“Before working at the American Cancer Society (ACS), I was involved with research that required a lot of interaction with patients. By working closely with them, I discovered my passion for research aimed to help improve people's quality of life. And that realization led me back to school to earn a master's degree in public health.
"Now, I'm ready to apply my fine-tuned understanding of nutritional literacy, physical activity, and the importance of access to fresh produce and the benefits of nutrition towards improving quality of life for people with chronic disease like cancer."
As an Associate Scientist II, Amber C. Grant, MPH, serves as a project manager for the physical activity behavioral intervention program called Health and Energy through Active Living Every Day (HEALED).
Cancer survivors can experience prolonged side effects from previous cancer treatments, and those side effects can make it hard for them to be physically active. The HEALED program attempts to reframe such barriers by showing cancer survivors how to use physical activity to provide relief from treatment-related side effects.
Grant assists Erika Rees-Punia, PhD, MPH, and other leading scientists on the implementation, evaluation, and monitoring of the HEALED program.
My research focus at ACS centers on providing behavior intervention for cancer survivors of all types via an interactive website. Participants will have a chance to learn from videos, join discussion groups, and read physical activity topics targeted to their level of skill and readiness. My team is dedicated to understanding how to best promote active living for survivors so that they can gain the benefits of physical activity and improve their quality of life.
I’m most interested in nutritional epidemiology—how nutritious eating, nutritional literacy, and access to healthy foods can protect against chronic diseases like cancer. For instance, I’d like to explore how people in low-income communities, who are part of racial/ethnic minority groups, and who live in food deserts could potentially benefit from using cost-effective means to improve their diet outside of pharmaceutical strategies.
As a data analyst, I previously investigated the visual and auditory neural pathways responsible for imagination in healthy people and in people with schizophrenia. This study measured participants’ imagination network of the brain and attempted to investigate overlapping regions of activation with the visual and auditory sensory networks to understand the development of auditory and visual hallucinations.
With my neuroscience background, I became a graduate research assistant studying alcohol consumption and alcohol marketing towards vulnerable populations. I had the opportunity to lead a study looking at marketing perceptions and alcohol consumption on young adult populations in Uganda and in the United States. This study addressed the issue of alcohol industry’s self-regulatory laws and lack of governmental overview from third world countries like Uganda.
For a full list of Grant’s publications, visit her Google Scholar page.
Amber lives in the Kennesaw, GA, area and enjoys cooking, baking, and tending to her garden.