Joshua Williams, PhD. Dr. Williams completed his doctoral studies in February 2010 at the University of Arizona, where he studied Drug Development and Design. His dissertation work focused on folate metabolism in human skin and therapeutic implications for the treatment and prevention of disease. Dr. Williams initially received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with honors from the University of Arizona. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, he worked in industry as a formulation engineer for ImaRx, Inc., where he developed and tested novel formulations of cancer therapeutics, and as a Coordinator of Analytical Services for Niadyne, Inc., where he designed, conducted and analyzed in vivo experiments on the absorption and metabolism of micronutrients in murine and human skin. Dr. Williams then sought to further a career in academic research, which led to his postdoctoral research under Marek Romanowski, PhD (Engineering), in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona. This research focuses on demonstrating a folate-specific mechanism to target human ovarian carcinoma cells to facilitate intracellular molecular manipulation via spectrally-controlled content release from plasmon resonant nanostructures. Following the completion of his postdoctoral research with Dr. Romanowski, Dr. Williams will begin his R25 training in July 2011. He has selected Georg Wondrak, PhD (pharmacology and toxicology), and Steven Stratton, PhD (Medicine), to serve as his primary mentors. Dr. Williams’ R25 research will examine whether UV induced reactive carbonyl species in skin may be therapeutically targeted for effective chemoprevention of NMSC.
Tomas Nuño, PhD. Dr. Nuño completed his PhD in Epidemiology in August 2011 at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH). His dissertation research explored breast and cervical cancer screening among rural-dwelling Hispanic and American Indian women in Arizona. A key part of his research was the evaluation of a community-based, randomized controlled trial that assessed a promotora-administered intervention to promote breast and cervical cancer screening in a rural community along the U.S.-Mexico border. Dr. Nuño initially received a Bachelor of Science degree in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis before going on to compete a Master of Arts degree in Economics at the University of Arizona. While earning his doctorate, Dr. Nuño taught CPH 376: Introduction to Health Sciences Science Statistics from 2008 through 2011 for the MEZCOPH. Upon completion of his doctorate, Dr. Nuño was selected for a postdoctoral fellowship with the Arizona Area Health Education Center-funded Clinical Outcomes and Comparative Effectiveness Research (COCER) Academic Fellowship Program. The goal of the fellowship program was to provide training in clinical outcomes and comparative effectiveness research, with a specific focus on primary care for rural and underserved patients, families, and communities in Arizona and its interface with specialty and tertiary care. Dr. Nuño has been awarded a three-year National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) grant to be conducted as part of the R25T Cancer Prevention and Control Fellowship Program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. This research will study clinical (screening/diagnosis/treatment), economic, and humanistic cancer outcomes and assess disparities among underserved populations, including racial/ethnic and rural populations. Dr. Nuño will use the findings from this study to quantify disparities in cancer outcomes. In addition, this study will provide preliminary data to assess strategies that can then be tested in clinical or community settings and hopefully help reduce the burden of cancer among underserved populations. Dr. Nuño has selected Dr. Ivo Abraham (outcomes and effectiveness research) and Dr. Francisco Garcia (cancer disparities) as his primary mentors. Dr. Grant Skrepnek (health economics and national expenditure database research) and Dr. David S. Alberts (cancer prevention and control) also serve as mentors for Dr. Nuño.
David O. Garcia, PhD. Dr. Garcia completed his doctoral degree in Exercise Physiology on August 2013 from the Department of Health and Physical Activity at the University of Pittsburgh. His dissertation research examined the feasibility of campaign intervention, including a thematic framework and an incentive-based point system, as an alternative strategy for weight management. Dr. Garcia received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Slippery Rock University and his Master’s Degree and his PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to pursuing his doctoral studies, he worked at the University of Pittsburgh Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center where he assisted with numerous National Institutes of Health funded research studies examining the effects of exercise on weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight and obese individuals. These studies have provided him with invaluable experience in individual exercise counseling and group weight management. In addition, he has developed and implemented physical activity and weight management programs for corporate and community partners. Dr. Garcia began his R25 training in April 2014 and selected Cynthia Thomson, PhD (College of Public Health) as his primary mentor. Cecelia Rosales, MD (College of Public Health), and Bijan Najafi, PhD, M.Sc. (College of Medicine) also serve on his mentoring team. Dr. Garcia’s R25 research will promote physical activity with healthy dietary behaviors and weight management as it relates to cancer risk reduction and survivorship with a particular emphasis on health disparities in Hispanics.