APHA-SA Biosketch: Leona Bessonova
Involvement in APHA-SA: Advancement Committee Co-Chair (2010-2011)
School: University of California, Irvine
Degree Program: Ph.D. Expected June 2012
Practice/Research Interests: Although I have academic training and research experience in infectious disease epidemiology, my current research interests focus on risk factors and markers of disease progression in female reproductive cancers, primarily carcinoma of the breast. Many breast cancers are sporadic (i.e. occurring in women without family history of known cancer genes). I am therefore concentrating on four important areas: 1) systemic inflammation and cancer-specific outcomes; 2) hormonal exposures, risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer, and survival outcomes; 3) effects of body mass index, physical activity, and other modifiable exposures on cancer etiology; and 4) disparities in cancer progression and outcomes in minorities.
Other Leadership Activities:
University of California, Irvine; Counseling Center, LGBT Mentor (2010 – Present)
University of California, Irvine; Academic Senate, Council on Planning and Budget, Graduate Student Representative (2009 - Present)
Society of Epidemiologic Research – Student Council (SER-SC) Program Committee Co-Chair (2009 – Present)
Plans after school:
I want to become an independent researcher working at an academic institution or a national research organization with a focus on breast cancer epidemiology. I hope to obtain funding to study how breast caner manifests in vulnerable populations, and to investigate possible pathways for intervention. In the future I wish to collaborate with clinicians, basic scientists, statisticians, and community affiliates to plan and carry out translational and multifaceted research.
Personal Statement about APHA-SA:
I hope to contribute to the APHA-Student Assembly’s efforts to communicate with public health students and early-career scientists like myself in order to facilitate interactions and interdisciplinary collaborations. As Advancement Committee Co-Chair I can ensure consistent communication between the APHA-SA Board and the Campus Liasons. This will hopefully promote student involvement and attendance at the APHA Annual Meeting. Additionally, I would like to be involved in making sure the relevant information about APHA-SA activities reaches the public health student community via the Advancement Committee webpage and various APHA publications. I believe that participation in the APHA-SA as an Advancement Committee Co-Chair will allow me to play a small but significant role in the planning of future APHA-SA events, and I hope to promote interdisciplinary student contributions for the annual APHA meeting.
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Last Update 04/07/10