OCHECE welcomes new community outreach and engagement scientist to faculty

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Health Equity and Community Engagement (OCHECE) welcomes Kristin Maki, Ph.D., to the faculty. She joins OCHECE as a community outreach and engagement (COE) scientist after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.  

Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Maki received all three of her degrees within her home state: a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo, a master’s from Ithaca College and a doctorate from the University of Buffalo.

With interest in health communication, her journey to research started as an undergraduate student while working on her college’s newspaper and the school’s TV news and radio stations. Her love for writing continued following graduation when she started a position on the editorial board of a publishing company.  

While studying as a doctoral student at the University of Buffalo, Dr. Maki decided to focus on health communication after realizing the impact her work could have in helping the public. She joined M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as a postdoctoral fellow after graduation, where she worked on various projects, including youth-related tobacco awareness messages, analysis of a smoking cessation counseling continuing education course and the development of content for an interactive video game aimed at preventing substance abuse. 

While working under Dr. Robert Volk in the Decision Support Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program at M.D. Anderson, Dr. Maki shifted her focus to lung cancer screening. This included research on patient decision support tools, factors associated with uptake and possible drivers of disparities related to eligibility.

Dr. Maki's work addresses cancer prevention by examining individual factors related to patient-provider discussions of lung cancer screening and health literacy, as well as broader factors associated with health outcomes. 

Drs. Felicity Harper and Hayley Thompson’s enthusiasm for community-based participatory research is why Dr. Maki decided to join the team at Karmanos. Her past research work in health communication aligns with OCHECE’s planned efforts. She looks forward to impacting knowledge and perception on lung cancer screening and working with the Scientists in Action program.