Pathways to Prevention Workshop

Methods for Evaluating Natural Experiments in Obesity

December 5–6, 2017 in Natcher Conference Center, NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

Panel Members

Refer to caption below.

Back Row (Left to Right): Maria E. Fernandez, Jonathan M. Samet, Chyke A. Doubeni
Front Row (Left to Right): Karen M. Emmons, Diana L. Miglioretti

Please note: This information was correct at the time of the workshop.

Workshop and Panel Chair

Karen M. Emmons, Ph.D.
Dean for Academic Affairs
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Office of the Dean
Boston, MA


Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H., FRCS
Chair and Presidential Professorship of Family Medicine and Community Health
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D.
Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
School of Public Health
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, TX
Diana L. Miglioretti, Ph.D.
Dean’s Professor in Biostatistics
Division of Biostatistics
Department of Public Health Sciences
School of Medicine
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA
Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S.
Department of Epidemiology
Office of the Dean
Colorado School of Public Health
Aurora, CO


Karen M. Emmons, Ph.D.

Karen M. Emmons, Ph.D., was appointed Professor and Dean for Academic Affairs at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in November 2016. She previously served as Vice President of Research and Director of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, where her responsibilities included research development, research strategy, and the development of a strong research compliance program. Dr. Emmons is a behavioral scientist with a strong track record of funded research in community-based approaches to cancer prevention in a variety of settings that serve disadvantaged populations, including low-income housing and community health centers. Her education includes an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and an internship in Behavioral Medicine at Brown University School of Medicine. She is Past President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H., FRCS

Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H., FRCS, is the Chair and holds the Presidential Professorship of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). He is an internationally known researcher on health care delivery and on disparities in premature death with a focus on colon cancer. He has done extensive work on increasing access to care for underserved populations. Dr. Doubeni has authored many papers, including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, and authors topics on colon cancer screening for UpToDate, an online point-of-care, evidence-based clinical information resource. He received the 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on early-career science and engineering professionals. Dr. Doubeni is a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent volunteer panel of national experts that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services. He directs a National Cancer Institute-funded cancer clinical epidemiology training program and the National Center for Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration to advance access to care for mental health conditions and substance use disorders. He is board certified in both family medicine and preventive medicine/public health. Dr. Doubeni is a Senior Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Senior Fellow in both the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and the Center for Public Health Initiatives at Penn.

Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D.

Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D., is the Lorne Baine Distinguished Professor in Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, and Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research. Her research has focused on cancer prevention and control among underserved populations. She has conducted studies that range from the identification and description of basic behavioral conceptual models of cancer screening and vaccination to the development and evaluation of new interventions to increase cancer control, to the science of understanding and intervening to accelerate the use of evidence-based interventions in real-world settings. Dr. Fernandez has extensive experience in research translation and dissemination and implementation research, and has been a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health Study Section. She is a principal investigator on an NIH Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health R01 to develop and evaluate an online decision support system for health program planners to facilitate adoption, adaptation, and implementation of evidence-based programs. She has a long record of federal and state funding for cancer control research including studies on breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening, and HPV vaccination. She is an internationally known expert on intervention mapping, a systematic approach to planning health promotion interventions. Dr. Fernandez recently co-authored two books, the 4th edition of Planning Health Promotion Programs: An Intervention Mapping Approach (2016) and the Handbook of Community-Based Participatory Research (2017).

Diana L. Miglioretti, Ph.D.

Diana L. Miglioretti, Ph.D., is the Dean’s Professor of Biostatistics at the University of California, Davis and a Senior Investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. Her research focuses on breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and risk prediction and radiation exposure from medical imaging. Dr. Miglioretti co-leads the U.S. Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), a network of six breast imaging registries with information collected on over 10 million mammography examinations since 1994. She is the contact principal investigator (PI) on a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded program project and the PI of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded large pragmatic study using BCSC data to evaluate methods for improving breast cancer screening and surveillance by identifying women who might benefit from more frequent or intense imaging. She is a PI on an NCI-funded R01 evaluating the risk of pediatric and adolescent cancer associated with medical imaging. She is a co-PI of a large, pragmatic randomized trial evaluating more versus less intensive strategies for active surveillance of patients with small pulmonary nodules. She is also developing statistical methods for evaluating screening outcomes using clustered, longitudinal observational data. Dr. Miglioretti has collaborated on over 200 publications and enjoys mentoring graduate students and early-stage faculty.

Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S.

Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S., a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist, is Dean and Professor of Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. Previously, he held the positions of Distinguished Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine and Director of the USC Institute for Global Health. His career has centered on epidemiologic research on threats to public health and using research findings to support policies that protect population health. His research has addressed indoor and outdoor air pollution, smoking, radiation risks, cancer etiology and outcomes, and sleep. He has been involved with numerous committees related to the use of scientific evidence in characterizing risks and decision-making, including chairing the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee. For three decades, he has authored and edited the reports of the Surgeon General on smoking and health, including serving as Senior Scientific Editor for the 50th Anniversary 2014 report. Dr. Samet received the 2004 Prince Mahidol Award for Global Health awarded by the King of Thailand, the Surgeon General’s Medallion in 1990 and 2006, the Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal from the American Thoracic Society/American Lung Association, the Fries Prize for Improving Health, and the Luther L. Terry Award for Distinguished Career from the American Cancer Society. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

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