• Associate Professor, Communication
  • Associate Professor, Communication

Research Statement

Research interests and focus:

As an individiual from an underrepresented group, health communications researcher and individual who has witnessed family members die or suffer from cancer and other health disparities, I feel it is my purpose and moral obligation to address these issues.  I also believe that it is my calling to take my experiences, expertise as a scholar and relationships with community, medical and research partners to act experimentally and spur change through innovative and engaged research. Finding cures to cancer, treating patients for illness, or explaining why getting screened for cancer are critical to the patient’s wellbeing. Unfortunately, gaps occur in the communication pathway to clearly inform, educate, or persuade an individual or the masses about pertinent health issues that impede positive health outcome.  Addressing health communication inequity and inequality on multiple societal levels requires not only the expertise of the researcher but also the community for which holds the answer to fighting insidious diseases and health issues.  The following areas below are the overarching foci for the transdisciplinary research that I conduct.

Public Health Cancer Communication: In the research I conduct, I aim to continue a research stream and trajectory that reduces cancer health disparities among underserved and underrepresented populations. Through this type of scholarship, identification, and examination of efficacious and effective communication factors on multiple levels and platforms is possible.  These include primary care communication (doctor/patient communication), public health communication (social marketing, health literacy, cultural literacy, cross-cultural health care communication, health education, health promotion through technology and social networks), cultural competency, and social and behavioral psychology. It has been my goal to continue novel research that informs health communication research for the greater good of society and one that pushes communication to the core of primary care and public health.

Cultural Factors:  I currently manage or am Co-Investigator on engagement and/or research and education grants that investigate the impact of societal factors (e.g., SDoH), spirituality, religion, race and cultural norms among African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos. These factors are important and central to the patient’s worldview and can significantly impede or facilitate health outcome.

Psychological and Sociological Factors:  The impact that psycho-socio factors have on certain segments of the population may have deleterious or positive effects.  These factors often positively or negatively correlate with the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) that can span from built environment to health literacy and educational attainment.   Other psycho-socio factors include self-efficacy, perceptions, opinions, and beliefs that individuals from underrepresented groups have about health behavior and health outcome.  It is the astute health communications professional and scholar that investigates not only the direct paths of health communication and the psychological and sociological factors that influence those processes but also the variables that may mediate or hinder this relationship indirectly.

Community-based Participatory Research: I follow a research approach that is grounded in CBPR or community-based participatory research and principles that allow me to conduct transdisciplinary research that involves multiple communities (researchers, academics, medical personnel, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations). This type of methodology also allows me to triangulate data through both qualitative and quantitative methods to best answer the research questions posed by all communities collectively.


Research Keywords

  • Black Americans, Cancer Communication, Implementation Science, Health Disparities, Health Equity


  • Communication Responses for Bridging Global Health Disparities and Promoting Health Equity. Conference Paper, Refereed, Accepted, 01/10/2024.
  • Addressing Cancer Disparities among Black Women (and Men) in the Mountain West and the Midwest Regions” . Conference Paper, Presented, 10/13/2023.
  • Genetic counseling considerations across populations Engaging Black Men In Prostate Cancer Genetic Testing: Challenges and Opportunities for Reducing Cancer Disparities Session #3 – Genetic Counseling Considerations Across Populations. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/13/2023.
  • 2023 GMaP Region 3 Technical Training Summit Speaker. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/09/2023.
  • Oral Presentation and Panelist – National Society of Genetic Counselors, November 2022 – Nashville, TN – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Genetic Counseling Issues Panelist. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/10/2022.
  • Boldly Go Where No One Else Has Gone Before - University of Minnesota. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/18/2022.
  • Research Panel Presentation Accepted to Confluences Conference: Religion, Health, and Communities in the American Heartland – The University of Missouri-Columbia (NextGen Precision Health Center and Religious Studies) - Evaluation of a Health Communication Pilot Project to Promote (Genetic) Risk Assessment Software Usage within a Missouri African American Church (Lumpkins, C. Y., Cooper, E., Barbosa Fernandez, R., Nelson, K., Miller, L., Twizele, Z., Blackstock, A., Blackstock, A., & Philp, A.) - October 2021. Conference Paper, Accepted, 08/05/2022.
  • Oral Presentation – CDC Health Communication, Marketing and Media Conference, August 2022 “Addressing COVID-19 Disparities Through Community Engaged, Evidence-Based Health Communication Campaigns in the State of Kansas (Ramirez, M, Chen, Y., Carter, T & Lumpkins, C.). Conference Paper, Refereed, Accepted, 05/10/2022.


  • Lumpkins C.Y., & Chen, Y. (2024). “COVID 19 and Community Voices: A Look at How Trusted Community Members Inform Public Health Preparedness and Effective Communication Strategies,” . The Palgrave Handbook of Communication and Health Disparities.. Accepted, 02/19/2024.
  • Lumpkins C.Y., & Miller, L, Twizele, Z., Philp, A., Nelson, K. & Cooper, E. (2024). The Black Church and Opportunities to Address Cancer Disparities through Cancer-Related Genetic Risk Assessment Software Technology. . University of Missouri Press. Accepted, 02/15/2024.
  • Zayhowski, K. & Glanton, E., MacFarlane, I., Pratt, R., Lumpkins, C.Y. & Zierhut, H. (2024). Inconvenient Sampling: Community-engaged and restorative justice approaches to genetic counseling student research (In Press). Journal of Genetic Counseling. Published, 02/13/2024.
  • Allen, C.G. & Olstad, D.L, Kahkoska, A.R., Guan, Y., Ramos, P. S., Steinberg, J., Staras, S.A., Lumpkins, C.Y., Milko, L.V., Turbitt, E., Rahm, A.K., Saylor, K.W., Best, St., Hatch, A., Santangelo, I., Roberts, M.C. (2023). Extending an antiracism lens to the implementation of precision public health interventions . American Journal of Public Health,. Published, 08/31/2023.
  • Lumpkins C.Y., & Nelson R, Twizele Z, Ramírez M, Kimminau KS, Philp A , Mustafa RA, Godwin AK (2023). Communicating risk and the landscape of cancer prevention — an exploratory study that examines perceptions of cancer-related genetic counseling and testing among African Americans and Latinos in the Midwest. Journal of Community Genetics. Vol. 2. Published, 04/14/2023.
  • Chen, Y. & Ramírez M, Lumpkins CY, Crawford B, Greiner K, Ellerbeck E (2022). Lessons Learned from “Community Workers Beat the Virus,” a Multi-Media Campaign Co-Created with Trusted Community Leaders . American Journal of Public Health. Published, 11/09/2022.
  • Lumpkins C.Y., & Goeckner, R, Hale, J., Lewis, C, Gunville, J, Gunville, R., Daley, C, & Daley, S. (2022). In Our Sacred Voice – An Exploration of Tribal and Community Leader Perceptions as Health Communicators of Disease Prevention Among American Indians in the Central Plains,. Health Communication. Published, 08/10/2022.
  • Lumpkins C.Y., & Philp, A., Nelson, K.L., Miller, L.M. & Greiner, K.A. (2020). A Roadmap for the Future: An Exploration of Attitudes, Perceptions and Beliefs among African Americans to Tailor Health Promotion of Cancer-Related Genetic Counseling and Testing. Journal of Genetic Counseling. Published, 07/14/2020.
  • Yeary, K. & Alcaraz, K. Tam Ashing, Chiu, C., Christy, S.M., Friberg Felsted, K., Lu, Q., Lumpkins, C. Y., Masters, K. S., Newton, R., Park, C., Salmoirago-Blotcher, E., Shen, S., Yanez, B. & Yi, J. (2020). Considering Religion and Spirituality in Precision Medicine. Translational Behavioral Medicine. Published, 02/10/2020.