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Dr. Roberts’ Lab

Dr. Roberts’ research focuses on evaluating and improving the implementation of genomic medicine. In particular, she is interested in conducting research to understand how precision medicine technologies can be implemented to improve access to, and reduce disparities in, high quality care and prevention. To date, her research has largely focused on the implementation of genomic medicine, disparities in access to genomic medicine, risk communication, and the impact of policies on implementation of research, clinical and public health practices.

Current Research Projects

The Roberts lab is engaged in a number of research projects. Current studies include the following research:

  • Megan Roberts, KL2 Scholar. “Overcoming barriers to the uptake of cascade screening for Lynch Syndrome.” Gene Orringer Junior Faculty Career Development Program (TRACS KL2); 08/2018-08/2021 This project aims to assess needs of multiple stakeholders for cascade screening as well as develop and test the feasibility a multilevel intervention to address these needs using intervention mapping.
  • Megan Roberts, Principal Investigator. “Linking medical record and claims data to better understand cancer outcomes within the UNC health care system.” UNC Lineberger Developmental Grant; 11/2019-5/2021; Funding $50,000 This projects will link data from the Cancer Information & Population Health Resource and Carolina Data Warehouse, as well as test the feasibility of multiple techniques for abstracting and linking unstructured, genomic data from the electronic health record. The complementary strengths of the linked data sets will be assessed.
  • Devon Check, Principal Investigator. Megan Roberts, Site PI. “Understanding chronic pain and long-term opioid use among cancer survivors” The Duke Endowment; 9/1/2019-2/28/21; Funding $143,000 This project uses data from the Cancer Information & Population Health Resource to assess long-term opioid use among cancer survivors in North Carolina.

Recent Publications

  1. Srinivasan S, Hampel H, Leeman J, Patel A, Rahm AK, Reuland DS, Roberts MC. Stakeholder perspecSves on overcoming barriers to cascade tesSng in Lynch syndrome: A qualitaSve study. Cancer PrevenSon Research. 2020 Jan 1. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-20-0141. PubMed PMID PMID: 32727822.
  2. Srinivasan S, Won NY, Dotson WD, Wright ST, Roberts MC. Barriers and facilitators for cascade tesSng in geneSc condiSons: a systemaSc review. European Journal of Human GeneScs. 2020 Sep 18:1-4. doi: 10.1038/s41431-020-00725-5. PubMed PMID: 32948847
  3. Allen CG, Fohner AE, Landry L, Paul JL, Smith SG, Turbie E, Roberts MC [senior author]. PerspecSves from Early Career InvesSgators Who Are “Staying in the Game” of Precision Public Health Research. Am J Public Health. 2019 Sep;109(9):1186-1187. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305199. PubMed PMID: 31390241.
  4. Allen CG, Fohner AE, Landry L, Paul J, Smith SG, Turbie E, Roberts MC [senior author]. Early career invesSgators and precision public health. Lancet. 2019 Aug 3;394(10196):382-383. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30498-2. PubMed PMID: 31379330.
  5. Roberts MC, Khoury MJ, Mensah GA. PerspecSve: The Clinical Use of Polygenic Risk Scores: Race, Ethnicity, and Health DispariSes. Ethn Dis. 2019 Jul 18;29(3):513-516. doi: 10.18865/ed.29.3.513. eCollecSon 2019 Summer. PubMed PMID: 31367172; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6645721.
  6. Roberts MC, Kurian AW, Petkov VI. Uptake of the 21-Gene Assay Among Women With NodePosiSve, Hormone Receptor-PosiSve Breast Cancer. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2019 Jun 1;17(6):662-668. doi: 10.6004/jnccn.2018.7266. PubMed PMID: 31200352.
  7. Roberts MC, Clyne M, Kennedy AE, Chambers DA, Khoury MJ. The current state of Funded NIH grants in implementaSon science in genomic medicine: a pornolio Analysis. Genet Med. 2019 May;21(5):1218-1223. doi: 10.1038/gim.2017.180. Epub 2017 Oct 26. PubMed PMID: 31048814.
  8. Roberts MC, Mensah GA, Khoury MJ. Leveraging ImplementaSon Science to Address Health DispariSes in Genomic Medicine: Examples from the Field. Ethn Dis. 2019 Feb 21;29(Suppl 1):187-192. doi: 10.18865/ed.29.S1.187. eCollecSon 2019. PubMed PMID: 30906168; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6428174.
  9. Roberts MC, Turbie E, Klein WMP. Psychosocial, aptudinal, and demographic correlates of cancer-related germline geneSc tesSng in the 2017 Health InformaSon NaSonal Trends Survey. J Community Genet. 2019 Oct;10(4):453-459. doi: 10.1007/s12687-018-00405-4. Epub 2019 Feb 20. PubMed PMID: 30835082; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6754484.
  10. Turbie E, Roberts MC, Taber JM, Waters EA, McNeel TS, Biesecker BB, Klein WMP. GeneSc counseling, geneSc tesSng, and risk percepSons for breast and colorectal cancer: Results from the 2015 NaSonal Health Interview Survey. Prev Med. 2019 Jun;123:12-19. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.02.027. Epub 2019 Feb 25. PubMed PMID: 30817954.

We have idenSfied barriers and facilitators for cascade tesSng (family geneSc tesSng) for Lynch syndrome (a hereditary cancer condiSon) across paSent, provider, and administrator stakeholders. Barriers included: (1) accessibility and shortage of geneSc counseling services and follow up, (2) emoSonal barriers impacSng family communicaSon such as sSgma and dysfuncSon, (3) lack of awareness about LS among paSents and providers, and (4) fear of a posiSve screening result impacSng employment and eligibility for health and life insurance. Facilitators idenSfied across all stakeholders included: (1) free tesSng offered by geneSc tesSng laboratories for relaSves, (2) moSvaSon to inform relaSves, and (3) connecSng to online resources such as paSent support groups. Findings from this study have informed the development of an intervenSon to improve cascade screening for Lynch syndrome. (Roberts MC, Srinivasan S, Hampel H, Patel A, Rahm AK, Reuland DS, Leeman J. 23rd Annual MeeSng of the CollaboraSve Group of the Americas on Inherited GatstrointesSnal Cancer. Salt Lake City, UT, November 5, 2019. [Silver award]; See also, publicaSons)

Megan Roberts

(919) 843-4071

megan.roberts@unc.edu

Megan Roberts, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy and the Director of Implementation Science in Precision Health and Society at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Her research focuses on evaluating and improving the implementation of genomic medicine. In particular, she is interested in implementation research aimed at improving quality of care and reducing racial disparities in cancer prevention and treatment.

Brianna Halliburton


Emily Shen