Category: ASPO Blog

Vaxxed, masked, and ready to meet!

February 2, 2022

Like all of you, we have been closely monitoring the COVID trends and have been listening to your feedback about meeting in person. The Executive Committee met today, and we can confirm that the 2022 Annual Meeting will be live in Tucson, AZ – we will not be offering a virtual attendance option.

COVID has continued longer than we all hoped, and there are no perfect solutions to meeting in 2022. ASPO leadership feels that this is the best path forward for the organization, for the attendees, and for scientific exchange. ASPO prides itself in providing a great venue for networking, meeting new people, and generating ideas. We will follow stringent safety protocols during the meeting and will be holding some events outdoors. We ask everyone to be responsible for helping to keep the meeting as safe as possible – vaccinations and masks are required, testing before arrival is encouraged, please stay home if you are symptomatic.

Scarlett Lin Gomez and Steve Patierno and the Scientific Committee have put together an excellent program, the full agenda is available here. AD/PL also has an engaging lineup for Saturday and Sunday. We will have our third year of the Community and Science program starting on Sunday afternoon, and encourage you to send COE representatives.

Please register and book your rooms – we can’t wait to see everyone in Tucson!

Elena Martinez, PhD
ASPO President


2022 Fraumeni & Cullen Awards

Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., Distinguished Achievement Award

The Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to an outstanding scientist in the area of preventive oncology, cancer control and/or cancer prevention. We are happy to announce the 2022 award will be presented to Scarlett Lin Gomez, PhD, MPH during the Annual Meeting.

Dr. Gomez has over 20 years of experience as an epidemiologist with research interests in the role of social determinants of health, including race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, immigration status, sociocultural factors, and neighborhood contextual characteristics, on health outcomes. She is Director of the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry, a part of the California Cancer Registry and the NCI Surveillance Epidemiology End Results (SEER) Program. She has contributed surveillance data regarding cancer incidence and outcome patterns and trends for distinct Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander and Hispanic ethnic groups, as well as cancer patterns by nativity status and neighborhood characteristics. She developed the California Neighborhoods Data System, a compilation of small-area level data on social and built environment characteristics and has used these data in more than a dozen funded studies to evaluate the impact of social and built neighborhood environment factors on disease outcomes.  Her publications demonstrating the substantial heterogeneity in cancer patterns across Asian American groups are often cited as the reasons for the importance of disaggregating cancer data for this diverse population. In fact, it is because of Dr. Gomez’ efforts and advocacy that we have gained an appreciation of the substantial heterogeneity among Asians and Pacific Islanders.  In addition, she coined the concept of “ethnic enclaves,” which refers to neighborhoods with high proportions of the racial/ethnic group of interest.  Through the application of this concept, scientists can assess the role of racial/ethnic enclave neighborhoods as predictors of cancer risk and outcomes. Dr. Gomez’s work in neighborhood contextual research has inspired and motivated a new generation of cancer research and development of novel methodologic approaches for studies in neighborhoods and cancer.


Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award
The Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award is to recognize an individuals distinguished achievement in continued national tobacco control efforts, through research, through the development of prevention and cessation programs with wide-reaching public health impact, or through public policy and advocacy initiatives. We are happy to announce the 2022 award will be presented to Thomas Eissenberg, PhD during the Annual Meeting.

Dr. Eissenberg began exploring methods to assess the effects of novel tobacco products in 1999, was the first to publish a clinical lab study of e-cigarette effects (Eissenberg, 2010), and the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products (CSTP) team at Virginia Commonwealth University, which Dr. Eissenberg co-directs, was the first to characterize the product characteristics, toxicant output, and nicotine delivery of JUUL e-cigarettes.  Dr. Eissenberg’s significant achievements in national and international tobacco control are evidenced by 200+ publications in the past 8 years from members of the CSTP scientific team he leads. Over the past two decades, Dr. Eissenberg has been awarded over $50 million dollars in funds as principal investigator from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study tobacco products and has been funded continuously by NIH since 1997. He has nearly 300 publications, predominantly in the area of tobacco control, his h-index on Google scholar is 76, and he is recognized by Clarivate as a Highly Cited Researcher due to having multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% in Web of Science. Dr. Eissenberg is distinguished by his leadership in bringing together national and international scientists from chemistry, economics, engineering, medicine, public policy, public health, and psychology to generate high-impact and transformative transdisciplinary tobacco regulatory science that can impact federal policy on tobacco products. He has dedicated his career to facilitating safe and ethical research aimed at decreasing tobacco-caused death and disease as a past member of the FDA’s Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee and of the DHHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections. Findings from his work are providing the scientific justification for several tobacco control regulatory policies under consideration including efforts to address menthol flavoring in e-liquids and regulating nicotine emissions from e-cigarette devices. In addition, he has been a generous educator who has mentored numerous junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, 9 of whom have competed successfully for NIH F31 funding.


Meeting Live in 2022, Safely

The Annual Meeting will be live, for the first time in two years, in Tucson Arizona March 13-15. The Program Committee for the 46th Annual Meeting has been hard at work preparing a top-notch scientific program, while the EC and ASPO staff have been working to ensure that we will be able to meet safely in 2022.

ASPO is committed to providing a safe and healthy scientific meeting and has developed the following guidelines.

Responsibility of Attendees

We kindly ask that attendees stay home under the following conditions:

  • You have not been fully vaccinated (2 Moderna or Pfizer shots, 1 Johnson & Johnson shot, boosters if you are eligible). Accommodations will be made for individuals who are unable to be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons. Proof of vaccination will be required before arrival. Here are the CDC guidelines on boosters.
  • You are at high risk of contracting COVID-19
  • You have been exposed to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to arriving in Tucson, even if you are not showing symptoms
  • You have had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • You are unable or unwilling to follow the meeting guidelines outlined below

At the Meeting

  • Attendees should assess their health prior to leaving their room each morning, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact conference staff who can provide you with a rapid test.
  • Attendees will be required to wear a face mask in all public spaces.
  • Attendees will be provided ribbons for their conference badges indicating their preference for interacting with fellow attendees (elbow bumps welcome, I’m being cautious, 6 feet of distance)
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be set up outside each event and next to each podium. Attendees will be required to use them as they enter and exit.
  • Meals, snacks, and beverage stations will be contactless.
  • Social functions will be held outdoors whenever possible.
  • The hotel will implement increased cleanings and sanitizing of surfaces and door handles.

These guidelines are subject to change. Last updated: February 11, 2022


Towards Achieving Health Equity – ASPO’s 2022 Annual Meeting

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

March 13-15, 2022
Marriott University Park, Tucson, Arizona

Communities of color, and people who are low-income, rural, LGBTQ+, immigrants, and Indigenous, among others, face disproportionate and inequitable cancer burdens. While advances in prevention and control research have led to improvements in cancer incidence and better survival from cancer overall, U.S. cancer inequities persist, and for some populations, gaps have widened over time. As highlighted in the 45th ASPO meeting in March 2021, there is an increasing acknowledgment for the impact of structural racism and discrimination as fundamental causes of these cancer inequities.

To further advance the productive discussions from the 2021 ASPO meeting, the theme of the 46thASPO meeting will be Towards Achieving Health Equity and will feature novel approaches to addressing cancer health inequities. The program committee was selected for their commitment and expertise in key areas of cancer health inequities. Working closely with the program committee, we organized a thought-provoking meeting to highlight emergent approaches and opportunities to address cancer inequities.

Four symposia are planned on the topics of:

  1. cancer interception: from concept to clinic
  2. innovations in patient navigation: what’s it going to take to achieve cancer equity?
  3. convergence epidemiology: bridging omics with social determinants and structural factors
  4. re-situating cancer control within public health and communities.

This year, we have also planned an additional panel discussion on institutional approaches for addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and concurrent sessions on novel approaches of and bias considerations in using electronic health records data in cancer control research, and challenges and successful examples in cancer consortia. The final program is shaping up with prestigious scholars in each of these topics already confirmed.

The call for abstracts will open in September and the highest-scoring abstracts will be selected for oral presentations at the conference and we will have, as usual, best poster awards.

ASPO’s Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, March 13 – Tuesday, March 15 at the Marriott University Park in Tucson, Arizona. The Associate Director and Program Leader Workshop will be held on Sunday, March 12th. More information is available here.


Scarlett Lin Gomez, M.P.H., Ph.D.
2021 ASPO Program Chair
University of California, San Francisco

Steven Patierno, Ph.D.
2021 ASPO Program Chair
Duke University

ASPO Member Survey

The Executive Committee is working on updating the ASPO Strategic Plan and your input is requested. This 7 minute survey will help us to better understand what is working, what is not, and what you desire in your ASPO membership.

The survey will be available through February 15th, and two respondents will be randomly selected to receive free registration to the Annual Meeting.

We thank you in advance for your time!

2021 Fraumeni & Cullen Awards

Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., Distinguished Achievement Award
The Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to an outstanding scientist in the area of preventive oncology, cancer control and/or cancer prevention. We are happy to announce the 2021 award will be presented to Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD during the Annual Meeting.

Lucile was the first African-American woman to receive a PhD in epidemiology in the United States, and in 1995 when she directed the Howard University Cancer Center she was the only African-American woman to lead any cancer institute. She is currently the Associate Director of Minority Health & Health Disparities Research, Senior Associate Dean for Community Outreach and Engagement, and Professor of Oncology at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center. Dr. Adams-Campbell has dedicated her career to studying cancer disparities experienced by African-Americans. Her research uses clinical trials, cancer epidemiology and etiology along with lifestyle interventions to elucidate the cancer risk in African-Americans and has led to over 200 peer-reviewed publications and international recognition as an expert in minority health and health disparities research.

She is known for her “big picture” thinking and leadership on large collaborative projects. She is a co-PI on the Black Women’s Health Study, a 25-year cohort study following a 59,000 African-American women to gather epidemiological data on health risks and disease development. The cohort includes nested studies on breast density and breast cancer risk, breast cancer survivorship, and collection of breast cancer tumor tissue for examination of breast cancer subtypes.  She is the Principal Investigator of a Center of Excellence for Health Disparities that focuses on metabolic syndrome and breast cancer risk in an exercise intervention clinical trial. Dr. Adams-Campbell oversees the Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC), a community-based patient navigation program. Her leadership in cancer research and prevention has been recognized in numerous honors, including election to the National Academy of Medicine and Induction into the D.C. Hall of Fame.

Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award
The Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award is to recognize an individuals distinguished achievement in continued national tobacco control efforts, through research, through the development of prevention and cessation programs with wide-reaching public health impact, or through public policy and advocacy initiatives. We are happy to announce the 2021 award will be presented to Carolyn “Bo” Aldigé during the Annual Meeting.

Bo has unequivocally demonstrated an unyielding commitment to tobacco control efforts by enabling innovative research and spearheading public education, policy and advocacy initiatives. Her strong leadership, like Dr. Cullen’s, exemplifies a commitment to fostering collaboration among scientists, health care professionals, and public health advocates involved in the struggle against tobacco and tobacco-related diseases.

Bo is Founder and CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a national non-profit organization she started in 1985 in memory of her father, who had died of cancer one year earlier. In the 35 years since its inception, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has become nationally recognized as a leader in the fight against cancer through prevention and early detection. The Foundation has funded innovative research fellowships and grants aimed at limiting the use of tobacco, as well as early detection of lung cancer which have spawned or furthered the careers of promising researchers.  As a strongly held principle, the Foundation will not consider applications from individuals or institutions that have received funding from any tobacco-related organization for the preceding four years.



Meet the New ASPO Team

In all the craziness of the COVID pandemic, ASPO Week, and adjusting to working from home, you may have missed President Karen Basen-Engquist’s announcement about the change in leadership at ASPO.

HollandParlette was selected as the new management company for ASPO at the beginning of 2020 and came on board just before the Annual Conference in March. Our whole team is so excited to be a part of ASPO and to support all of your important work!

You may have already noticed that all ASPO communications are now coming from [email protected] If you could, please take a moment to do a few things to help ensure you are receiving ASPO emails:

  • Add [email protected] to your email contact list
  • If you are using a .org, .edu, or .gov email address, email your IT department and ask them to add [email protected] to the safe sender list
  • Check your spam folder periodically to be sure you haven’t missed anything
  • Consider updating your email address to a personal account
  • Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, where we will always important ASPO information

If you don’t think you’re on the list, or getting the emails, send us message at [email protected] or give us a call at 317-268-2552 and we’ll help troubleshoot.

Meet Your ASPO Team:


ASPO Commitment to Anti-Racism

Dear ASPO Colleagues,

The continued senseless killings of people of color, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have been emotionally overwhelming and traumatic. These events bring to the forefront the significant and inexcusable racism that is an epidemic in our country. We stand with our ASPO members from the Black community, and all Black communities, against racial injustice and support protests and other efforts against racial injustice and systemic racism.


Karen Basen-Engquist

Strange Days Indeed: a note from ASPO President Karen Basen-Engquist

Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed…

–John Lennon


Most of us are now living and working in ways that we could not have imagined a few weeks ago. As I write this my wish for you is that you and your family stay healthy, both physically and mentally. These are stressful times, and we all need to take care of ourselves and each other.