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Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
Until Every Cancer is Cured
Population Science

Population Science

The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) Population Science effort, led by Grace Lu-Yao, Ph.D., is composed of experts from both Thomas Jefferson University and its consortium partner, Drexel University. We aim to bring discovery from the bench to bedside and communities to address issues related to the entire cancer control continuum, from cancer prevention, screening, treatment, through survivorship. Thus, we address the issues at multi-levels, from cells to society. 

The overarching goal of SKCC Population Science is to improve the wellness of the population and eliminate health disparities through multidisciplinary programs in research, patient care, and education.

Population scientists at SKCC have a wide range of expertise, including biostatistics, medical oncology, radiation oncology, emergency medicine, biology, epidemiology, behavioral science, pharmacy, nursing, health communication, health informatics, microbiology, immunology, surgery, psychology, occupational therapy, community health, and public health. 


Grace Lu-Yao, PhD portrait

Grace Lu-Yao, PhD

Associate Director of Population Science

Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, MPH, is a professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Medical Oncology. Dr. Lu-Yao joined SKCC in 2016 as the inaugural Associate Director of Population Science at SKCC. She works closely with the Associate Director of Community Integration, and the SKCC leadership team to foster interprogrammatic research and education. Dr. Lu-Yao was elected to be a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology in 2006 and has been the PI of several NIH and DOD funded projects, Many of her research findings on cancer surveillance, screening, and treatment for prostate cancer have provided benchmark references and published in high-impact medical journals such as JAMA, Lancet, British Medical Journal, and European Urology. Dr. Lu-Yao is passionate about bringing tailored whole-person care to patients with cancer and has substantial experience in leading transdisciplinary teams and in integrating population science with basic and clinical science. In 2018, Dr. Lu-Yao received the Investigator's Award from the International Society of Geriatric Oncology.

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Cancer Risk and Control

The Cancer Risk and Control (CRiC) Research Program, comprised of 34 investigators from 16 different departments, aligns closely with Population Science to foster collaborative projects

Nicole L. Simone portrait

Nicole L. Simone

Program Leader

Dr. Simone is the Margaret Q. Landenberger Professor of Radiation Oncology at SKCC, the co-leader of the Breast Oncology Program at SKCC, and the radiation director for the Jefferson Breast Care Center in Philadelphia.

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Andrew Chapman, DO, FACP portrait

Andrew Chapman, DO, FACP


Dr. Chapman is a Clinical Professor of Medical Oncology, the Chief of Cancer Services at the SKCC, and the Co-Director of the Jefferson Senior Adult Oncology Center.

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Meghan Butryn, PhD portrait

Meghan Butryn, PhD


Dr. Butryn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, Associate Head for the Department of Psychology, and the Director of Research in the Center for Weight, Eating, and Lifestyle Science (WELL Center) at Drexel University.

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Ongoing Research

The following are a few examples of ongoing SKCC Population Science research

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