New faculty spotlight: Brittney Dickey, PhD

Brittney Dickey, PhD

Brittney Dickey, PhD

Brittney Dickey, PhD, is a new faculty member at UNMC.

  • Name: Brittney Dickey, PhD
  • Title and department at UNMC: Assistant professor, Department of Epidemiology, UNMC College of Public Health
  • Hometown: Blair, Nebraska

Research/professional interests:

My research interests sit at the intersection of infectious disease and cancer using tools in basic and molecular epidemiology. They include such topics as:

  • Epidemiology of oncogenic viruses, such as HPV, EBV, HBV and HCV
  • Biomarkers for early detection of cancers associated with a viral infection
  • Genome-wide DNA methylation as a tool to understand cancer risk
  • HPV natural history and screening optimization
  • Cancer among people living with HIV
  • HIV and aging

How I fell in love with epidemiology: I stumbled onto epidemiology during my Master of Public Health studies while looking for ideas for my final capstone project. My goal always was a job that allowed me to impact the health of people while using my prior education and experience in biology, immunology, community health and global health. Population sciences, which includes epidemiology, was a way to make an impact felt by whole groups of people — epidemiology itself required me to draw from all my prior knowledge using both analytical and creative skills to design and interpret studies about disease etiology. Lastly, I loved the collaborative nature of epidemiology. I get to work with experts in biostatistics, clinical care, health promotion and basic science to make the research we do drive the field forward.


  • BS, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • PhD, UNMC
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.


  • American Association of Cancer Research
  • International Papillomavirus Society

Three things people may not know about me:

  • I’ve actually worked at UNMC for more than 10 years in four departments. First, in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program in internal medicine, then as a student lab worker in surgery-transplant, then a research assisstant in the Eppley Institute and graduate assistant, and now as an assistant professor in epidemiology.
  • I lived in Marrakesh, Morocco, for two months to complete my MPH capstone study.
  • I had six wisdom teeth — all removed when I was 17.


  1. Nicole Kolm Valdivia says:

    We’re so glad you’ve joined us in COPH, Brittney!

  2. Katie Albert says:

    UNMC is so lucky to have you back!

  3. Alex Dworak says:

    Very exciting to see a public health researcher with your broad experience and a focus on HIV and hepatitis adding your talent and energy to the care of Nebraskans! We are lucky to have you back at UNMC!

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