Erika A. Waters, MPH, PhD, MS

Associate Professor of Surgery (General Surgery)

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

I investigate how thoughts about cancer risk (i.e., cancer cognitions) influence laypeople’s medical decisions and engagement in cancer prevention behaviors. To date, my research has focused on risk perception, Internet-based risk communication, laypeople’s decision making about undergoing chemopreventive therapies for cancer, and tobacco use. I am expanding my research to address the role of cancer cognitions in socioeconomic and racial/ethnic-based cancer disparities. I also plan to explore how lay perceptions of genetic risk information influence cancer cognitions and health behaviors. Ultimately, I seek to build health communication and behavior interventions that reduce disparities in cancer morbidity and mortality.