Population Studies & Disparities Research Program

Mission

The goals of the Population Studies and Disparities Research (PSDR) Program include identifying risk factors underlying disease onset and progression, and developing and testing intervention strategies to reduce risk and improve diagnosis, treatment and outcomes. These goals are aimed at decreasing race and ethnicity related disparities and overall disease burden. 

Scientific Themes

The PSDR Program themes encompass research to reduce and eliminate disparities across the cancer experience of adult and pediatric populations, and include a diversity of race/ethnic groups. 

  • Theme 1: Investigate the distribution and determinants of cancer and cancer risk, survivorship and outcomes with attention to racial and ethnic disparities
  • Theme 2: Examine patient, family member, physician and community interactions and behavior to understand and conduct interventions to address cancer risk, treatment and outcomes with attention to reducing and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities

Program Activities

Members of the Population Studies & Disparities Research Program regularly interact in several ways to develop scientific directions and implement strategic planning efforts including:

  • A PSDR Program Committee meets monthly to discuss strategic directions, research collaborations, plan seminars and retreats, and address general programmatic issues as they arise
  • Monthly faculty meetings to discuss epidemiological and communication/behavioral research in progress
  • Monthly PSDR research meetings and seminar presentations directed at the entire program membership
  • Yearly thematic research retreats are held with distinguished national speakers invited to give keynote addresses and faculty and post doctoral fellows presenting their latest research findings
  • Karmanos-wide annual scientific retreat
  • PSDR members are engaged in several Karmanos Research Groups to develop program projects applications.
  • A major effort underway is the PSDR Survivorship Working Group, this team is conducting a pilot cohort study of Karmanos-based African American and white cancer cases and family members to provide preliminary data for a planned P01, to be submitted in 2015
  • Members participate in the Karmanos Lung Cancer Research Group, the Lung Cancer SPORE planning group, the Breast Cancer Research Group and the Prostate Cancer Research Group

Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)

The metropolitan Detroit area is home to a highly diverse and medically underserved population. As part of the original SEER program of nine registries dating back to 1973, we contribute approximately 38% of the national cancer incidence and survival data for African Americans. The SEER registry is not only used for descriptive studies; it provides a population-based source of cases for case-control and case-case comparisons. There are ~25,000 new cancers diagnosed in Metropolitan Detroit each year, with about 25% of those being diagnosed in African Americans. In addition to the large African American population, this area is home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the United States. This population diversity provides a remarkable opportunity for the study of race/ethnicity related health disparities. All of the research described is conducted in this context and includes substantial numbers of minorities.

Program Leaders

  • Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer, Ph.D., MPH
    Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer, Ph.D., MPH

    Program Leader, Population Studies and Disparities Research Program
    Associate Professor, Department of Oncology
    Director, Epidemiology Research Core
    Karmanos Cancer Institute
    Wayne State University School of Medicine

  • Lauren Hamel, Ph.D.

    Co-Program Leader, Population Studies and Disparities Research
    Associate Professor, Department of Oncology
    Karmanos Cancer Institute
    Wayne State University School of Medicine

The Latest From Karmanos Cancer Institute

News

Illuminating Lights, Beautiful Weather Brought Record Attendance to Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer™ to Benefit Research at Karmanos

Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer™ Detroit Celebration and Ice Show was another fantastic event this year, bringing out more spectators and raising more money...

Read More

A Precise Beam of Hope: Gamma Knife Procedure Gives Patient New Lease on Life

Paul Poole never expected his life would change in the blink of an eye. At 69 years old, he was enjoying his life in Redford with his wife of 32 y...

Read More

$1.4 Million Awarded to Karmanos, WSU Researcher to Expand Findings Surrounding Prostate Cancer

A team of researchers at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University (WSU) were awarded a $1.4 million, three-year grant ...

Read More
News

Prostate Cancer Aware | The Genetic Risks for Prostate Cancer with Dr. Isaac Powell

Listen Now

WDET | New WSU study finds ‘music medicine’ can help cancer patients

Listen Now

Sunday Edition | Updates in stage III and IVA cervical cancer treatment

Listen Now