Current Lab Members


Shannon Christy, PhD, MA 

Dr. Christy is an Assistant Member in the Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, and is a Member of the Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center. She also holds a courtesy appointment of Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncologic Sciences at University of South Florida in the Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Christy completed a BA in Psychology at Miami University, an MA in Counseling at Ball State University, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She also completed National Cancer Institute-funded R25 predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships in Behavioral Oncology. The overarching goals of Dr. Christy’s research program are to improve public health and reduce cancer disparities. Her program of research includes examining the associations between psychosocial factors, health beliefs, affect, social determinants of health, patient-provider communication, and engagement in cancer preventive and early detection behaviors as well as designing and evaluating the efficacy of theory-based educational interventions aimed at promoting cancer preventive and early detection behaviors including, but not limited to, colorectal cancer


Mariana Arevalo, PhD

Applied Research Scientist. Dr. Arevalo has a strong commitment to addressing health disparities. Her broad research interests include delivery of high-quality cancer-related care for medically underserved populations, reducing cancer health disparities among racial and ethnic groups, and increasing participation of diverse groups in biomedical and clinical trials research. She is currently collaborating in projects that aim to understand factors related to human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination, develop culturally relevant interventions to increase HPV vaccination uptake, and evaluate the efficacy of communication interventions promoting colorectal cancer and hepatitis C virus screening. In her time off she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her two cats.


Ashley Whitmer, MPH, CPH

Research Coordinator II. Ashley support a research project for which Drs. Susan Vadaparampil and Shannon Christy are Multiple Principal Investigators. Ashley moved to Tampa from North Central Florida about 7 years ago to attend USF. She graduated from USF in 2017 with a Bachelors degree in Behavioral Healthcare and from 2016-2021 she worked as a behavioral therapist for individuals with ASD. In the spring of 2021, Ashley graduated with her MPH, with a concentration in public health education, from USF. Soon after, she began working at Moffitt Cancer Center. She is the research coordinator for HPV MISTICS (PIs: Vadaparampil & Christy). Her research interests include behavior modification, the preventative properties of diet and lifestyle on chronic disease, and the impact of the built environment on chronic disease. Eventually, Ashley would like to work on improving public health policies at the local level. Some of her hobbies include SCUBA diving, reading, painting, and hiking. She loves being outdoors and spending time with her dog, Ava. An interesting fact about Ashley is that she learned to drive stick when she was 15 and has only ever owned cars with a manual transmission.


Melissa Alvarado, BA, CHES

Research Coordinator II. Melissa is the Moffitt-site research coordinator for the U54 partnership between Moffitt Cancer Center and Ponce Health Sciences University. Her goal is to help reduce health disparities among Hispanic/Latino communities. Her interests include community outreach, health education, health literacy, and cultural competency. She is a Master of Public Health Student at the University of South Florida with a concentration in Public Health Education. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a Sociology minor from the University of Tampa, and she is a certified health education specialist (CHES). In her role as a research coordinator, she assists in planning and coordination of community events regarding cancer prevention for the PHSU-MCC partnership outreach core. 


Yanid M. Grullon, BA. Associate Grants Administrator II

Yanid is an Associate Grants Administrator in the Health Outcomes and Behavior Research Program. She joined Moffitt Cancer Center in 2017 and provides administrative support to Dr. Christy and her research team. Yanid received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Universidad Ana G. Mendez in Puerto Rico.


Cindy Burcham, Senior Grants Administrator

Cindy provides grants support to Dr. Christy as well as other Principal Investigators in the Division of Population Science at Moffitt Cancer Center.



Past Lab Members

  • Heraldo D’Almeida
  • Aaron Collier
  • Emalyn Deak
  • Ada Sulbaran Semprun
  • Alissa Pena
  • Carol Boxtha
  • Martha Fuentes
  • Maria Nieto
  • Veronica Barrios-Monroy
  • Cyril Patra



  • Martin Ladjimi 

Past trainees have included:

  • Lily Stacy
  • Joyce Cui
  • Erin Park
  • Miguel Devonish
  • Julie Lichterman
  • Lila Gutstein
  • Harika Reddy
  • Anni Liu
  • Laura (Cathy) Garcia-Torres
  • Gabriella Fonseca
  • Kayla McLymont

Past trainees: Erin Park, left, and Joyce Cui.

Past trainee: Lily Stacy.