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J. Michael Underwood, PhD

Photo of Dr. J. Michael Underwood

J. Michael Underwood, PhD, is an epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC). He joined CDC in July 2009 as an epidemic intelligence service officer on the Scientific Support and Clinical Translation Team in DCPC’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch. His research interests include examining trends in cancer incidence, assessing needs among the growing population of cancer survivors, and evaluating improvements in cancer treatment.

Dr. Underwood attended Tuskegee University as an undergraduate, where he earned a bachelor of science in biology. He received a doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where he also studied public health and epidemiology. His dissertation was on the basis of the development and use of novel medicinal therapeutics for cancer treatment. Other graduate work included research in pharmacogenomics and oncogenic defense mechanisms. While a graduate student, he taught several pharmacology courses at local colleges and universities. Despite a strong background in drug development, he developed a compelling interest in public health while serving as a volunteer health educator for underserved communities with the Minnesota Cancer Center.

Dr. Underwood currently leads research projects that assess lung cancer incidence across the United States, explore health behaviors and demographic characteristics among cancer survivors, and promote smoking cessation among cancer survivors. Dr. Underwood also has a strong interest in understanding health economics, health care cost-effectiveness, and the role of personal finance in receiving quality cancer care. To understand the relationship between health care and finance more clearly, he is studying business economics at Georgia State University, Robinson College of Business.

The most recent articles Dr. Underwood has first-authored include—