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Patient-Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility (POP Sciences SRF)

Director: Jessica L. Burris, PhD

  • Mission Statement

    The Patient-Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility (POP Sciences SRF) plays a key role in helping Markey Cancer Center (MCC) clinician-scientists and researchers conduct research on the psychosocial, behavioral, and epidemiologic aspects of cancer prevention and control. Other cancer-related research areas in which the POP Sciences SRF is well equipped to contribute include implementation science, health services, and community-based interventions. The POP Sciences SRF research collaborations are facilitated with help from the Kentucky Cancer Program, Kentucky Cancer Consortium, MCC Community Impact Office (CIO), MCC Research and Affiliate Networks plus other established partners in the community.

  • How the POP Sciences SRF Furthers MCC Science

    The POP Sciences SRF provides scientific expertise in the design and implementation of patient-oriented and population sciences research conducted within MCC clinics, the broader MCC research enterprise and community settings. The POP Sciences SRF will assist with retention and stability of institutional knowledge, leveraging existing networks of clinic- and community-based partners, and meeting the specific research needs of MCC program members.

  • When should you use the POP Sciences SRF?

    This SRF is focused on helping UK and MCC investigators with 1) psychosocial and behavioral studies with cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, or providers and 2) studies with the general population that investigate topics pertinent to cancer, such as smoking, HPV vaccination, or cancer screening. The POP Sciences SRF is adept at the conduct of both observational studies and clinical trials and has immense experience conducting research in Markey’s catchment area communities, including Appalachian Kentucky.

    Investigators are encouraged to reach out to the POP Sciences SRF early when developing a study protocol or grant application. This allows the Director and Manager time to brainstorm with you and plan for the best use of our services. The POP Sciences SRF can assist with:

    • Survey designs and methodology
    • Participant recruitment and enrollment
    • Survey data collection in clinic and community settings
    • Key informant interviews and focus groups
    • Data management and sharing with other SRFs
    • Medical chart reviews and data extraction
    • Qualitative research including transcription and thematic analysis
    • Identification of and engagement with clinical and collaborators and healthcare systems
    • Collaboration on presentations and manuscripts
  • POP Sciences Services

    Pre-award: Consulting, Developing, and Planning

    The Director offers thoughtful, study-specific consultation on “best practices” for POP Sciences research methods, suitable community partners, and other MCC SRFs that will enhance the rigor and reach of a given study. Pre-award consultation services could include the following:  

    • Selecting reliable and valid patient-reported outcomes (e.g., pain, distress)
    • Measuring health behavior change and related processes (e.g., tobacco use, physical activity)
    • Choosing the best platform for data collection (e.g., REDCap, Qualtrics, iPad, telephone)
    • Modifying recruitment strategies and informed consent procedures to streamline enrollment
    • Refining a study design to capitalize on MCC, institutional, and community resources
    • Linking investigators with MCC clinics, other SRFs, and relevant campus resources
    • Fostering collaborations within and across MCC Research Programs

    Post-award: Study Implementation

    Post-award services are provided by the staff within the POP Sciences SRF. The POP Sciences SRF conducts a wide range of services from study preparation to participant retention efforts and qualitative data analysis. Some of the services offered include:

      • Identifying patients for eligibility
      • Accruing participants into observational studies and clinical trials
      • Facilitating retention in longitudinal studies
      • Collecting data via survey research or qualitative methods
      • Performing select qualitative research activities such as transcription and thematic analysis
      • Coordinating with investigative team members, MCC clinics and providers, community partners, and other SRFs
    • Prioritization of Services

      The POP Sciences SRF has established a prioritization protocol that guides allocation of consultation and personnel resources, emphasizing support for funded studies led by MCC investigators.

         Level 1: Federal or nationally funded studies (e.g., NCI, ACS, DOD)

         Level 2: Other funded, non-pilot studies (e.g., foundation awards)

         Level 3: Funded pilot studies (e.g., CCSG pilots, ACS IRGs, CCTS pilots)

         Level 4: Unfunded studies led by MCC member

         Level 5: Unfunded studies led by non-members of MCC  

    • Cost Structure

      Subsidization provided by Markey Cancer Center

      For Markey members, pre-award services are 100% subsidized by MCC. For post-award services, MCC members receive a 33% subsidy.

      Cost for Post-Award Services

      The POP Sciences SRF charges a fee for Post-Award services, with subsidized rates for Markey Members as explained above. The POP Sciences SRF primarily uses an effort-based approach to billing, with percentage effort determined on a study-by-study basis. When necessary, the POP Sciences SRF will use an hourly approach to billing with a flat rate across all services and research staff. In collaboration with the Principal Investigator of the study, the POP Sciences SRF Director and Manager will decide the billing approach far in advance of study implementation. 

      Post-award Study Implementation Services

      Membership Status

      Hourly Charge

      UK MCC Member


      UK Non-MCC Member


      The POP Sciences SRF has a second tier of pricing for post-award and Other Professional Services (e.g., consultation on manuscript development), which are supplied by the SRF Director.

      Post-award and Other Professional Services

      Membership Status

      Hourly Charge

      UK MCC Member


      UK Non-MCC Member


      External to UK


    • Faculty and Staff

      Jessica L. Burris, PhD
      SRF Director

      jessica burris

      POP Sciences SRF Staff

      Joan Kahl, MS
      SRF Manager

      Joan Kahl

      Amy Christian, MSPH
      Senior Research Associate

      Ami Christian

      Courtney Blair
      Research Associate

      Melissa Horton, MPH
      Research Coordinator

      Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

      The POP Sciences SRF benefits from the guidance and feedback of a Scientific Advisory Committee made up of members from MCC Research Programs, patient and/or community representatives, and content area experts. Meetings are held twice a year and additional communication occurs as needed. 

      SAC Members

      • Ming Chi, PhD, MHA Assistant Professor, Health and Clinical Sciences
      • John D’Orazio, MD, PhD, Professor, Pediatrics - Hematology/Oncology 
      • Aman Chauhan, MD, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine & Divisions-Med Onc 
      • W. Jay Christian, PhD, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and GIS
      • Mark Dignan, PhD, MPH, Professor, Internal Medicine & Divisions-Med Onc 
      • Adebola Adegboyega, PhD, Assistant Professor, Behavioral Science
      • Shyanika Rose, PhD, Assistant Professor, Behavioral Science
      • Pam Hull, PhD, Associate Professor, Behavioral Science
      • Christine Brainson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Toxicology & Cancer Biology
      • Jong Cheol (JC) Jeong, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Informatics
    • Acknowledgement

      Principal Investigators are required to acknowledge the Markey Cancer Center’s Cancer Center Support Grant in any publications that result from the use of MCC SRFs. For the POP Sciences SRF, this acknowledgment should take into consideration both consultation and study implementation services. You are welcome to use the following statement:

      This research was supported by the Patient-Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center (P30CA177558).