Biobehavioral researcher Ceballos joins Cancer Prevention Program

Former Center postdoc aims to reduce cancer health disparities and provide survivor support in rural Latino, African American populations
Dr. Rachel Ceballos
“Working at the Center offers access to leaders in the field of public health and the opportunity to build interdisciplinary collaborations,” said Dr. Rachel Ceballos. Photo by Linsey Battan

Dr. Rachel Ceballos has joined the Public Health Sciences Division faculty. She first came to the Hutchinson Center in 2005 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Biobehavioral Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program.

Ceballos aims to examine the biobehavioral mechanisms contributing to cancer health disparities. Biobehavioral research looks at the impact of multiple pathways—biological, behavioral, psychological, social and environmental—on health-related outcomes. 
Ceballos’ research training included examining the effect of psychosocial factors on biological and behavioral mechanisms of disease risk in a laboratory setting in human and animal models.  Over the last five years, she expanded her work to encompass quantitative and qualitative community-level research methods in underserved rural Latino populations.
She is currently working to better understand psychosocial factors as they contribute to biological and behavioral mechanisms of cancer prevention and control and to develop and evaluate culturally appropriate interventions to reduce cancer health disparities. 

Although currently working with rural Latinos, Ceballos plans to expand her focus to urban Latino and African American communities to develop culturally appropriate cancer survivorship programs using biobehavioral and community-based participatory research methods.

“These programs will address issues of psychosocial support for long-term cancer survivors, including the promotion of prevention behaviors for cancer comorbidities like diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” Ceballos said. 
Ceballos said she’s excited to join the PHS faculty. “Working at the Center offers access to leaders in the field of public health and the opportunity to build interdisciplinary collaborations,” she said. “And the Center’s resources and reputation provide a strong foundation from which meaningful research can be conducted and translated to benefit the community at large.”

“Rachel is a creative and careful scientist and a generous colleague who will be an extraordinary addition to our multidisciplinary Cancer Prevention Program,” said program head Dr. Polly Newcomb. “Her interest in survivorship in Hispanics in the Yakima Valley is an exciting new direction for our program. We are looking forward to the development of Rachel's research with other underserved populations.”

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