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Cancer Prevention & Control Research Program

The Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program within the Livestrong Cancer Institutes serves as a home for scientists who aim to develop and implement comprehensive, evidence-based strategies that reduce the burden of cancer among disproportionally affected populations.

The program’s faculty represent diverse research areas in medicine, population health, social work and geography. Together, they collaborate to improve health outcomes.

A man on a panel speaks. Two women seated next to him look on.
Two women standing in front of each other talking.
A man wearing a medical mask stands in front of a colorectal cancer research poster.

Areas of Focus

  • Develop comprehensive programs across all preventable, detectable cancers.
  • Educate and empower individuals and communities in engaging in healthy behaviors to reduce cancer risk.
  • Create effective community outreach strategies to increase education and promote evidence-based screening.
  • Create health care pathways that facilitate equitable access to screening and full treatment options.
  • Improve access to care by continuing to explore new, applicable cancer prevention and control methods available through scientific and medical research.


Coordinating Center for Colorectal Cancer Screening across Texas

The Coordinating Center for Colorectal Cancer Screening across Texas — known as CONNECT — aims to drive and support colorectal cancer screening efforts. Compared to the rest of the U.S., Texas sits in the bottom quartile of up-to-date colorectal cancer screening in adults of eligibility screening age.

Funded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), CONNECT will create a statewide stakeholder network to develop, implement and disseminate a Texas colorectal cancer screening strategic plan to galvanize screening across the state. Additionally, the center seeks to leverage infrastructure and resources to support the expansion of colorectal screening across the state, with a focus on medically underserved populations. CONNECT is centered in the Department of Population Health and is led by Navkiran Shokar, M.D., MPH, in partnership with multiple organizations across Texas.

CONNECT serves as a convening entity and central hub of resources, tools and content expertise accessible by stakeholders across the state, working to achieve the following goals:

  • Create a comprehensive stakeholder network representing all regions and communities in Texas to inform development, implementation and dissemination of a Texas colorectal cancer screening strategic plan.
  • Develop infrastructure and resources to support expansion of evidence-based colorectal cancer screening statewide.
  • Use rigorous evaluation methods and innovative approaches of modeling, geospatial mapping and cost-effective analyses to assess impact and support planning, implementation and policy development.
  • Accelerate the creation, implementation and dissemination of colorectal cancer screening best practices for priority populations.

Approach to Research

Research within the program strives to promote health equity by reducing the cancer burden among disadvantaged individuals and medically underserved communities. Social, economic and geographic considerations comprise the program’s initiatives that aim to prevent cancer, reduce cancer risk and detect cancer earlier.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Woven into the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program is a coordinated approach to reducing cancer incidence and morbidity and mortality through interdisciplinary collaboration. The program creates and leverages collaborations across Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin and Federally Qualified Health Center partners such as Central Health-affiliated CommUnityCare Health Centers and Lone Star Circle of Care. It also receives funding support from key partners such as the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas.

These comprehensive partnerships, which also extend to the community, help drive the program’s shared goal of increasing access to cancer prevention services, screenings and care.

Leadership & Faculty

The Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program is led by Navkiran Shokar, M.D., MPH, chair of the Department of Population Health.

  • Shokar is a distinguished cancer prevention and control researcher who focuses on addressing disparities in screening detectable cancers in vulnerable groups.

News in Cancer Prevention & Control