Prevention and Control Program (PCP)

Associate Director: Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH
Program Co-Leaders: Aimee James PhD, MPH, Ross Brownson, PhD and Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD


Cancer continues to pose a major threat to public health nationally and in the Siteman Cancer Center (SCC) catchment area. The pioneering transdisciplinary and translational research within the SCC Prevention and Control Program (PCP) is aimed at reducing the cancer burden and spans from prevention to early detection through survival. Adding to the robust depth and breadth of PCP expertise, research within the program spans from the cell to society and includes basic science, large data analytics, clinical and community-based intervention and implementation research, as well as policy research in clinical and community settings. PCP’s research priorities are responsive to and reflective of the catchment area. Cigarette smoking rates are above average in our catchment; lung cancer rates are above the national average. Our catchment includes racial/ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity, and within this diversity are disparities in cancer screening, detection, and survival. Similar to the rest of the nation, we observe delays in the implementation of evidence-based practice across many settings. Our unique and diverse catchment includes parts of Missouri, which has the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation and lacks Medicaid expansion, and parts of Illinois, which has a more stringent cigarette policy and expanded Medicaid. Together this results in a microcosm in which to study tobacco use, cancer disparities, and implementation science.


Building on PCP’s impactful and practice-changing research from the past five years and based on key needs in the SCC catchment and beyond, the PCP will address the following specific aims:

  1. Reduce the impact of tobacco use and resultant cancers by conducting research across the continuum, from prevention to detection and cessation.
  2. Reduce cancer health disparities through rigorous research in cancer prevention and control.
  3. Advance dissemination and implementation science methods to reduce the cancer burden.

Facts and Figures:

  • PCP membership includes experts in diverse disciplines such as psychology, epidemiology, biostatistics, economics, public health, clinical medicine, and basic science.
  • The program has 38 members from eight departments and two schools at Washington University.
  • PCP members published 1,096 manuscripts from 2014-2018, of which 25% and 25% represent inter- and intra-programmatic collaborations, respectively.
  • In 2018, the PCP had 7,355 total enrollments into clinical studies, of which 38% were interventional. Forty percent of the interventional enrollments represented racial and ethnic minority participants.

Recorded program seminars and events are available at this link on WUSTL Box.