Cancer Populations Sciences (CPS) Division

Working closely with the Huntsman Cancer Institute, an internationally renowned cancer center with outstanding clinicians and scientists, the Division of Cancer Population Studies fosters the integration of cancer population sciences with clinical research and provides expertise on study design, in molecular and translational epidemiology, and in cancer prognosis, survivorship, and outcomes research.

The Cancer Control and Population Sciences (CCPS) Program

Huntsman Cancer Institute
The Cancer Control and Population Sciences (CCPS) Program is a comprehensive basic and applied research program that spans the cancer control continuum from etiology, primary prevention, screening, and early detection to continuing care, survivorship, and end-of-life care. The unifying long-range goals of the program are to prevent cancer and reduce cancer morbidity and mortality.

Cancer Population Science Faculty

Neli Ulrich

Neli Ulrich, MS, PhD

Research Interests:

  • Lifestyle and biologic factors in cancer prevention and cancer prognosis, particularly of colorectal cancer
  • Personalized cancer prevention with aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Nutrition
  • Connections between obesity, adipose tissue, and the progression of cancer
  • The role of energy balance and physical activity in cancer prevention and cancer survivorship

Email: neli.ulrich@hci.utah.edu

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 Jennifer Doherty, PhD, MS

Research Interests:

  • Identifying similarities and differences in epidemiologic and genetic risk factors and survival across subtypes of ovarian cancer
  • Identifying factors associated with ovarian cancer survival disparities by race/ethnicity
  • Characterizing epidemiologic and molecular features of ovarian cancer in diverse populations
  • Evaluating the utility of biomarkers such as telomere length and methylation markers for risk stratification for lung cancer

Email: jen.doherty@hci.utah.edu

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Sheetal Hardikar, PhD, MBBS

Research Interests:

  • Identifying and evaluating novel molecular and genetic biomarkers for cancer risk and prognosis of gastrointestinal cancers
  • The role of inflammation in development, prevention, and progression of gastrointestinal cancers
  • Chronic conditions related to inflammation, including obesity and diabetes, and their role in the development and progression of gastrointestinal cancers
  • Cancer screening through risk stratification

Email: sheetal.hardikar@hci.utah.edu

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Jennifer Ose, PhD, MSc, Dipl. oec.troph.

Research Interests:

  • Biologic factors in cancer risk and cancer prognosis, particularly of colorectal and ovarian cancer
  • Understanding biological and genetic risk factors across distinct subtypes of colorectal and ovarian cancer
  • Lifestyle-related risk factors such as obesity and association with cancer risk and progression
  • Evaluate diet-related exposures and metabolomics profiles and their associations with colorectal cancer risk
  • Investigating whether biological markers, such as metabolites, mediate the diet-cancer relationship

Email: Jennifer.Ose@hci.utah.edu

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Anita Peoples, PhD

Research Interests:

  • Examining cancer- and treatment-related symptoms and their management
  • Understanding clinical, psychological, and biological mechanisms of sleep problems in cancer patients and survivors
  • Evaluating the relationships between sleep disturbance and other symptoms such as depression, pain, cognitive impairment and cardiovascular toxicities in cancer population
  • Identifying factors associated with sleep disturbance such as microbiota and adiposity
  • Investigating interventions to alleviate sleep problems in cancer patients and survivors such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

Email: Anita.Peoples@hci.utah.edu

Interim Division Chief



David W. Wetter, PhD, MS