Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"IBCN-Communicating the value of primary prevention research for breast cancer "

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2013 - DURI
Research area(s):
Communication, breast cancer prevention
Project Description:
The purpose of primary prevention in healthcare is to prevent disease risk from becoming reality. Although primary prevention is key to the management of communicable diseases, it has been largely disregarded for non-communicable diseases in favor of detection and treatment. This is notably the case for breast cancer, and other cancers with complex causes. However, there is evidence that certain preventative measures can reduce the risk of breast cancer, and increased scientific commitment to research focused on prevention. Unfortunately, there is currently little public understanding of primary prevention for breast cancer, or support for research focused on prevention (as opposed to detection or treatment).The goal of the current project is to design materials that can be used to help the public understand primary prevention for breast cancer, the need for research focused on prevention, and how this research necessarily differs from traditional research on detection or treatment. These materials will be addressed to a large public audience to promote advocacy, engagement, and donation for primary prevention research but also with the intent of catching the attention people who are in a position to influence decisions in healthcare and research (e.g., policy makers, administrators). The project team is highly multidisciplinary with input from biologists, oncologists, and experts in law, public health, and communication, including international experts affiliated with the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition (IBCN) project. Once designed, materials will be translated into other languages and adapted for other cultures to be used worldwide in printed formats and online.
Expected Student Contributions:
The student will work closely with communication experts and breast cancer researchers on Purdue's campus to adapt information provided by scientists into materials targeted for the public. S/he will learn how to target messages for specific audiences and test the efficacy of these messages.
Related Website(s):,_Maria.html
Desired Qualifications:
3.3 GPA Major or minor in Communication or related field
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

MacGeorge, Erina
Brian Lamb School of Communication

Student Supervisor

Erina MacGeorge
Associate Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Sophie Lelievre
Basic Medical Sciences
Maria Venetis
Brian Lamb School of Communication