San Francisco Bay Area: Cancer Prevention Institute of California

Dr. Esther John, Principal Investigator

Dr. John received both her PhD (in 1990) and MSPH (in 1987) in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Her research program is focused on identifying the causes of breast cancer and prostate cancer, with a special interest in the role of potentially modifiable lifestyle factors (physical activity, obesity, vitamin D, dietary factors), early life exposures, and genetic susceptibility. Many of her research studies are focused on Latina and African American populations and investigate racial/ethnic differences in risk factors and their contribution to cancer disparities.  

Dr. John is a Senior Research Scientist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California in Fremont, CA, Consulting Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine (Department of Health Research and Policy), and member of the Stanford Cancer Institute.


Dr. Theresa Keegan, Co-Investigator

Dr. Keegan received her PhD in Epidemiology from Stanford University in 2003, after receiving her MS in Wellness Management from Ball State University in 1999.

Dr. Keegan is particularly interested in modifiable factors and health behaviors that influence the occurrence of cancer and survival after cancer, and was funded to assess the relationship of life-time body size and physical activity to risk of Hodgkin lymphoma, and to assess the impact of the neighborhood built environment on the risk of breast cancer and survival after breast cancer. Dr. Keegan’s research also focuses on cancer surveillance, cancer outcomes and cancer survivorship, particularly among adolescents and young adults 15 to 39 years of age.  She has worked extensively with population-based cancer registry data to understand patterns of cancer incidence, treatment and survival, and been involved with multiple studies examining patient experiences with cancer and patient-reported outcomes after cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Keegan is an Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of California (UC) Davis School of Medicine and a member of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.



Judy Goldstein, Project Manager

Judy Goldstein is the Project Manager for the LEGACY Girls Study in California. She joined the Cancer Prevention Institute of California in 1997 after conducting health research studies for 10 years at the Public Health Institute in Oakland. Prior to her career in public health, Judy worked in policy and social science research in the area of program evaluation. Judy has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and has a Cancer Data Systems Certificate from UCSF. She finds the LEGACY Girls Study one of the most satisfying and interesting projects she has ever worked on because the study focuses on health as well as psychosocial aspects of everyday life that affect girls today.  Judy would love to meet every LEGACY girl and mom in the study to learn and record their reasons for joining and continuing to participate in this very important study.



 Maria Talosig-Garcia, MPH, Project Coordinator

Maria Talosig-Garcia is the Project Coordinator for the LEGACY Girls Study in California. She has been coordinating the pilot LEGACY Study since 2009 and will continue to supervise LEGACY field work. Maria has a Master of Public Health degree in health promotion from San Diego State University. She began her public health career in 1992 coordinating tobacco prevention programs with youth in Silicon Valley. Coordinating the LEGACY Girls Study has been fulfilling and gives Maria the opportunity to continue working with young people and their families. Off work, she is kept busy by her two daughters, ages 13 and 15, taking them to soccer and field hockey games, choir practice and shopping. Maria also has a pet dog that makes sure they both get exercise by walking the local trails.



 Jenny Nguyen, MPH, Project Coordinator

Jenny Nguyen is a Project Coordinator for the LEGACY Girls Study in California. She supports a variety of research activities including monitoring the flow of questionnaire mailings, tracking follow-up activities, preparing reports, and maintaining quality control of data. She joined LEGACY in the summer of 2012 while pursuing her graduate degree. Since then, she has earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of San Francisco in the Fall of 2014 and wishes to continue on to pursue a doctorate degree. Outside of work, Jenny enjoys exploring new hiking trails, going to concerts, reading books, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.



Rita Zendejas-Brewer, Interviewer/Phlebotomist

Rita Zendejas-Brewer is an interviewer/phlebotomist for the LEGACY Girls Study in California. She has worked in the community for many years and at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California for almost 10 years. She expressed that it has been a pleasure working with a team of experts on the LEGACY Girls Study, which is a very unique project. She has met many wonderful families and as busy as they are, they always welcome her into their homes as if nothing is more important. In her down time, she likes watching sports, cooking and gardening, and spending time with her family.



 Katrina Garcia, Interviewer/Phlebotomist

Katrina Garcia is an interviewer/phlebotomist for the LEGACY Girls Study in California. She is excited to be a new addition to the LEGACY team. She looks forward to meeting and getting to know the LEGACY girls and their families. She loves working with children and seeing them grow up. She was a nanny for 7 years and she finds it hard to believe they are now in high school and college! Currently, she is out of school but looks forward to pursuing a nursing degree in the near future. She loves being crafty, crocheting, and spending time with her kids who are highly involved in sports. She also loves cooking and baking with her girls.





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