Meet Our Team



Susan T. Vadaparampil, PhD, MPH

Associate Center Director of Community Outreach, Engagement, & Equity 
Moffitt Cancer Center

Dr. Susan Vadaparampil’s academic training includes a Bachelor of Health Science Education from the University of Florida (UF), a Master in Health Science Education with a concentration in Community Health from UF, a doctorate in Health Behavior from Indiana University and a Master of Public Health with concentration in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University. She joined the Moffitt faculty after completing postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute. Her research uses a combination of behavioral science, epidemiology, health services, and clinical perspectives to improve dissemination and uptake of new cancer prevention and control innovations into clinical practice and the community. Her work is influenced by transdisciplinary collaboration, focused on health disparities, and contributes to both the scientific literature and clinical practice. She has been funded since 2006 through research grants from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Vadaparampil has published over 200 scientific manuscripts. She serves as the Co-Program Director for Moffitt’s Behavioral Oncology Post Doctoral Training Program. Dr. Vadaparampil is also the Associate Center Director of Community Outreach, Engagement, & Equity. 






Lindsay Fuzzell, PhD

Applied Research Scientist II

Dr. Fuzzell obtained her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from Purdue University, and completed a T32 Cancer Prevention and Control post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests center on health communication, particularly in the context of adolescent and young adult sexual health, as well as adolescent and adult chronic illness. Dr. Fuzzell works on many of Dr. Vadaparampil’s research studies, focusing on projects related to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, genetic counseling and testing, HPV, and Hepatitis C in baby boomers. She contributes to analysis, manuscript writing, and grant preparation. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband, finding recipes and cooking delicious meals, and yoga.






Mariana Arevalo, PhD

Applied Research Scientist I 

Mariana earned a doctoral degree in Health Behavior from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She is also a proud USF alumna, where she earned her bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in science in public health. 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. As an Applied Research Scientist, she assists with different CRISP and COEE projects. Mariana has a strong commitment to addressing health disparities through collaborative research approaches and methods that facilitate translation and dissemination of research into diverse communities. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her cats, family, and friends. 




Heather Owens, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow 

Heather earned her doctorate in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology from the University of South Florida. She moved to Tampa after completing her bachelor’s in chemistry and Master of Public Health at East Tennessee State University. Heather is a postdoctoral fellow in the Behavioral Oncology Training Program with Dr. Vadaparampil as her primary mentor. Her research interests include HPV-related cancer prevention through increasing HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening utilization. Outside of work, she enjoys watching football and Formula 1, outdoor activities, and has recently taken up calligraphy.


Bianca Augusto, BS

Research Project Manager

Bianca graduated summa cum laude in May 2012 from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She has been working with Dr. Vadaparampil since 2014 where she began as the coordinator on multiple studies focused on enhancing health-related quality of life, increasing uptake of genetic counseling/testing for women with breast and ovarian cancer, and an R25 study entitled "Enriching Communication Skills for Health Professionals in Oncofertility (ECHO)” which focused on training allied health professionals on how to effectively communicate reproductive health information to their AYA oncology patients. Currently Bianca serves as the Program Coordinator for Moffitt's Behavioral Oncology Postdoctoral Training Program as well as leads efforts to develop data collection systems for the Office of Community Outreach, Engagement, & Equity (COEE) also led by Dr. Vadaparampil. Bianca loves running and in her spare time enjoys competing in 5K races and has recently taken up photography and crochet.







Paige Lake, MPH, BA

Research Coordinator III

Paige obtained her Bachelors in Psychology and her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Health Education from the University of South Florida. She is currently a Doctoral student at the University of South Florida College of Public Health with a concentration in both Community & Family Health and Applied Biostatistics. She has worked with Dr. Vadaparampil since 2014 on several different projects focused on examining how physician, systems, and patient-level factors influence HPV vaccination uptake among adolescents. She has also worked on projects focused on understanding fertility preservation discussions and decisions between Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer patients and providers and a project focused on understanding psychosocial outcomes among Black breast cancer patients. Her role on these projects is primarily focused on data analysis-both qualitative and quantitative, qualitative interviewing, and manuscript writing.





Ashley Whitmer, MPH, CPH, BS

Research Coordinator III

Ashley moved to Tampa from North Central Florida after graduating high school to attend USF. She graduated from USF in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in behavioral healthcare and from 2016-2021 she worked as a behavioral therapist for children with ASD. In the spring of 2021, Ashley graduated from USF with her MPH and began her transition into the field of public health. Soon after, she began working at Moffitt. Some of her hobbies include running, 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 never owned a car with an automatic transmission.





Delilah Ponce, MHS

Research Community Health Educator II 

Delilah received her Bachelor of Science in Health Education with a concentration in Community Health Promotion from the University of Florida and her Master of Health Science in Mental Health from Johns Hopkins University. Delilah began her journey at Moffitt Cancer Center as a Clinical Trials Coordinator I in the Breast Program in 2019. She spent time as a Research Project Specialist managing tobacco cessation treatment studies for vulnerable and underserved populations within the Tobacco Research and Intervention Program at Moffitt. Delilah now serves as a Research Community Health Educator II in Dr. Vadaparampil’ s lab working towards improving racial/ethnic minority participation on cancer clinical trials. Outside of work, Delilah enjoys salsa dancing and CrossFit. She also spends a lot of her time with family and friends, and enjoys outdoor activities.




Sarita Pathak, MPH

Research Coordinator II 

Sarita joined Moffitt Cancer Center in 2022. She holds a Master’s of Public Health degree with a concentration in Epidemiology from Georgia State University, School of Public Health. Currently, she is a Doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences at Emory University’s School of Public Health. Sarita has over 9 years of experience in public health research studying the impacts of disparities on health outcomes and implementing interventions targeting vulnerable populations. Her primary research interests broadly include assessing multilevel factors that influence oncofertility services such as fertility preservation for reproductive aged individuals, genetic counseling and testing for hereditary cancers, and addressing disparities in cancer prevention and control. Outside of work, Sarita enjoys yoga, her dog Zoe, and anything outdoorsy including hiking, camping or backpacking.


Elliott Tapia-Kwan, MA

Research Coordinator II 

Elliott Tapia-Kwan was born and raised in South Florida, where he graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology. He moved to Tampa not long after to earn his Master’s degree in sociology from the University of South Florida. After graduate school, Elliott worked at various positions, including felony legal assistant at the State Attorney’s Office, technical writer at a media marketing company, and freelance developmental editor with a hybrid book publishing company. With his role as a Research Coordinator at Moffitt, Elliott aims to make a difference in his community by addressing racial inequalities in clinical trials with the research project he will be working on. Outside of work, Elliott enjoys spending time with his spouse and their two cats, reading for leisure, playing video games, baking, and gardening.

Melanie Nelson

Executive Assistant


Michele Griffin

Grant Management Administrator V



Cecilia Morales

Senior Research Financial Analyst