Kassandra I. Alcaraz, PhD, MPH

Strategic Director of Health Disparities Research, Behavioral Research Center

Kassandra I. Alcaraz, PhD, MPH conducts research to better understand the heterogeneity of populations with a disproportionately high cancer burden and uses this knowledge to inform the development and dissemination of targeted behavioral interventions that are more appropriate and effective for these populations. She also conducts research to develop and test the use of information and communication technologies to connect medically underserved populations to health information, preventive services, and evidence-based behavioral interventions.

Dr. Alcaraz’s current work includes research in partnership with United Way/2-1-1, a national information and referral system that helps individuals meet their basic human needs (e.g., housing, food). This research aims to assess the cancer information and service needs of 2-1-1 clients and identify effective strategies to connect these clients to existing resources. Dr. Alcaraz also serves as the founding co-chair of ACS’s Cancer Health Equity Research Interest Group, an interdisciplinary group of ACS colleagues involved in health equity research and related activities.

Prior to joining the BRC in October 2012, Dr. Alcaraz obtained an MPH in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health and a PhD in Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. She also completed a two-year predoctoral traineeship in Eliminating Health Disparities sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Her research has been recognized for research excellence and innovation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the American Association for Cancer Research.