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Cancer, Prevention & Control

The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in the Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine was established in May 2010. The division has 3 goals: 1) to foster the development and growth of the Population Sciences research program of the OSU comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as Population Sciences research within the College of Medicine; 2) to facilitate the professional development of fellows and junior faculty within the Department of Internal Medicine in relation to population sciences and clinical research; and 3) to provide expertise to other investigators in the Department of Medicine and College of Internal Medicine regarding population sciences, health outcomes and comparative effectiveness research.


Division Director

Electra D. Paskett, Ph.D., became the Marion N. Rowley Professor of Cancer Research at The Ohio State University in 2002. She is the Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in the College of Medicine, a professor in the Division of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health and the Associate Director for Population Sciences and Program Leader of the Cancer Control Program in the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Ohio State University (OSU).  She is also Director of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at the James Cancer Hospital.  She received her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington.  Dr. Paskett’s intervention research is directed at cancer prevention, early detection and survivorship issues specifically among underserved populations. 



Theodore M. Brasky, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, WA. His research interests focus on developing a further understanding of the association of inflammation and cancer. Specifically he is interested in the study of substances and genes hypothesized to affect inflammation. In addition to working with other researchers as well as clinical colleagues, he has an expanding interest in the study of diet and dietary supplements, components of which may affect inflammatory processes, and their association with cancer risk and survival.

Michelle Naughton, PhD joined the College of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in September 2014. Dr. Naughton's research focuses on psychosocial issues and quality of life in cancer populations. She is currently the Principal Investigator on three studies in the Alliance assessing quality of life related to cancer treatment, one in the area of colorectal cancer and two in the area of breast cancer. In addition, Dr. Naughton is the past Principal Investigator of a Behavioral Center of Excellence in Breast Cancer funded by the Department of Defense

Paul Reiter, PhD, MPH joined the College of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control after successfully completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina. His research addresses cancer prevention and control through two main thematic areas, cancer screening and vaccination.  Both health behaviors are effective strategies for reducing disease burden, yet remain underutilized. He is particularly interested in examining the determinants of engaging in these behaviors and designing programs to increase their use.

Peter Shields, MD is an internationally renowned physician-scientist and expert in cancer prevention is a Professor in the College of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. He is also the deputy director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC). Dr. Shields is a leader in researching new biomarkers of cancer risk, molecular epidemiology and carcinogenesis. His primary focus is identifying biomarkers that can be used in the clinic to assess breast and lung cancer risk, particularly those related to diet, smoking and lifestyle, as well as to assess tobacco-related toxicity and development of methods to assess new tobacco products.


The overall goal of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control is to conduct research to reduce the incidence, mortality and morbidity of cancer. The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control  focuses  on  research  across  the  cancer  control  continuum,  from  etiology  through  survivorship, includes a multi-level focus, from biology to policy, and has cross-cutting themes of underserved/minority populations, communication research, tobacco use and toxicity (including regulatory science) and behavioral strategies that capitalize on our members’ strengths, such as epidemiology, biology and behavior.  In addition, many of our projects include trans-disciplinary research teams to better understand and address research aims.


The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control has 3 specific aims:

Aim 1: To identify molecular, genetic, and behavioral factors related to cancer incidence and mortality: Research in this aim focuses on etiological observational studies of risk, specifically related to molecular, genetic and behavioral risk factors (tobacco, risky behaviors, diet/physical activity/obesity; and HPV risk and vaccination).  Much of our research identifies the causes of disparities within our catchment area.

Aim 2: To develop and test behavioral interventions to prevent or detect cancer early.  Within this aim, researchers are focused on behavioral interventions as a way to prevent and/or reduce risk for developing cancer.  Themes include tobacco, HPV vaccine promotion, diet/exercise/obesity, early detection and follow-up after abnormal screenings.  Many projects address the needs of our catchment area in terms of cancers with high incidence/mortality (e.g., lung and colorectal cancer) or high-risk behaviors (e.g., smoking and lack of HPV vaccination).

Aim 3: To assess and intervene on issues of cancer survivorship: This aim focuses on both observational and interventional studies among cancer patients and survivors, with many studies including biologic/mechanistic components.  These studies utilize the resources of our patient populations, national cooperative groups, and/or the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) populations.