Cancer Research Interest Group


InCHIP hosts the Cancer Research Interest Group (Cancer RIG) for affiliate researchers interested in biopsychosocial issues across the entire cancer control continuum of prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and end-of life. The mission of the Cancer RIG is to increase high quality, impactful cancer control research across the UConn campuses. The Cancer RIG aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and increase opportunities for obtaining external grant funding. The group includes members from a range of departments and schools across UConn, as well as from other universities, local healthcare facilities, and community organizations.

The Cancer RIG meets periodically throughout the year and co-sponsors cancer-related talks as part of the InCHIP Lecture Series. In addition, it organizes and sponsors various events and activities dedicated to achieving its mission.

Leadership Team

Crystal Park, PhD
Chair, Cancer Research Interest Group
Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences
Deborah Cornman, PhD
Associate Director, InCHIP
Associate Research Professor, InCHIP

Join Us

To join the Cancer RIG, please fill out the form below:


Upcoming Events

Conferences and Colloquia

Population Health Management for Smoking Cessation in Low Income Smokers

Date: Thursday, February 28, 2019, 12:30-1:30pm

Location:J. Ray Ryan Building, Room 204, 2006 Hillside Road, Storrs, CT

Led by Brian Hitsman, Ph.D.

Biography: Dr. Brian Hitsman is Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine & Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, and a member of the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received his BS in psychology from Alma College (Michigan) and MS and PhD in clinical health psychology from the Chicago Medical School, finishing his psychology internship in health/psychology behavioral medicine at Brown University’s Clinical Psychology Training Consortium. He completed a two-year fellowship in tobacco dependence and treatment in 2004 in the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center at Brown, and was on the faculty until leaving for Northwestern in 2008. Dr. Hitsman’s work focuses on the causes and treatment of tobacco use and dependence among disadvantaged and underserved adult populations.


Cancer RIG Highlights

February 2018: Reuven Dar, Ph.D held a lecture titled: Effects of Real-time Monitoring and Notification of Smoking Episodes on Smoking Reduction: Test of a Novel Smoking Cessation Phone App.

September 2015: The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science’s (CICATS) Cancer Control and Prevention Cancer Core Interest Group hosted a Science Café on September 24 at Costa del Sol Restaurant in Hartford to promote healthy cancer survivorship and related clinical and research opportunities. The event brought together 25 professionals, approximately ten practitioners and 15 researchers, from Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, UConn Storrs, and UConn Health to meet and conduct roundtable discussions on issues central to cancer survivorship. The keynote speaker at the event, Dr. Tara Sanft, M.D., launched lively discussion following her presentation on the cancer care continuum and opportunities that she envisions for clinical research in the survivorship population.

Fall 2014 and Spring 2015: The Cancer RIG sponsored several InCHIP Lecture Series speakers on cancer topics:

  • Terrance Albrecht, PhD from Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University School of Medicine – Lecture on “Reducing Cancer Health Disparities Using Community Engaged Research” followed by a discussion group on “Tips for Establishing a Community-Engaged Research Program”
  • William Klein, PhD from Behavioral Research Program at NIH’s National Cancer Institute – Lecture on “Self-Affirmation: From Theory to Process to Health Impact”
  • Rick Gibbons, PhD from Psychology Department at University of Connecticut – Lecture on “Racism as a Carcinogen: Risk, Resilience, and Genetic Sensitivity”
  • Julia Rowland, PhD from Office of Cancer Survivorship at NIH’s National Cancer Institute – “Addressing Cancer Survivors’ Health Behaviors: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities”

In the Spring 2014 semester, the Cancer RIG hosted a seed grant competition with funding from the Vice President for Research, Dean of School of Medicine, and InCHIP. The focus of the competition was to foster cancer control health behavior research collaborations across campuses and disciplines by providing seed grant funding to dual-PI teams of researchers from the Storrs and UConn Health campuses. The goal of this initiative was to fund pilot work that would facilitate the submission of grant proposals to the National Cancer Institute. The three winning proposals, each awarded $35,000, were:

  • “Exercise, Bone and Cardiovascular Health in Breast Cancer Survivors”
    Principle Investigators: InCHIP Affiliate Keith Bellizzi, PhD, MPH (Human Development and Family Studies) and Pam Taxel, MD (Department of Medicine)
  • “Pharmacist Intervention in Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative (PICCSI)”
    Principle Investigators: InCHIP Affiliate Lisa Holle, PharmD, BCOP, FHOPA (Pharmacy Practice) and Joel Levine, MD (Department of Medicine)
  • “Improving Quality of Life for Pediatric Cancer Patients and Parents through Yoga”
    Principle Investigators: InCHIP PI Crystal Park, PhD (Psychological Sciences) and InCHIP Affiliate Andrea Orsey, MD, MSCE (Pediatrics)

In March 2014, the Cancer RIG invited Dr. Rebecca Ferrer, a Program Officer at the National Institute of Cancer (and 2007 graduate of UConn’s Ph.D. program in Social Psychology) to make a presentation to Cancer RIG members on current funding opportunities at NCI.

In May 2014, the Cancer RIG held a focus group for junior cancer researchers (primarily Assistant Professors) from UConn Storrs and UConn Health  to elicit feedback on the needs of less experienced researchers. The goal of the meeting, facilitated by Dr. Megan Gerrard and Dr. Deborah Cornman, was to learn more about the kinds of programs, services, and resources that would help junior researchers in their research, funding, and collaboration efforts. Notable needs and wishes shared by the participants included: dedicated mentorship, “soup to nuts” guidance on the process of grant writing and its various associated forms and requirements, examples of both successful and unsuccessful grant proposals, and a system for finding potential collaborators outside of one’s own department. InCHIP is working to provide the services that were requested.

Cancer Research Resources, News, and Journals

National Cancer Institute’s Behavioral Research Branch

This website contains an array of useful tools and resources for cancer research. You can search funding opportunities, subscribe to their newsletter, access research tools, and more!

Cancer News on Twitter

CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control

National Cancer Institute

NCI Epidemiology

Medical News Today: Cancer News

Hutchinson Center

Mayo Clinic

Academic Journals

Cancer Research

This journal publishes cancer research ranging from molecular and cellular pathobiological aspects of cancer to prevention and epidemiology. It is published biweekly.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute

This international journal publishes research on a wide range of cancer topics. It is published monthly.


This comprehensive journal is geared towards both medical professionals and cancer prevention researchers from a broad array of disciplines. It is published biweekly.

Research on Aging

This interdisciplinary journal publishes research in the field of social gerontology. It is published bi-monthly.

Preventive Medicine

This monthly journal focuses on applied research in health prevention, publishing articles covering topics such as health education, risk screening, public health planning, and lifestyle related diseases.

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

This monthly journal publishes research, opinions, and materials geared forward epidemiology and public health.

New England Journal of Medicine

This widely read medical journal is international in scope and publishes on various aspects of medicine and public health. It’s published weekly.

The Journal of the American Medical Association

This widely read medical journal is international in scope and publishes on various aspects of medicine and public health. It’s published weekly.

American Journal of Public Health

This journal publishes research, program evaluations, and opinion pieces on public health related matters. The aims of this publication are to contribute to the development of universal coverage, eliminate health disparities, and rebuild public health infrastructure.

For a comprehensive list of cancer journals, we recommend using the SCImago Journal & Country website at The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a library of journals and country scientific indicators adapted from information in the Scopus database (Elsevier B.V.). This is a relatively user friendly website that allows you to search journals by topic, e.g., oncology, and asses the average number of citations by year, the H index, the number of cites per year, and a variety of other kinds of valuable information about journals that publish research on cancer. allows you to search by cancer type/topic to get rankings and publisher information for a variety of cancer journals.

Funding Opportunities

See below for cancer-related funding opportunities in the InCHIP External Funding Opportunities database. To filter the database by funding opportunities in other health domains, please visit the External Funding Opportunities main page.

Another resource to search for cancer-related funding opportunities is NCI’s Behavioral Research Cancer Control and Population Sciences funding and grants page. This page also contains a variety of helpful resources and tools for the grant writing and submission processes.