Misha Granado will focus on breast-cancer screening research
— Florida A&M University (FAMU) graduate Misha Granado left college this spring with a master’s degree in public health and a prestigious research opportunity as a 2007-2008 Fulbright Fellow. Granado will spend nine months in Barbados, West Indies investigating barriers in breast cancer screening practices in women and examining ways to promote cross-cultural interaction between Barbadian and American health care providers, researchers and academicians.
The Fulbright Program for U. S. students, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, awards about 1,200 grants annually to enable recipients to undertake research projects, advanced study, or teaching opportunities for an academic year in more than 140 countries. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to foster international goodwill through increased mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
Granado said her research is hoping to dispel the myth that all individuals of African descent can be grouped into one race when examining the issues of late-stage breast cancer detection. Her studies have shown breast cancer is diagnosed at later stages in African Americans and women of African descent. Thus, Granado said strategies to increase early detection must be developed. “I will identify the similarities or differences among perceived barriers to breast cancer detection, thus possibly indicating that culture rather than race is a better determinant of behavior,” she said.
Granado will develop interview guides and questionnaires to conduct focus group studies with Barbadian women to assess their understanding of the importance of early breast cancer screening and detection. Her data collection will take place at The Chronic Disease Research Centre, Tropical Medical Research Institute of the University of West Indies with noted Barbadian breast and prostate cancer researcher, Dr. Annslem Hennis. She will seek to publish the results of her studies.
Granado previously received a master’s degree in community psychology from FAMU, and has extensive experience in providing home-based counseling to at-risk children and adolescents—a skill she said has taught her to facilitate change within a community a people. She was one of 15 graduates of the spring 2007 class in the FAMU Institute of Public Health (IPH), where she served as vice president of the student organization, the Future Public Health Professionals (FPHP). “We are very excited about Misha’s accomplishment and the wonderful experience she will gain in utilizing her research tools,” said Dr. Cynthia Harris, IPH director and professor. “It certainly bodes well for the Institute and FAMU, in general, regarding the outstanding caliber of students and the high quality of public health training received.”
A personal commitment to researching breast cancer—which is a part of her family history—and a common cultural thread to the Caribbean island of Barbados (Granado is a native of Trinidad.), motivates Granado to pursue a career in international women’s health. “My goal is to become a leader in the field and to develop and implement interventions to close the health disparity gap,” she said. “The exchange of knowledge I will participate in can be extremely useful, especially in light of limited empirical Afro-Caribbean health research.”
Posted: May 17, 2007
Contact: Pamela Bryant