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Community Outreach and Translation Core

Each of the four centers has a Community Outreach & Translation Core (COTC) that is tasked with ensuring that the views and concerns of the breast cancer advocate community are heard and that the research findings are disseminated to the public. Members of the COTCs include breast cancer advocates, public health professionals, researchers, and community-based organizations. While each COTC has its own goals, they do collaborate together on issues of mutual concern. Each COTC has a member actively participating in the biology project and a member actively participating in the epidemiologic study. For more information on each COTC's activities, scroll down or click on the center name. A complete list of collaborators and community partners for each COTC can be found on the Member Centers profile pages.

Center COTC Leader
Fox Chase Cancer Center Luz Claudio, PhD, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
Michigan State University Charles Atkin, PhD
San Francisco Bay Area Janice Barlow, RN, Zero Breast Cancer
University of Cincinnati M. Kathryn Brown, PhD


Claudio Luz
Luz Claudio

Fox Chase Cancer Center

Principal Investigator:   Luz Claudio, PhD
Co-investigator:   Sarah Williams, MPH

Knowledge, both general and disease-specific, plays an important role in the prevention of disease outcomes. This is especially true with environmentally-caused diseases because these are often preventable, either by avoidance of the individual’s exposure or by community actions. For this reason, it is important that results of research in environmental health sciences be translated and communicated effectively to people who are most likely to benefit.

The Community Outreach and Translation Core of Mount Sinai School of Medicine aims to provide a vehicle for bi-directional communication between research scientists and community participants. The Core draws from the cultural richness of East Harlem to increase environmental health knowledge. Activities include:

  • Educational Workshops
  • Newsletters
  • Fact-sheets

Both scientists and study participants contribute to the communication effort. It is expected that the activities of the COTC will increase the immediate benefits to the community and will enhance participation and retention of study participants.


Charles Atkin
Charles Atkin

Michigan State University

Principal Investigator:   Charles Atkin, PhD
Co-investigator:   Kami Silk, PhD
  Sandi Smith, PhD
website:   www.bcerc.msu.edu/communication.html

The Michigan State University COTC is comprised of community advocates and faculty members from the Department of Communication. Our goal is to work together to increase awareness about breast cancer based on state of the science evidence. For example, an educational and fundraising program entitled Meal Patterning for Breast Health, was organized and implemented by community advocates in coalition with other university and community sponsors. We have also conducted ten focus groups across four counties in Michigan to gain an understanding of adolescent and adult females' perceptions and understanding of breast cancer and the environment. We are currently piloting a random phone survey across Michigan to further our formative research. This information will help us to develop tailored health messages to target audiences, particularly adolescent females. Finally, MSU has a project website under construction that will explain our activities as well as provide another source for breast cancer information.


Janice Barlow
Janice Barlow

San Francisco Bay Area

Principal Investigator:   Janice Barlow, RN
Co-investigators:   Karen Goodson-Pierce, JD
Kathy Koblick, MPH
Fern Orenstein, MEd
website:   bayarea.bcerc.org/cotc.htm

The overall goal of the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) of the Bay Area Breast Cancer and Environment Research Center is the enhancement of partnerships and collaborations amongst researchers, public health professionals, public policy makers, breast cancer and environmental advocates, and community members.

The COTC provides opportunities for community members, breast cancer and environmental advocates, public professionals and policy makers to increase their understanding of the center’s research studies, the research process, and the role environmental stressors play in the development of breast cancer and for researchers to increase their understanding about community, environmental, and health issues related to breast cancer.

Members of the COTC actively participate in both research projects where they bring the communities’ perspective to the table. The COTC translates and disseminates the Center’s research findings back to the community so the results can be used to make informed personal decisions and affect public policy.


Katie Brown
Katie Brown

University of Cincinnati

Principal Investigator:   M. Kathryn Brown, PhD
Co-investigators:   Kathleen Ball, National Breast Cancer Coalition
Robert Bornschein, PhD
Ann Hernick, Breast Cancer Alliance of Greater Cincinnati
  Jennifer Ruschman, MS, CGC, Cincinnati
  Children's Hospital Medical Center
  Veronica Ratliff
Collaborators:   Breast Cancer Alliance of Greater Cincinnati (http://www.bcacincy.org)
  Patterns Inc.
  Pink Ribbon Girls (http://www.pinkribbongirls.org)
  Sisters Network Cincinnati (http://www.sistersnetworkcincy.org)
website:   eh.uc.edu/growingupfemale/community_education.asp

The goal of the Cincinnati Community Outreach & Translation Core is to work with breast cancer survivors and their advocacy, education, support and service organizations to enhance the public's understanding of the environmental and genetic factors which may impact mammary gland development, pubertal maturation and adult-onset breast cancer. Four Specific Aims have been identified:

  1. Co-sponsor public education programs about the environmental factors associated with female development and breast cancer.
  2. Conduct targeted educational programs about the environmental factors associated with female development and breast cancer.
  3. Train volunteers to assist with the human health study.
  4. Maintain a support network for study families with a history of breast cancer to address concerns & questions about cancer genetics and communication strategies for discussing cancer risks.

For more information, e-mail growingupfemale@uc.edu.