The Pediatric Cancer Epidemiology Research (PCER) Lab focuses on cancer care issues (e.g., symptom clusters and financial toxicity) and the roles the physical and social environment play in the development and outcomes of pediatric cancer. PCER seeks to advance scientific knowledge through an inter-disciplinary and team science approach.


Current Projects:

  • Symptom clusters – Led by Krishtee Napit, this project is studying the impact of symptom clusters on health-related quality of life in pediatric cancer survivors.
  • Financial toxicity – Investigating the health effects and predictors of financial hardship in pediatric cancer patients.
  • Systematic review of agricultural exposures and risk of neuroblastoma – A systematic review and meta-analysis examining the association between agricultural exposures (e.g., pesticides) and neuroblastoma.
  • SEER Capstone group – 3 MPH students are completing their Capstone projects using SEER cancer registry data to investigate rural/urban differences in pediatric cancer incidence, mortality, and 5-year survival rates.

To know more about these projects, contact:

Dr. Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway at swatanabe@unmc.edu

The Team

Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, PhD - Dr. Watanabe-Galloway is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology. She is also the Associate Director of Buffett Cancer Center Community Outreach and Engagement. As the Director of PCER Lab, she promotes interdisciplinary research that integrates methods and perspectives from different disciplines, including epidemiology, psychology, sociology, and environmental health.
Edward S. Peters, DMD, SM, SM, ScD, FACE - Dr. Peters is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology. He has extensive research experience in the social determinants of health and disease outcomes, such as cancer and other chronic conditions. Dr. Peters’s research uses a transdisciplinary social-genomic prospective to investigate environmental, social, and individual level factors, including race and socioeconomic status.
Jenna Allison, MD - Dr. Allison is an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. She also serves as the Associate Program Director for the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship at UNMC and Children’s Hospital. She is a member of the Pediatric Cancer Research Group and is currently pursing her master’s in clinical and translational science. Dr. Allison’s research interests include quality improvement including delivery of care and quality of life, and pediatric solid tumors, particularly Neuroblastoma and Sarcomas.
Don Coulter, MDDr. Coulter is a Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. He also serves as the Director of the Pediatric Cancer Research Group (PCRG) within the Child Health Research Institute, a partnership between UNMC and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. The PCRG works to improve childhood cancer outcomes, including epidemiology and prevention, the development of innovative treatments, and survivorship research.
Krishtee Napit - Krishtee is a 4th year epidemiology PhD student. She completed her B.Sc. in Nursing (Kathmandu University) and MPH (Tribhuvan University) in Nepal. Before pursuing her PhD at UNMC, she had experience in academia, teaching nursing students, and also in public health as HIV/AIDS coordinator in Save the Children, Nepal. Her research interest area focuses on symptom clusters and the impact of symptom clusters on the quality of life of pediatric cancer survivors.
Emma Hymel - Emma is a 2nd year epidemiology PhD student. She completed a BS in Biology and Neuroscience from Centenary College of Louisiana and graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with an MPH in epidemiology. Emma is interested in the role environmental and social factors (including neighborhood deprivation and transportation) play in the development and outcomes of pediatric cancer.
Josiane Kabayundo - Josiane Kabayundo is an epidemiology PhD student. Josiane holds a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from the University of Rwanda and an MPH from UNMC. Before joining UNMC, Josiane worked as a community pharmacist, ensuring the rational use of medicine and addressing antimicrobial resistance. Josiane's research interest focus on environmental exposures' impact on cancer development and financial hardship in cancer.