Experts Available to Talk About Breast Cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are available to discuss the illness from the importance of screening to how people use communication strategies to cope with major illnesses.

Breast Cancer Screening
Mary Lou Adams, associate professor, School of Nursing
Adams focuses on increasing African American women's participation in breast cancer screenings. As project director of a Texas Cancer Council initiative, she developed a community-based outreach program to encourage minority women's participation in early detection and follow-up services.

Growth Factor Signaling in Breast Cancer
Carla Van Den Berg, associate professor, College of Pharmacy
Van Den Berg studies the processes of normal mammary gland development
and breast cancer. Her breast cancer studies focus on several aspects of
breast cancer development and metastasis. See an explanation of her research at

Health Communication
Erin Donovan-Kicken, assistant professor, Communication Studies
Donovan-Kicken researches how people use communication strategies to cope with major illnesses, specifically the strategic management of sensitive information and difficult conversations. She is researching how communication with significant others, including loved ones and professionals, factors into how people navigate conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and depression.

Health Communication
Michael Mackert, assistant professor of advertising
Mackert researches how lower-literate audiences find, process and then act on health information. He is researching how to design health promotion campaigns to reach these audiences.

Death and Bereavement
Debra Umberson, professor, Department of Sociology
Umberson researches sociological perspectives on death and dying. She also studies psychological and physical health disparities with a focus on how gender and relationships affect health and behavior.