Current CPC trainees
Elizabeth L. Adams, Ph.D.
Elizabeth L. Adams, Ph.D., is a fellow in the NCI-funded T32 postdoctoral training program in cancer prevention and control research at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Her primary research interest includes the development and dissemination of family-based interventions designed to prevent childhood obesity. She is particularly interested in how parenting practices shape multiple health behaviors (physical activity, eating, sleep patterns) in childhood and how these health behaviors impact weight trajectories across development. She is currently working with Massey researcher Melanie Bean in the Healthy Lifestyles Center at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU on projects related to the school food environment on children’s dietary intake and adolescent obesity treatment interventions. Prior to coming to VCU, Adams completed her Ph.D. in nutritional sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. During her doctoral training, she received a USDA-funded seed grant to explore within-family parent and infant sleep patterns on feeding practices during early infancy. Adams also earned a B.S. in exercise physiology from the University of Florida in 2013 and an M.S. in kinesiology from the University of Connecticut in 2015.
Dr. Moriah P. Bellissimo
Dr. Moriah P. Bellissimo is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in health sciences from Georgia State University and a PhD in nutrition and health sciences from Emory University. Her research focuses on understanding the role of diet, exercise, and metabolism on body composition and fat distribution, which strongly influence metabolic disease development. Prior to joining the NCI-funded T32 program at VCU’s Massey Cancer Center, she earned a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science from Georgia Southern University where she was a member of the indoor volleyball team. She also completed a dietetic internship and master’s degree at Georgia State University while investigating relationships between dietary intake and energy balance with body composition in professional athletes. Her initial doctoral training explored implementing a United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and evaluating the effectiveness of recreational sports for cardiovascular risk reduction. She gained extensive training in clinical and translational nutrition research through her dissertation work. This project focused on clinical investigations in working adults and patients with cystic fibrosis linking body composition and fat distribution with nutritional and bioenergetic metabolism. Her research integrates state-of-the-art techniques such as high-resolution metabolomics, extracellular flux analysis, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to profile metabolism related to health outcomes. Under the mentorship of Dr. Greg Hundley at the Pauley Heart Center, she will study the role of nutrition and body composition on metabolism in individuals undergoing cancer treatment and cancer survivors. The goal of this work is to inform targeted, nutrition-focused therapies that promote health and mitigate cardiovascular risk in this population.
Carrie A. Miller, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Carrie A. Miller, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a fellow in the NCI-funded T32 postdoctoral training program in cancer prevention and control research at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Miller recently completed her Ph.D. in social and behavioral sciences at the VCU School of Medicine. Her dissertation was facilitated by a Susan G. Komen predoctoral training fellowship and focused on the effects of providing average risk adults with colorectal cancer risk assessment results. She also obtained a Master of Public Health degree from VCU in 2013. As part of her master's program, Miller assisted with an evaluation of the colorectal cancer screening behaviors among community-dwelling residents of southeast Virginia and spent one month in South Africa helping to conduct a community-engaged research project. She has been honing her research skills for nearly two decades. Prior to attending graduate school, she worked in a variety of clinical research roles in the academic and private sectors.
Miller's overarching research interests involve the intersection of health and social, behavioral and psychological factors. She is particularly interested in health promotion and preventive services within cancer prevention and control. She is currently working with Bernard Fuemmeler and Sunny Kim on projects related to cancer communications, social media and mobile/digital health. She looks forward to contributing her expertise to these projects and enhancing her research skills and professional repertoire as a T32 CPC fellow.
Kerri-Anne Mitchell, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Kerri-Anne Mitchell, DrPH, MPH is a fellow in the NCI-funded T32 postdoctoral training program at VCU Massey Cancer. Her core research interests include patient-centered care and communication, cancer disparities, and outcomes research and evaluation. Under the mentorship of Dr. Richard Brown, she plans to explore how novel patient engagement and patient-provider communication strategies can be used to identify and incorporate patient priorities into cancer care decision-making. Dr. Mitchell’s goal is to improve the efficacy and timeliness of the implementation of patient priorities leading to improved care outcomes among vulnerable patient groups. She received her doctorate in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) School of Public Health in 2018 with minors in Biostatistics and Healthcare Management. While pursuing her doctorate she engaged in both independent and collaborative research projects at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center related to understanding patients’ perspectives of their care and defining patient-centered care for cancer patients. At UT Health, she contributed to projects focused on promoting cancer screening in minority populations and employee wellness.
Dr. Mitchell received her Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from Florida International University in 2010 and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007. She hopes that her work will help to inform policy and practice changes that improve providers’ ability to comprehensively support cancer patients with varying needs and values, and as a result improve their care experiences and outcomes.
Jean Reading, M.A.
Jean Reading, M.A., is a predoctoral fellow in the NCI-funded T32 training program in cancer prevention and control at VCU Massey Cancer Center, mentored by Jessica LaRose, Ph.D. Broadly, her research interests include the design and implementation of lifestyle interventions for the prevention and treatment of obesity. Within that overarching area of interest, she is specifically interested in the dissemination of evidence-based lifestyle interventions into real-world settings—including the use of technology and implementation in clinical care settings. Reading has published a systematic review of physician trainings related to weight loss communication with patients; examined gender differences in exercise preferences among young adults within the context of weight control programs; and is conducting a secondary data analysis of young men and women’s performance in a technology-driven behavioral weight loss trial. Her dissertation involves a pilot randomized clinical trial to determine the preliminary efficacy and feasibility of a low touch lifestyle intervention to reduce adiposity among young men, coupled with semi-structured interviews to refine the recruitment and intervention protocol.
Reading received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2012) and a Master of Arts degree in Applied Psychological Research (2014) from Pennsylvania State University. Prior to beginning her doctoral training, she worked as a Research Project Manager at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine in the Department of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine. Reading began her doctoral training in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy in 2016, and is currently a doctoral candidate.
Arnethea L. Sutton, Ph.D.
Arnethea L. Sutton, Ph.D., is a fellow in the NCI-funded T32 postdoctoral training program in cancer prevention and control at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Sutton's primary research interests are in cancer disparities, cancer genetics, survivorship and community engaged-research. She is particularly interested in developing interventions that seek to improve the quality of life of Black cancer survivors. She is currently working with Vanessa B. Sheppard on projects related to endocrine therapy initiation and persistence in breast cancer survivors, genetic cancer risk assessment uptake in Black and Latina women, and male cancer survivors. Sutton received a B.S. in clinical laboratory sciences from VCU in 2006, an M.S. in clinical laboratory sciences from VCU in 2006, and a Ph.D. in health-related sciences from VCU in 2017.
Bonny Morris, R.N., M.S.P.H.
Bonny Morris, R.N., M.S.P.H., was a fellow in the NCI-funded T32 training program in cancer prevention and control at VCU Massey Cancer Center, mentored by Bernard Fuemmeler, Ph.D, M.P.H. Her primary research interests are in rural cancer control and care delivery. As a pre-doctoral fellow, Morris has examined rural cancer survivorship and care delivery strategies through qualitative studies on patient portal use, a systematic literature review of health technology use in rural populations, semi-structured interviews and qualitative analysis of treatment discontinuation in rural and urban breast cancer survivors, and a secondary analysis of electronic medical records and health claims data examining radiation treatment non-adherence in rural and urban cancer patients. Her dissertation involves a mixed methods approach to understanding treatment non-adherence among rural cancer survivors.
Morris received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007. She received a Master of Science in Public Health degree jointly from the Departments of Epidemiology and Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University in 2009, where she was a NIOSH fellow and trained at the American Cancer Society. As a cancer epidemiologist, she pursued a career at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she was assistant director for the NC-LA Prostate Cancer Consortium. As part of her career development plan to pursue research in cancer control and care delivery, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Washington University in 2011 and became credentialed as a registered nurse and a certified Oncology Nurse Navigator. She serves as chief executive officer of the non-profit organization Take the Fight to Cancer. Morris began her graduate studies in the Health Behavior and Policy department at VCU in 2016.
Current Position: Recipient of prestigious NCI F99/K00 predoctoral to postdoctoral fellow transition award, Doctoral Candidate, Health Behavior and Policy, VCU
Nicole Nicksic, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Nicole Nicksic, Ph.D., M.P.H., was a fellow in the NCI-funded T32 postdoctoral training program in cancer prevention and control at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Nicksic’s primary research interests are in tobacco prevention and control. She is particularly interested in electronic cigarette advertising and use behaviors among youth. She is currently working with Andrew Barnes and Thomas Eissenberg on projects related to determinants of youth tobacco behaviors amenable to federal and state tobacco regulations, as well as the influence of regulatory environments on youth tobacco use. Nicksic earned her B.S. in clinical laboratory science and sociology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2008. She worked as a medical technologist in a hospital laboratory in Milwaukee, WI, before beginning her graduate studies in epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at the Austin campus to earn a M.P.H. in 2013 and Ph.D. in 2016.
Current Position: Research Director of Biostatistics, Cancer Support Community, Philadelphia, PA