Photo of Karen M. Emmons,  PhD

Karen M. Emmons, PhD

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
Phone: (617) 432-4870


kemmons@hsph.harvard.edu

Karen M. Emmons, PhD

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
  • Faculty Director, Community Engagement Program, Harvard Catalyst

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

I am a Professor of Social and Behavioral Science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I am a behavioral scientist with a strong track record of funded research in community-based approaches to cancer prevention in a variety of settings that serve disadvantaged populations, including low income housing and community health centers. My work targets a range of cancer risk factors, including nutrition, physical activity, sun exposure, tobacco and second-hand smoke exposure, and cancer screening. My research teams have included interdisciplinary perspectives on cancer risk reduction and health disparities, with a focus on multiple cancer risk behaviors and implementation of evidence-based interventions. I have a strong track record as a leader of large research grants, and as a mentor. I am a past recipient of a mid-career K award (1K05 CA124415-02, Dissemination Research to Reduce Cancer Disparities). My current work and writing focuses heavily on implementation science, particularly in community health settings, and I have been actively involved in national efforts to develop implementation research and training programs. Over my career, I received over $40M in research funding as PI from NIH, and supported about $20M in research grants as a co-PI or co-investigator. In 2013 I transitioned to full-time academic administrative positions; in September, 2018 I returned to my passion - community-based implementation research—and am currently rebuilding my research portfolio I currently serve as the Faculty Director of the Community Engagement Program for Harvard’s Clinical Translational Science Award, and which focuses on advancing evidence-based strategies to improve community health. I am the multi-PI of our recently renewed Cancer Prevention and Control Training Grant. I also serve on the Steering Committee for NCI’s Consortium for Implementation Science in Cancer (CISC), and on faculty for the Training Institute in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer (TIDIRC).

Publications

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  • Emmons KM, Colditz GA. Realizing the Potential of Cancer Prevention - The Role of Implementation Science. N Engl J Med 2018; 376:986-990. PubMed
  • Chandler PD, Scott JB, Drake BF, Ng K, Forman JP, Chan AT, Bennett GG, Hollis BW, Giovannucci EL, Emmons KM, Fuchs CS. Risk of hypercalcemia in blacks taking hydrochlorothiazide and vitamin D. Am J Med 2014. PubMed
  • Emmons KM, Puleo E, Greaney ML, Gillman MW, Bennett GG, Haines J, Sprunck-Harrild K, Viswanath K. A randomized comparative effectiveness study of Healthy Directions 2--a multiple risk behavior intervention for primary care. Prev Med 2014. PubMed
  • Ng K, Scott JB, Drake BF, Chan AT, Hollis BW, Chandler PD, Bennett GG, Giovannucci EL, Gonzalez-Suarez E, Meyerhardt JA, Emmons KM, Fuchs CS. Dose response to vitamin D supplementation in African Americans: results of a 4-arm, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 99:587-98. PubMed
  • Chandler PD, Scott JB, Drake BF, Ng K, Manson JE, Rifai N, Chan AT, Bennett GG, Hollis BW, Giovannucci EL, Emmons KM, Fuchs CS. Impact of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory markers in African Americans: results of a four-arm, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa) 2014; 7:218-25. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, McCloud R, Minsky S, Puleo E, Kontos E, Bigman-Galimore C, Rudd R, Emmons KM. Internet use, browsing, and the urban poor: implications for cancer control. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2014; 2013:199-205. PubMed
  • Klosky JL, Hum AM, Zhang N, Ali KS, Srivastava DK, Klesges RC, Emmons KM, Ness KK, Stovall M, Robison LL, Hudson MM. Smokeless and dual tobacco use among males surviving childhood cancer: a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013. PubMed
  • Bober SL, Giobbie-Hurder A, Emmons KM, Winer E, Partridge A. Psychosexual functioning and body image following a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ. 2013. PubMed
  • Ruddy KJ, Meyer ME, Giobbie-Hurder A, Emmons KM, Weeks JC, Winer EP, Partridge AH. Long-term risk perceptions of women with ductal carcinoma in situ. Oncologist 2013. PubMed
  • Schroy PC, Emmons KM, Peters E, Glick JT, Robinson PA, Lydotes MA, Mylvaganam SR, Coe AM, Chen CA, Chaisson CE, Pignone MP, Prout MN, Davidson PK, Heeren TC. Aid-assisted decision making and colorectal cancer screening: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med 2012; 43:573-83. PubMed
  • Kontos EZ, Emmons KM, Puleo E, Viswanath K. Contribution of communication inequalities to disparities in human papillomavirus vaccine awareness and knowledge. Am J Public Health 2012; 102:1911-20. PubMed
  • Greaney ML, Puleo E, Sprunck-Harrild K, Bennett GG, Cunningham MA, Gillman MW, Coeling M, Emmons KM. Electronic reminders for cancer prevention: factors associated with preference for automated voice reminders or text messages. Prev Med 2012; 55:151-4. PubMed
  • Greaney ML, Puleo E, Geller AC, Hu SW, Werchniak AE, DeCristofaro S, Emmons KM. Patient follow-up after participating in a beach-based skin cancer screening program. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2012; 9:1836-45. PubMed
  • Emmons KM, Cleghorn D, Tellez T, Greaney ML, Sprunck KM, Bastani R, Battaglia T, Michaelson JS, Puleo E. Prevalence and implications of multiple cancer screening needs among Hispanic community health center patients. Cancer Causes Control 2011; 22:1343-9. PubMed
  • Emmons KM, Weiner B, Fernandez ME, Tu SP. Systems Antecedents for Dissemination and Implementation: A Review and Analysis of Measures. Health Educ Behav 2011. PubMed
  • Lasser KE, Murillo J, Lisboa S, Casimir AN, Valley-Shah L, Emmons KM, Fletcher RH, Ayanian JZ. Colorectal cancer screening among ethnically diverse, low-income patients: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 2011; 171:906-12. PubMed
  • Shelton RC, McNeill LH, Puleo E, Wolin KY, Emmons KM, Bennett GG. The Association Between Social Factors and Physical Activity Among Low-Income Adults Living in Public Housing. Am J Public Health 2011. PubMed
  • Emmons KM, Geller AC, Puleo E, Savadatti SS, Hu SW, Gorham S, Werchniak AE, . Skin cancer education and early detection at the beach: a randomized trial of dermatologist examination and biometric feedback. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011; 64:282-9. PubMed
  • Cooley ME, Emmons KM, Haddad R, Wang Q, Posner M, Bueno R, Cohen TJ, Johnson BE. Patient-reported receipt of and interest in smoking-cessation interventions after a diagnosis of cancer. Cancer 2011. PubMed
  • Lobb R, Ayanian JZ, Allen JD, Emmons KM. Stage of breast cancer at diagnosis among low-income women with access to mammography. Cancer 2010; 116:5487-96. PubMed
  • Koh HK, Oppenheimer SC, Massin-Short SB, Emmons KM, Geller AC, Viswanath K. Translating research evidence into practice to reduce health disparities: a social determinants approach. Am J Public Health 2010; 100 Suppl 1:S72-80. PubMed
  • Lobb R, Allen JD, Emmons KM, Ayanian JZ. Timely Care After an Abnormal Mammogram Among Low-Income Women in a Public Breast Cancer Screening Program. Arch Intern Med 2010; 170:521-8. PubMed
  • de Moor JS, Partridge AH, Winer EP, Ligibel J, Emmons KM. The role of socioeconomic status in adjustment after ductal carcinoma in situ. Cancer 2010; 116:1218-25. PubMed
  • De Jesus M, Puleo E, Shelton RC, McNeill LH, Emmons KM. Factors Associated with Colorectal Cancer Screening among a Low-Income, Multiethnic, Highly Insured Population: Does Provider's Understanding of the Patient's Social Context Matter? J Urban Health 2010; 87:236-43. PubMed
  • Shelton RC, Puleo E, Bennett GG, McNeill LH, Goldman RE, Emmons KM. Racial discrimination and physical activity among low-income-housing residents. Am J Prev Med 2009; 37:541-5. PubMed
  • Shelton RC,Puleo E,Syngal S,Emmons KM. Multivitamin use among multi-ethnic, low-income adults. Cancer Causes Control 2010; 20:1271-80. PubMed
  • Lasser KE,Murillo J,Medlin E,Lisboa S,Valley-Shah L,Fletcher RH,Emmons KM,Ayanian JZ. A Multilevel Intervention to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening among Community Health Center Patients: Results of a Pilot Study. BMC Fam Pract 2009; 10:37. PubMed
  • Nathan PC,Ford JS,Henderson TO,Hudson MM,Emmons KM,Casillas JN,Lown EA,Ness KK,Oeffinger KC. Health behaviors, medical care, and interventions to promote healthy living in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort. J Clin Oncol 2009; 27:2363-73. PubMed
  • Bowen DJ, Sorensen G, Weiner BJ, Campbell M, Emmons K, Melvin C. Dissemination research in cancer control: where are we and where should we go? Cancer Causes Control 2009; 20:473-85. PubMed
  • Waters EA, Weinstein ND, Colditz GA, Emmons K. Explanations for side effect aversion in preventive medical treatment decisions. Health Psychol 2009; 28:201-9. PubMed
  • Emmons KM,Lobb R,Puleo E,Bennett G,Stoffel E,Syngal S. Colorectal cancer screening: prevalence among low-income groups with health insurance. Health Aff (Millwood) 2009; 28:169-77. PubMed
  • Ligibel JA,Partridge A,Giobbie-Hurder A,Golshan M,Emmons K,Winer EP. Physical activity behaviors in women with newly diagnosed ductal carcinoma-in-situ. Ann Surg Oncol 2008; 16:106-12. PubMed
  • McNeill LH, Coeling M, Puleo E, Suarez EG, Bennett GG, Emmons KM. Colorectal cancer prevention for low-income, sociodemographically-diverse adults in public housing: baseline findings of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health 2009; 9:353. PubMed
  • Ruger JP, Emmons KM, Kearney MH, Weinstein MC. Measuring the costs of outreach motivational interviewing for smoking cessation and relapse prevention among low-income pregnant women. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2009; 9:46. PubMed
  • Stryker JE,Fishman J,Emmons KM,Viswanath K. Cancer risk communication in mainstream and ethnic newspapers. Preventing Chronic Disease 2008; 6:A23. PubMed
  • Emmons KM,Puleo E,Mertens A,Gritz ER,Diller L,Li FP. Long-term smoking cessation outcomes among childhood cancer survivors in the Partnership for Health Study. J Clin Oncol 2008; 27:52-60. PubMed
  • Goldman RE, Barbeau E, Hunt MK, Acevedo-Garcia D, Emmons KM, Gagne J, Sorensen G. Perceptions of Health Promotion and Cancer Prevention Among Adults in Working-Class Occupations and Neighborhoods. Health Educ Behav 2008; 35:777-90. PubMed
  • Emmons K,Puleo E,McNeill LH,Bennett G,Chan S,Syngal S. Colorectal cancer screening awareness and intentions among low income, sociodemographically diverse adults under age 50. Cancer Causes Control 2008; 19:1031-41. PubMed
  • Wolin KY,Bennett GG,McNeill LH,Sorensen G,Emmons KM. Low discretionary time as a barrier to physical activity and intervention uptake. Am J Health Behav 2008; 32:563-9. PubMed
  • Emmons KM,Viswanath K,Colditz GA. The role of transdisciplinary collaboration in translating and disseminating health research: lessons learned and exemplars of success. Am J Prev Med 2008; 35:S204-10. PubMed
  • Emmons KM,Geller AC,Viswanath V,Rutsch L,Zwirn J,Gorham S,Puleo E. The SunWise Policy intervention for school-based sun protection: a pilot study. J Sch Nurs 2008; 24:215-21. PubMed
  • de Moor JS,Elder K,Emmons KM. Smoking prevention and cessation interventions for cancer survivors. Semin Oncol Nurs 2008; 24:180-92. PubMed
  • Bennett GG, Wolin KY, Okechukwu CA, Arthur CM, Askew S, Sorensen G, Emmons KM. Nativity and Cigarette Smoking among Lower Income Blacks: Results from the Healthy Directions Study. J Immigr Minor Health 2008; 10:305-11. PubMed
  • Partridge A,Winer JP,Golshan M,Bellon JR,Blood E,Dees EC,Sampson E,Emmons KM,Winer E. Perceptions and management approaches of physicians who care for women with ductal carcinoma in situ. Clin Breast Cancer 2008; 8:275-80. PubMed
  • Prokhorov AV, Yost T, Mullin-Jones M, de Moor C, Ford KH, Marani S, Kilfoy BA, Hein JP, Hudmon KS, Emmons KM. "Look At Your Health": Outcomes associated with a computer-assisted smoking cessation counseling intervention for community college students. Addict Behav 2008; 33:757-71. PubMed
  • Geller AC, Zwirn J, Rutsch L, Gorham SA, Viswanath V, Emmons KM. Multiple levels of influence in the adoption of sun protection policies in elementary schools in Massachusetts. Arch Dermatol 2008; 144:491-6. PubMed
  • Ruger JP, Weinstein MC, Hammond SK, Kearney MH, Emmons KM. Cost-effectiveness of motivational interviewing for smoking cessation and relapse prevention among low-income pregnant women: a randomized controlled trial. Value Health 2007; 11:191-8. PubMed
  • Robinson LA, Emmons KM, Moolchan ET, Ostroff JS. Developing Smoking Cessation Programs for Chronically Ill Teens: Lessons Learned from Research with Healthy Adolescent Smokers. J Pediatr Psychol 2008; 33:133-44. PubMed
  • Colditz GA, Emmons KM, Vishwanath K, Kerner JF. Translating science to practice: community and academic perspectives. J Public Health Manag Pract 2008; 14:144-9. PubMed
  • Partridge A, Adloff K, Blood E, Dees EC, Kaelin C, Golshan M, Ligibel J, de Moor JS, Weeks J, Emmons K, Winer E. Risk perceptions and psychosocial outcomes of women with ductal carcinoma in situ: longitudinal results from a cohort study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2008; 100:243-51. PubMed
  • McBride CM, Puleo E, Pollak KI, Clipp EC, Woolford S, Emmons KM. Understanding the role of cancer worry in creating a "teachable moment" for multiple risk factor reduction. Soc Sci Med 2007; 66:790-800. PubMed
  • Schroy PC 3rd, Glick JT, Robinson PA, Lydotes MA, Evans SR, Emmons KM. Has the surge in media attention increased public awareness about colorectal cancer and screening? J Community Health 2007; 33:1-9. PubMed
  • Altschuler A, Nekhlyudov L, Rolnick SJ, Greene SM, Elmore JG, West CN, Herrinton LJ, Harris EL, Fletcher SW, Emmons KM, Geiger AM. Positive, negative, and disparate--women's differing long-term psychosocial experiences of bilateral or contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. Breast J 2008; 14:25-32. PubMed
  • Palmer RC, Emmons KM, Fletcher RH, Lobb R, Miroshnik I, Kemp JA, Bauer M. Familial risk and colorectal cancer screening health beliefs and attitudes in an insured population. Prev Med 2007; 45:336-41. PubMed
  • Emmons KM, Burns White K, Benz EJ. Development of an integrated approach to cancer disparities: one cancer center's experience. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007; 16:2186-92. PubMed
  • Waters EA, Weinstein ND, Colditz GA, Emmons KM. Aversion to side effects in preventive medical treatment decisions. Br J Health Psychol 2007; 12:383-401. PubMed
  • Florin TA, Fryer GE, Miyoshi T, Weitzman M, Mertens AC, Hudson MM, Sklar CA, Emmons K, Hinkle A, Whitton J, Stovall M, Robison LL, Oeffinger KC. Physical inactivity in adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a report from the childhood cancer survivor study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007; 16:1356-63. PubMed
  • Sorensen G, Stoddard AM, Dubowitz T, Barbeau EM, Bigby J, Emmons KM, Berkman LF, Peterson KE. The Influence of Social Context on Changes in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Results of the Healthy Directions Studies. Am J Public Health 2007; 97:1216-27. PubMed
  • Bennett GG, Wolin KY, Askew S, Fletcher R, Emmons KM. Immigration and obesity among lower income blacks. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2007; 15:1391-4. PubMed
  • de Moor JS, Puleo E, Butterfield RM, Li FP, Emmons KM. Availability of smoking prevention and cessation services for childhood cancer survivors. Cancer Causes Control 2007; 18:423-30. PubMed
  • Emmons KM, Barbeau EM, Gutheil C, Stryker JE, Stoddard AM. Social Influences, Social Context, and Health Behaviors Among Working-Class, Multi-Ethnic Adults. Health Educ Behav 2007; 34:315-34. PubMed
  • Fletcher RH, Lobb R, Bauer MR, Kemp JA, Palmer RC, Kleinman KP, Miroshnik I, Emmons KM. Screening patients with a family history of colorectal cancer. J Gen Intern Med 2007; 22:508-13. PubMed
  • Kaphingst KA, Lobb R, Fay ME, Hunt MK, Suarez EG, Fletcher RH, Emmons KM. Impact of intervention dose on cancer-related health behaviors among working-class, multiethnic, community health center patients. Am J Health Promot 2007; 21:262-6. PubMed
  • Waters EA, Weinstein ND, Colditz GA, Emmons KM. Reducing aversion to side effects in preventive medical treatment decisions. J Exp Psychol Appl 2007; 13:11-21. PubMed
  • Geiger AM, Nekhlyudov L, Herrinton LJ, Rolnick SJ, Greene SM, West CN, Harris EL, Elmore JG, Altschuler A, Liu IL, Fletcher SW, Emmons KM. Quality of Life After Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy. Ann Surg Oncol 2007; 14:686-94. PubMed
  • Glasgow RE, Emmons KM. How can we increase translation of research into practice? Types of evidence needed. Annu Rev Public Health 2006; 28:413-33. PubMed
  • DePue JD, McCabe B, Kazura A, Becker B, Papandonatos GD, Chun T, Emmons K. Assessment of parents' smoking behaviors at a pediatric emergency department. Nicotine Tob Res 2007; 9:33-41. PubMed
  • Stryker JE, Emmons KM, Viswanath K. Un-covering differences across the cancer control continuum: A comparison of ethnic and mainstream cancer newspaper stories. Prev Med 2007; 44:20-5. PubMed
  • Rigotti NA, Thorndike AN, Regan S, McKool K, Pasternak RC, Chang Y, Swartz S, Torres-Finnerty N, Emmons KM, Singer DE. Bupropion for smokers hospitalized with acute cardiovascular disease. Am J Med 2006; 119:1080-7. PubMed
  • Bennett GG, Wolin KY, Viswanath K, Askew S, Puleo E, Emmons KM. Television Viewing and Pedometer-Determined Physical Activity Among Multiethnic Residents of Low-Income Housing. Am J Public Health 2006; 96:1681-5. PubMed
  • Goodman M, Li Y, Bennett G, Emmons K, Stoddard S. An optimal evaluation of multiple behavioral risk factors for cancer in a working class, multi-ethnic population. J Data Science 2006.
  • Geller AC, Emmons KM, Brooks DR, Powers C, Zhang Z, Koh HK, Heeren T, Sober AJ, Li F, Gilchrest BA. A randomized trial to improve early detection and prevention practices among siblings of melanoma patients. Cancer 2006; 107:806-14. PubMed
  • Bennett GG, Wolin KY, Avrunin JS, Stoddard AM, Sorensen G, Barbeau E, Emmons KM. Does race/ethnicity moderate the association between job strain and leisure time physical activity? Ann Behav Med 2006; 32:60-7. PubMed
  • Park ER, Puleo E, Butterfield RM, Zorn M, Mertens AC, Gritz ER, Li FP, Emmons KM. A process evaluation of a telephone-based peer-delivered smoking cessation intervention for adult survivors of childhood cancer: The partnership for health study. Prev Med 2006; 42:435-42. PubMed
  • Kaphingst KA, Janoff JM, Harris LN, Emmons KM. Views of female breast cancer patients who donated biologic samples regarding storage and use of samples for genetic research. Clin Genet 2006; 69:393-8. PubMed
  • Bennett GG, Wolin KY, Puleo E, Emmons KM. Pedometer-determined physical activity among multiethnic low-income housing residents. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2006; 38:768-73. PubMed
  • Eliassen AH, Colditz GA, Peterson KE, Furtado JD, Fay ME, Sorensen G, Emmons KM. Biomarker validation of dietary intervention in two multiethnic populations. Prev Chronic Dis 2006; 3:A44. PubMed
  • Wolin KY, Colditz G, Stoddard AM, Emmons KM, Sorensen G. Acculturation and physical activity in a working class multiethnic population. Prev Med 2006; 42:266-72. PubMed
  • Geiger AM, West CN, Nekhlyudov L, Herrinton LJ, Liu IL, Altschuler A, Rolnick SJ, Harris EL, Greene SM, Elmore JG, Emmons KM, Fletcher SW. Contentment with quality of life among breast cancer survivors with and without contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. J Clin Oncol 2006; 24:1350-6. PubMed
  • Waters EA, Weinstein ND, Colditz GA, Emmons K. Formats for improving risk communication in medical tradeoff decisions. J Health Commun 2006; 11:167-82. PubMed
  • Kaphingst KA, Zanfini CJ, Emmons KM. Accessibility of web sites containing colorectal cancer information to adults with limited literacy (United States). Cancer Causes Control 2006; 17:147-51. PubMed
  • Bennett GG, Wolin KY, Goodman M, Samplin-Salgado M, Carter P, Dutton S, Hill R, Emmons K. Attitudes Regarding Overweight, Exercise, and Health among Blacks (United States). Cancer Causes Control 2006; 17:95-101. PubMed
  • Digianni LM, Rue M, Emmons K, Garber JE. Complementary medicine use before and 1 year following genetic testing for BRCA1/2 mutations. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006; 15:70-5. PubMed
  • Ruger JP, Emmons KM. Economic Evaluations of Smoking Cessation and Relapse Prevention Programs for Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review. Value Health 2008; 11:180-90. PubMed
  • Cuite CL, Weinstein ND, Emmons K, Colditz G. A test of numeric formats for communicating risk probabilities. Med Decis Making 2008; 28:377-84. PubMed
  • Bennett GG, McNeill LH, Wolin KY, Duncan DT, Puleo E, Emmons KM. Safe to walk? Neighborhood safety and physical activity among public housing residents. PLoS Med 2007; 4:1599-606.
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