change to develop a tobacco control intervention for teachers in India. Health Educ Res 28:113-29

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