The candidate, Dr Susan A. Oliveria, completed a Doctorate of Science in Epidemiology at Harvard University and is an Assistant Attending Epidemiologist at Memorial SIoan-Kettering Cancer Center. She is applying for a five-year Career Development Award with a focus on the secondary prevention and control of melanoma. Several factors speak to the significant potential for skin cancer screening to play an important role in cancer control (1) the very high and rapidly increasing incidence of skin cancer, (2) the significant and growing mortality from melanoma type skin cancer, and (3) the amenability of this type of cancer to early detection and curative surgery given its location on the skin. To provide crucial information that will advance the secondary prevention of melanoma, we will begin to investigate the barriers and facilitators of physician-based skin cancer screening, the accuracy and compliance of high-risk patients in performing skin self-examination, and the potential role of technologies as aids to early detection.
These aims are designed to lay the foundation for the development of strategies for early detection and control of melanoma and to facilitate formal studies of the efficacy of secondary prevention programs. The proposed plan for this application is ambitious. The candidate has the commitment and support from her institution to accomplish the goals of this project and the majority of her time and effort will be devoted to research and career development. With the support of this award, she will build on studies that are currently ongoing, continuing to act as a project leader and innovative thinker. She will further be able to conceptualize, develop, and implement new projects outlined in this proposal. The candidate will have the opportunity to enhance and apply existing epidemiological skills while obtaining and developing new skills in health services research, providing her with the necessary professional growth to become an independent researcher. The candidate has had no prior independent funding, but has previous experience coordinating and managing studies. Co-mentors, Drs. Marianne Berwick and Allan Halpern, are experts in dermatoepidemiology and have been working closely with the candidate for the past several years. Dr. Alvin Mushlin (Well Medical College of Cornell University) will assist the candidate with career development and training in health services research which includes coursework, research conferences, journal clubs and academic meetings. The proposed studies should advance our knowledge of opportunities for the secondary prevention and control of melanoma and will allow the candidate to obtain preliminary data, enhance existing epidemiologic skills, and obtain new skills in health services research that will lay the foundation for a productive independent research career.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
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Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Gorelic, Lester S
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Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research
New York
United States
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Heneghan, Maureen K; Hazan, Carole; Halpern, Allan C et al. (2007) Skin cancer coverage in a national newspaper: a teachable moment. J Cancer Educ 22:99-104