Harvey V. Finberg Fellows

The Fineberg Fellowship was created to honor Harvey V. Fineberg, the former Dean at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Provost of Harvard University. It is a competitive, honorific award that will be given to Ph.D. in Population Health Science (PHS) students who are undertaking a dissertation related to cancer prevention and control. The research may include studies in etiologic research, health services, survivorship, behavioral research, or a related field.

2024 Fineberg Fellows

Colleen McGrath

Colleen is a 2nd year PhD student in Population Health Sciences in the Department of Epidemiology. Prior to joining the PhD program, she worked in clinical research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and most recently, completed the SM2 in Epidemiology program at HSPH. Her research interests are centered in the cancer survivorship stage, with her current research focusing on prostate cancer survivorship. Most individuals with prostate cancer are diagnosed in early stages where survival rates are high. This means that the survivorship period is a particularly significant part of the cancer care continuum for these individuals, and understanding factors that may improve morbidity, progression, and mortality risks as well as quality-of-life during survivorship is important. This is precisely the intention of her dissertation research with a particular eye to the role of social connection as one such factor. Social connection has been widely recognized as an important contributor to human health, including by the US Surgeon General who has focused much of his attention on isolation and loneliness and the downstream mental and physical health consequences of these issues. In the first dissertation project, she will be assessing the role that burden and well-being of informal cancer caregivers has on long-term quality-of-life among prostate cancer survivors; evidence signals that informal caregiver burden and poor well-being impacts the quality of care provided, though how this impacts long-term survivorship outcomes among the cancer survivor care recipients is unknown. In another dissertation project, she will be examining the role of social connectedness around the time of a prostate cancer diagnosis on outcomes of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, which are major risks impacting localized prostate cancer survivors. In the final dissertation aim, she will be using group-based multi-trajectory modeling on longitudinal quality-of-life data in an international population of advanced prostate cancer survivors to understand unique patterning that may identify whether there are groups of individuals who thrive despite their advanced cancer diagnosis. She is very honored to be selected as a Harvey V. Fineberg Cancer Prevention Fellow and greatly looks forward to joining this wonderful community of cancer epidemiologists.

Michelle Sodipo

Michelle is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, working with Dr. Lorelei Mucci and Dr. Erica Warner. Michelle’s research interests are focused on identifying and mitigating racial disparities among prostate and breast cancer survivors. With a growing population of cancer survivors due to aging populations and advancements in treatment, identifying gaps in treatment is pivotal in reducing racial disparities in mortality rates. Michelle’s dissertation will examine cognitive function changes after the use of hormonal therapies among prostate cancer survivors, as well as evaluate measures to optimize adherence to endocrine therapy among breast cancer survivors.

2023 Fineberg Fellows

Nayiu Chen

Nayiu Chen, MPH is a Ph.D. candidate in Population Health Sciences, Epidemiology. Her dissertation research revolves around prostate cancer survivorship through three lenses: physical activity, social support, and the built environment. The population of prostate cancer survivors are substantial and growing. Most of these survivors experience both acute and chronic side effects because of either the cancer or its treatment. As a result, there is a need to assess individual, interpersonal, and contextual level factors that maintain or improve the quality of life of this growing population.

Zhe (Gigi) Fang

Zhe (Gigi) Fang, MBBS, MS, is a Population Health Sciences Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Epidemiology. Her dissertation research focuses on the primary and secondary prevention of cancer with an emphasis on lifestyle-targeted strategies including ultra-processed foods intake and physical activity, and personalized colonoscopy screening. She is dedicated to generating evidence based on a wide range of epidemiologic, statistical, and computational methods and translating scientific advances into public health guideline and clinical practice through interdisciplinary efforts toward the goal of preventing cancer and improving patient outcomes

Jennifer Cruz

Jennifer Cruz, MPH is a Population Health Sciences Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her overall research interests are at the intersection of social epidemiology, implementation science, and health equity. Through her dissertation, she will be exploring the heterogeneity of rurality in the US and how to leverage contextual differences in identifying setting-appropriate interventions to address persistent inequities in breast cancer screening.

Lindsay Kephart

Lindsay Kephart, MPH, is a Population Health Sciences doctoral candidate in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her research interests center on examining how the built environment shapes health outcomes, and how people and policy shape the built environment, with a strong emphasis on incorporating a racial justice lens in policy implementation and evaluation. Her current work focuses on evaluating the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of tailored smoke-free housing implementation strategies for reducing secondhand smoke exposure in low-income housing to prevent cancer-related disparities. Through her graduate studies, she is interested in examining how local and state policies impact cannabis dispensary locations, including proximity to tobacco & alcohol products, in order to provide policy recommendations that support racially equitable outcomes.

Tung Pham

Dr. Tung Pham is the Curriculum Fellow for the Master of Public Health in Epidemiology (MPH-EPI) program and a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also a lecturer and researcher at Hanoi Medical University (HMU), Vietnam. He received his MD from HMU (2015) and his MPH from Johns Hopkins (2017) with a focus on global cancer epidemiology and prevention. His research interests include developing a cancer prevention strategy system in low-resource settings and gene-environment interaction in determining cancer risk. He is currently working on his thesis, looking at the effect of hereditary and lifestyle risk factors on colorectal adenoma and colorectal cancer risk in the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

2022 Fineberg Fellows

Ilkania Chowshury-Paulino

Ilkania Chowdhury-Paulino, MPH is a Population Health Sciences  Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Epidemiology. Her dissertation studies how the neighborhood environment impacts prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Prostate cancer has a very limited number of known risk factors, with only advanced prostate cancer having modifiable risk factors. Her dissertation work will elucidate if and how the places where people live, and work impact their prostate cancer risk and will potentially identify additional modifiable risk factors that can be leveraged for prostate cancer prevention. Further, her work will inform future research on how the neighborhood context impacts racial disparities in prostate cancer incidence and mortality

Tomotaka Ugai

Dr. TomotakaUgai, MD, Ph.D. is a physician epidemiologist with expertise in pathology, clinical oncology, cancer epidemiology, and molecular epidemiology. His current research focuses on evaluating tissue-based biomarkers, especially immune and microbial characteristics of cancer, utilizing population-based prospective cohort studies.  His research also focuses on early-onset cancers, incidence of which has increased worldwide for unknown reasons.  In addition, he has taken the lead in several global collaborative projects in the epidemiological consortium, including Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO).