Principle Investigators 


Darla Kendzor, PhD

Leader of the Tobacco Treatment Research Program, Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center at the Stephenson Cancer Center; Associate Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine

Darla Kendzor’s research is focused on understanding and addressing the psychosocial and behavioral pathways that lead to tobacco-related health disparities. 

Her current NCI-supported research is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of offering small financial incentives for biochemically-verified smoking abstinence among socioeconomically disadvantaged adults (uninsured or receiving Medicaid benefits) who are participating in a clinic-based tobacco cessation program. This research also aims to identify treatment mechanisms and other contextual factors that influence cessation via smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment.

Supplemental funding has allowed the her to additionally focus on developing and pilot-testing an approach to offering incentives that will use smartphones to remotely verify smoking abstinence, confirm participant identity, and deliver financial incentives for smoking cessation without requiring in-person visits.

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Michael Businelle, PhD

Director of the mHealth Shared Resource at Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center at the Stephenson Cancer Center, Associate Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine

Michael Businelle was recruited to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2015 to develop and direct the Stephenson Cancer Center Mobile Health (mHealth) Shared Resource. The mHealth resource is staffed by 4 programmers, a program manager, and a research technician. The InsightTM platform enables researchers to rapidly create mobile applications that can utilize ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and sensor data (i.e., activity monitor, mobile carbon monoxide monitor, e-cigarette device) to identify environmental, cognitive, affective, physiological, and behavioral antecedents of cancer risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, heavy alcohol use, poor diet / inactivity / obesity, etc.) and deliver context-specific adaptive interventions in real-time. The mHealth resource currently supports over 20 studies (2 studies collected data outside the US – Cambodia, and Scotland).

Since 2011, Dr. Businelle has been the PI on 10 intervention studies that have been funded by the NIH, ACS, and internal funds and he has a strong publication record (i.e., over 100 peer reviewed publications) in the areas of smoking cessation, health disparities, and mHealth. Nine of these studies include collection of EMA data to identify mechanisms of health risk behaviors in socioeconomically disadvantaged samples. This information has been used to develop novel interventions that automatically tailor treatment content based upon an individual’s current symptoms/needs. In upcoming studies, Dr. Businelle plans to integrate real-time wearable sensor data (e.g., smoking, eating, drinking gestures) to inform intervention algorithms.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows


Emily Hébert, DrPH

Emily T. Hébert, DrPH is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center at the Stephenson Cancer Center. Emily earned her DrPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Texas School of Public Health. Her dissertation focused on the use of ecological momentary assessment to measure real-time tobacco marketing and message exposure among young adults. Her current research interests include the use of technology for health promotion, tobacco prevention and cessation, ecological momentary assessment, and the role of social media in tobacco marketing and health communication.

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Adam C. Alexander, Ph.D.


Adam C. Alexander is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He earned his Ph.D. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Memphis School of Public Health. His dissertation focused on tobacco use after exposure to a natural disaster. Adam’s current research interests include tobacco prevention and cessation, health disparities, and trauma and tobacco use.

Research Staff


Angela Helt

Research Program Coordinator

Angela Helt joined the team in 2015 and is the research program coordinator for Michael Businelle’s projects. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma in 2004, Angela spent six years working work non-profit organizations, both nationally and abroad. She earned her Master of Arts in Applied Medical Anthropology from the University of Memphis in 2012. Her practicum project focused on volunteerism in a community health care setting in the Dominican Republic. After that, Angela also spent a year working in the Dominican Republic as the coordinator for a sexual and reproductive health program at an international non-governmental organization. Her research interests are sexual and reproductive health, health disparities, humanitarianism, and program evaluation.


Joseph J.C. Waring

Research Technician

Joseph joined the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center in the summer of 2017 after receiving a Bachelor of Public Health from the University of Kentucky. Originally from Long Island, NY, Joe's interest in smoking cessation developed while he was volunteering in a kidney transplantation center in New York City. His research interests include smoking cessation interventions among those waiting for organ transplants and interventions using mobile technology. 

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Jocelyn M. Barton, Ph.D.

Sponsored Program Coordinator

Jocelyn M. Barton, Ph.D., is the Sponsored Program Coordinator at OTRC’s Tobacco Treatment Research Program. Jocelyn earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon, where her dissertation focused on the effects of a parenting intervention on parent mental health in an at-risk population. Jocelyn completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Counseling Center. During her post-doctoral fellowship at the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, her training emphasized the integration of mental health treatment into the primary care setting. Her primary research interests are in the dissemination and implementation of empirically supported treatments, and reducing health disparities.​


Rachel Moisiuc

Research Project Coordinator

Rachel joined the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center after receiving her bachelor of science from the University of Houston. Her initial fascination with the structure and function of the mind prompted her to major in biology and psychology. During her studies, she was exposed to the field of research and its medical applications. Here at OTRC, she can witness those applications first-hand and impact lives.

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Mary L. Williams 

Graduate Research Assistant 

Mary Williams joined the OTRC in March 2018 as a graduate research assistant. While earning her bachelor’s (2014) and master’s (2017) degrees in Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, Mary worked researching food availability and rural mental health care, and volunteered with the YWCA, Sibshops, and the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s of public health (MPH) degree in epidemiology at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center and her research interests are disability, behavioral and social determinants of health and change interventions, and reproductive and genetic epidemiology.



Oluwakemi Olurotimi, M.A

Research Technician 

Oluwakemi Olurotimi (Kemi) , M.A is a research Technician at the Oklahoma Tobacco research Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Kemi graduated from University of Central Oklahoma where she earned her M.A in Experimental Psychology and served as a graduate teaching assistant for Introduction to Psychological Statistics (SPSS) Experimental Design. Her current research interests are primarily focused on reducing preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.