Popular books like Freakonomics and Nudge show how we frame behaviors to improve the effectiveness of business and government. “Nudging” is based on research that shows that presentation of choices can influence how decisions are made. At the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, we are applying some of the same concepts to encourage our patients—and the population at-large—to make smart, well-informed decisions that can minimize their health risk.
There is an emergent emphasis to understand not just individuals, but populations. Focusing on both cohorts will fast track discoveries that will not only predict cancer risk, but also lead to cancer prevention. With support from forward-thinking donors, SKCC is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the growing field of population science. Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, MPH (pictured above) will show us the way.
We were able to recruit Dr. Lu-Yao—a game changing expert in population health—thanks to philanthropy. Dr. Lu-Yao’s expertise, combined with the path breaking expertise of the—first of its kind—Jefferson College of Population Health and our cancer center partnerships around the world, provides us with the opportunity to access and study an immense dataset.
Under Dr. Lu-Yao, our population sciences program will expand by leaps and bounds. We will be able to determine patterns and trends of cancer incidence and mortality, and then conduct rigorous, dot-connecting studies to identify additional risk factors for cancer—knowledge that will benefit all of society.