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 co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Program of the Stanford Cancer Institute.

 

Dr. Theresa Keegan, Co-Principal 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 the surveillance of cancer using SEER cancer registry data.

Dr. Keegan is a Research Scientist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Consulting Assistant Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine (Department of Health Research and Policy) and member of the Stanford Cancer Institute.

  

 

 

 

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 the full LEGACY field work. Maria has an MPH 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. Off work, she is kept busy by her two daughters, ages 9 and 7, taking them to karate classes,   soccer games and choir practice. Maria also loves to read, recently burying herself in the Hunger Games trilogy in a week span.

 

 

 

Debbie Serva, Interviewer/Phlebotomist

Debbie Serva is an Interviewer/Phlebotomist for the LEGACY Girls Study in the Bay Area. She is responsible for recruiting and interviewing participants, as well as, collecting and processing bio specimens. Debbie has been with LEGACY since 2008, when pilot work began. She has over 10 years phlebotomy experience working in various Bay Area hospitals where she worked with people from all walks of life and ages. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science from San Jose State University and completed a Clinical Trials Design and Management Certificate program from UC Santa Cruz Extension. Outside of work Debbie enjoys gardening, fishing and playing golf. Throughout the years, she and her husband have enjoyed hosting exchange students from Japan.

 

 

 

Ritela Zendejas-Brewer, Spanish Bilingual Interviewer/Phlebotomist

Ritela Zendejas-Brewer is the Spanish Bilingual Interviewer/Phlebotomist for the LEGACY Girl Study in the Bay Area. She is responsible for recruiting and interviewing participants, as well as, collecting and processing bio specimens. She has been recruiting families for the study since October 2011. Ritela is also a Lab Technician, receiving her degree through MTD College in 1982. She has a background in nutrition and has worked as a Teen Advocate. Off work she keeps busy by attending baseball games with her 6 grandsons. Ritela also loves to read and spend time in the garden.

  

 

 

Shanika Anderson, Interviewer/Phlebotomist

Shanika Anderson is an Interviewer/Phlebotomist for the Legacy Girls Study in the Bay Area. She joined the LEGACY team in November 2011. She is responsible for recruiting and interviewing participants, as well as, collecting and processing bio specimens. Shanika has been a phlebotomist since January 2007 and is currently working on obtaining her Vocational Nursing License. Shanika started off as a Pre-K teacher in 2001 where she had 24 four-year olds in her class. She then moved on to working in public health, obtaining her CNA license and moving on to phlebotomy. Off work, Shanika enjoys watching sci-fi movies, trying different foods and taking her pit bull Star to the beach.

 

 

Jenna Luckhardt, Interviewer/Phlebotomist

Jenna Luckhardt is an Interviewer/Phlebotomist for the Legacy Girls Study in the San Francisco Bay Area. She began working with Legacy in October of 2012. In her previous career as a Veterinary Technician Jenna worked at a local animal shelter caring for sick and injured homeless animals. Jenna decided to change her medical focus from animals to people in 2010 and got her Phlebotomy license. She is currently going to school for a Masters degree as a Physicians Assistant. Jenna is an outdoorsy type of person and can be found hiking with her dog or surfing along the coast most weekends. She also loves live music and takes any chance to go to a concert.

 

 

 

 

  • What the study is
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