News Release: Research, School of Public Health

Oct. 12,  2009

Emory Prevention Research Center Awarded $6.2 Million CDC Grant

News Article ImageMichelle Kegler, DrPH, EPRC Director

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the Emory Prevention Research Center (EPRC) $6.2 million in a five-year grant renewal, Emory University researchers announced today.

The new grant award will enable the Emory Prevention Research Center, housed at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH), to continue its mission to prevent cancer and reduce health disparities among residents of rural southwest Georgia.

Established in 2004, the Emory Prevention Research Center is one of 35 CDC-funded Prevention Research Centers nationwide working as a network to conduct disease prevention research and promote public health in partnership with communities. The EPRC partners with the Southwest Georgia (SWGA) Cancer Coalition and a Community Advisory Board to conduct research, offer training, share research results, and provide evaluation technical assistance to local organizations in 33 counties of rural southwest Georgia. Five years ago, the EPRC and its partners in Southwest Georgia collaborated to conduct the Healthy Rural Communities studies. Now, they are testing a program called Healthy Homes/Healthy Families in which trained coaches from the community work with families. The coaches will help the families assess their homes for healthy eating and physical activity opportunities. Then, the families and coaches will work together to make changes at home.

"The study is designed to see if we can change the home environment to make it healthier and whether changing the home environment leads to improved behavior," says Michelle Kegler, DrPH, EPRC director and principal investigator, and associate professor of behavioral sciences and health education at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH).

The new funding includes support for the EPRC's research, but the Center also conducts training for community-based organizations to build local capacity for health promotion programs and provides technical assistance on evaluation for local organizations. Urban areas tend to have greater resources for health promotion than rural areas, so the EPRC is working closely with its partners in a 33-county region of Southwest Georgia to provide more research and other resources.

"Our partnership with the EPRC provides opportunities for southwest Georgia residents to participate in important research that ultimately may lead to improvements in health care across our regions," says Diane Fletcher, chief executive officer of the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition. "We look forward to continuing these collaborative efforts that help to fulfill the Cancer Coalition's mission to serve the people of our communities."

The CDC grant award also provides special interest project grants for RSPH faculty to advance research in cancer and other diseases. This year's award of $2.2 million includes four special interest projects and two additional new projects, including the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, which promotes the use of evidence-based programs for cancer control locally and nationally.

Other Emory projects funded this year include:

  • Study of Active Surveillance Attitudes and Perceptions for Prostate Cancer led by Theresa Gillespie, PhD, associate professor, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Coordinating Center for the Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Prevention Research Centers Network led by Colleen DiIorio, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Multiple Perspectives on Dual Protection Use by Young Women led by Ralph DiClemente, PhD, professor, Rollins School of Public Health, and Melissa Kottke, MD, assistant professor, Emory University School of Medicine

"We've laid a great foundation for collaborative research over the past five years, and we are excited about what can be accomplished with our community partners in the next five years," says Kegler.

For more information about the Emory Prevention Research Center, visit


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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