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  

    Request POP Sciences Services

    You may reach the POP Sciences SRF by contacting Manager Joan Kahl at (859) 218-6222 or email

    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


    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).

    Markey Cancer Center is NCI-designated

    The UK Markey Cancer Center was first designated by the National Cancer Institute in 2013 – a distinction that recognizes our extraordinary ability to provide world-class care for our patients. We are the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kentucky and one of only 71 in the nation.