Research Projects

Meet ChicagoCHEC's Research Projects!

As noted in our mission, meaningful scientific discovery or research is one avenue ChicagoCHEC takes to advance cancer health equity. CHEC out the links below to learn more about our current active research projects as well as completed projects.

SHARED Full Project

Supporting High Risk African American Men in Research & Engagement in Decision Making (SHARED) for Lung Cancer Screening: The SHARED Project

Project Team:

Pheonix (Alicia) Matthews, Karriem Watson, Josef Ben Levi, Marcus Murray, and David O'Dell


We propose an innovative outreach intervention research project engaging African American men (AAM) as Citizen Scientists to improve uptake of lung cancer screening. Citizen Scientists refer to lay persons who are not formally trained as scientists but who are trained to engage in research efforts responsive to community needs. Citizen Scientists have proven valuable in increasing communities’ knowledge and awareness of research, building trust in scientific research, and informing areas of research design and ethics.

We focus our Citizen Scientists efforts in this study on leveraging their social networks to engage AAM and supporting and enhancing an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) evidence-based Decision Aid (DA) that promotes shared decision making and subsequent lung cancer screening. The primary research question to be tested is whether lung cancer screening rates are higher among eligible AAM who receive a culturally targeted version of the AHRQ lung cancer screening decision-aid compared to the non-targeted decision-aid.

Engaging AAM as Citizen Scientists is expected to improve outreach and respond to the needs communities that may traditionally be “unengaged” in the research process and provides an opportunity for the group at the most increased risk for lung cancer, AAM, to directly drive uptake of evidence based screening.

WeCanManage Full Project

WeCanManage: An mHealth self-management tool to empower survivors with disabilities due to the long-termeffects of cancer and its treatment

Project Team:

Susan Magasi, David Victorson, Rachel Adler, and Tamara Hamlish


In this project, we are developing an innovative mHealth app, called WeCanManage (WCM), to empower cancer survivors with disabilities to proactively manage cancer and its consequences as a chronic condition. This rigorous development and evaluation process will lay the foundation for future clinical trial research. People with disabilities are an unrecognized health disparities population and are often excluded from the cancer health equity agenda. Indeed, cancer survivors indicate that their long-term disability needs are inadequately addressed across the cancer care and survivorship continuum.

The WCM research project is an opportunity to enhance the cancer community’s understandings of this population and to develop evidence-informed interventions to better meet the needs of people with the ‘double whammy’ of cancer and disability.

Microbiome Pilot Project

Social Correlations of Variation in Intestinal and Oral Microbiome Among Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Patients: A Geographic Exploration in the City of Chicago

Project Team:

Jonathan Moreira, John Galvin, Hardik Marfatia, and Patrick Casey Seed


This pilot study was designed to lay the groundwork for an ecological analysis of variation in microbiome diversity. A large, diverse, and segregated city like Chicago has known disparate outcomes in various malignancies and is an ideal urban center to explore the role of geographic variation in gut microbiome diversity. We propose an innovative, multi-institutional, 24 month prospective study evaluating serial changes in intestinal and oral gut microbiota amongst 50 hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients selected from widely diverse areas characteristic of large populations in the Chicago metropolitan area. The study will demonstrate the feasibility of analyzing the association of microbiome diversity with early clinical outcomes amongst stem cell transplant patients residing in the Chicago area. These findings are expected to better elucidate the role that area characteristics, as reflected by diet and the socioeconomic characteristics of geographic location, may play in intestinal gut microbiome diversity.

Want to learn about our completed research projects?