Grace Ryan

Grace Ryan, Ph.D. student, Community and Behavioral Health

Increases vaccinations

What is your degree program and expected graduation date? Phd in Community and Behavioral Health, December 2020

Please describe your research: My research focuses on providing equitable access to cancer prevention and screening services. Specifically, I focus on increasing uptake of the cancer-preventing HPV vaccine for adolescents as well as screening tests for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer.

In simple terms, why does this research matter? We have many resources available to prevent cancer or detect it early, but not all populations are able to access these resources. My work aims to eliminate these disparities through a focus on evidence-based programming.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I was able to participate in research immediately after starting at the University. I have had a Research Assistant position for the entirety of my time here and been involved in numerous projects.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? The research I have done complements my academic work and has ultimately helped me to be a well-rounded PhD candidate. During my time at Iowa I have had the opportunity to present this research at several national conferences and meet other researchers in my field.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I would like to remain in academia in a position where I can continue my work in cancer prevention and screening and be able to both engage in research and teach and mentor students.

Faculty mentor/advisor: Natoshia Askelson, MPH, PhD

Hometown: Medford, Massachusetts

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