Carolyn Y. Fang, PhD
Office Phone: 215-728-4062
Office: 4th Floor, Young Pavilion
Biobehavioral Oncology and Health Disparities
Our laboratory aims to identify biobehavioral factors that influence cancer risk across a variety of populations. Guided by a biobehavioral model of cancer stress and disease course, we incorporate the use of comprehensive psychosocial assessments along with cutting-edge molecular techniques in our multidisciplinary research studies. In particular, our laboratory has been examining basic biobehavioral mechanisms underlying the stress response within a paradigm of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. In this research, we observed that higher levels of psychosocial stress were associated with impaired HPV-specific immune response among women with cervical dysplasia, suggesting a potential mechanism by which stress may be related to HPV persistence and cervical disease progression. Because accumulating data suggest that HPV infection of the upper aerodigestive tract may contribute to the development of a subset of head and neck cancers, we have been examining similar pathways among patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Together, these data will help define potential psychosocial, behavioral, and immunologic pathways underlying HPV-related cancer risk and development.
Other related projects examine cultural, psychosocial and environmental determinants of cancer health disparities in underserved Asian Americans, one of the fastest growing ethnic/racial groups in the US. In collaboration with Dr. Grace Ma and the Center for Asian Health at Temple University, we have developed and implemented various community-based interventions to enhance cancer screening and risk reduction behaviors. Together we have demonstrated that we can significantly improve cancer screening and prevention behaviors by utilizing a multifaceted approach that addresses social, personal, and access barriers to screening and other health-promoting behaviors in underserved Asian American populationsTop