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TSET Helps Bring World-Class Scientists to Health Promotion Research Center

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 13, 2021) – Three new faculty have joined the TSET Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center.

New faculty are: Adam Alexander, Ph.D.; Thanh Bui, M.D.; and Julia McQuoid, Ph.D. The three join the center as assistant professors at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. They will address health risk factors such as tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle and poor diet through scientific research and intervention development.

“We are thrilled to have these talented new investigators expand the expertise of the center to include a focus on African American and rural health, health geography, and HPV vaccination promotion,” said Darla Kendzor, Ph.D., co-director of the HPRC. “The expertise of the new faculty will increase our reach across the state, allowing the center to target tobacco use and other health risk factors among more Oklahomans.”

Alexander is a health disparities researcher specializing in tobacco research. His work focuses on understanding and eliminating tobacco-related health disparities among African Americans and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. He is currently working with community organizations to develop interventions that promote smoking cessation among African Americans and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. He earned a doctorate in social and behavioral sciences and a master’s in psychology both from the University of Memphis. 

Bui has an interdisciplinary background in medicine, global health and research in both health promotions and cancer prevention. His investigations focus on behavioral interventions for cancer prevention and control in high-risk populations, including immunizations against oncogenic, or cancer-causing, viruses and tobacco cessation. He earned a doctorate in health promotion and behavioral sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center, a master’s degree from the Yale School of Public Health and a medical degree from Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine in Vietnam.

McQuoid is a health geographer interested in qualitative and mixed methods approaches to understanding relationships between people’s everyday environments and behaviors related to health and wellbeing. Her current studies in Oklahoma focus on understanding tobacco and other substance use among social minority and traditionally under-represented groups. In this role, she works with rural communities by employing mHealth data collection methods and qualitative mapping to examine the everyday patterns, contexts, roles and meanings of different substances for rural Oklahomans. Prior to her position at the Health Promotion Research Center she served as a postdoctoral Fellow in Tobacco Research, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. She earned a doctorate in geography from the University of New South Wales in Australia and a master’s degree in human geography and planning from Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

“TSET is proud to support bringing world-class researchers to Oklahoma,” said Julie Bisbee, executive director of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET). “With their commitment to addressing health risk factors such as tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle and poor diet through research, the TSET Health Promotion Research Center will continue to bring new information on how cancer and chronic diseases can be reduced and prevented.”

Since 2007, TSET Health Promotion Research Center investigators and collaborators have been awarded over 165 grants totaling more than $43 million in research focused on developing and testing novel smoking cessation interventions for populations with low smoking cessation rates and informing FDA tobacco control policies. Learn more about research promoted by TSET.

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The mission of the TSET Health Promotion Research Center (formerly the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center) is to reduce the burden of disease in Oklahoma by addressing modifiable health risk factors such as tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and risky alcohol and other substance use through research, novel intervention development, and dissemination of research findings. The HPRC contains four major resources that facilitate research and are led by HPRC faculty: Mobile Health Shared Resource, Tobacco Treatment Research Program, Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program, and Tobacco Regulatory Science Clinical Laboratory. Learn more at


OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center is Oklahoma’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center. It was named Oklahoma’s top facility for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report in its 2020-21 rankings. Stephenson Cancer Center is one of the nation’s elite centers, representing the top 2% of cancer centers in the country. It is the largest and most comprehensive oncology practice in the state, delivering patient-centered, multidisciplinary care for every type of cancer. As one of the nation’s leading research organizations, Stephenson Cancer Center uses the latest innovations to fight and eliminate cancer, and is currently ranked No. 1 among all cancer centers in the nation for the number of patients participating in clinical trials sponsored by the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network. For more information, visit


OU Health is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Health is home to Oklahoma’s largest doctor network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Health serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. Becker’s Hospital Review named University of Oklahoma Medical Center one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America for 2020. OU Health’s oncology program at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center was named Oklahoma’s top facility for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report in its 2020-21 rankings. OU Health also was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in these specialties: Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit


The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working toward shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. Investing $45 million in prevention and research in Oklahoma each year, TSET has been a driving force in the decade-long decline in tobacco use in the state. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across Oklahoma, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health.