Oncology welcomes Ariel Washington, Ph.D., as pre-faculty fellow in Pathway to Faculty program

Ariel Washington

The Department of Oncology at Wayne State University has named Ariel Washington, Ph.D., their pre-faculty fellow for the Pathway to Faculty (PTF) program.

Washington earned her doctoral degree in social work from the University of Louisville where her research focused on culturally informed cervical cancer screenings and preventive health with the assistance of mobile technology for African American women.

She graduated in 2020, then completed a T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan where she studied HPV vaccine hesitancy among African American parents who had previously delayed or denied their children vaccines. She presented her findings at the American Society of Preventive Oncology Conference in March 2022.

Washington will continue her research interests regarding health disparities and equity among the African American community alongside her PTF mentor Hayley Thompson, Ph.D, at Wayne State. Washington will act as support for Project ACE, which aims to equip parents with knowledge on HPV vaccination and encourage them to vaccinate their children. She will also work on a new partnership with the Faith Community Research Network (FCRN) on HPV education and prevention throughout Metro Detroit.

Her long-term goal? Get more people vaccinated.

“HPV vaccinations are a really great strategy,” Washington said. “They help prevent about six different types of cancers, so I’m hoping that by focusing on screening and prevention initiatives now, we can reduce the number of HPV-related cancers in the future.

“I’m really excited to work in a diverse and collaborative environment. I want to improve the cancer experience from screening to survivorship. I feel like working with WSU and the PTF is one way to get started on that.”

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