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Leslie Dennis PhD, MS

Leslie  Dennis PhD, MS

Professor

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department

ldennis@arizona.edu

1295 N. Martin
Drachman Hall A230
PO Box: 245211
Tucson AZ 85724
(520) 626-6408

Biography

Leslie K. Dennis, MS, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.

She received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in 1993, and her MS in Biometrics in 1988 from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Dennis’ research focus is on melanoma, hepatocellular and prostate cancer etiology and prevention as related to environmental risk factors with R03, R01 and K07 funding. She has used tools such as mailed questionnaires, telephone interviews along with molecular analyses of trace elements and sexually transmitted infections to conduct this research, but also has interest in genetics. She also has expertise in conducting meta-analyses as related to risk factors for cancer. Dr. Dennis is a reviewer for several cancer and epidemiological journals. She has reviewed R03 and K07 applications for the NCI and spent 5 years as a grant reviewer for the American Cancer Society including chairing the Clinical Research, Cancer Control and Epidemiology peer grant review committee. She has served on the Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee at the College of Public Health and is currently the College’s representative on the University of Arizona’s Undergraduate Council and its Curriculum and Polices subcommittee.

Dr. Dennis believes that while the outcomes of graduate level courses will include some factual knowledge, they should be focused on increasing a student’s ability to synthesize knowledge, apply concepts, develop problem solving skills, and to think and learn independently. Thus, her goals as a teacher are to assist students in problem solving in order to prepare students and junior faculty to be independent researchers.


Research Interests

  • Cancer Epidemiology with a focus in
    • Melanoma
    • Hepatocellular cancer
    • Prostate Cancer
  • Epidemiological Methods
  • Use of meta-analysis to help focus research
  • Behavioral Epidemiology

Teaching Interests

  • Advanced Epidemiological Methods
  • Cancer Epidemiology
  • Conducting a Meta-analysis


Selected Publications

Dennis LK, Beane Freeman LE, VanBeek MJ. Sunscreen use and melanoma: a quantitative review. Annals Internal Med. 2003; 139(12):966-78. [PMID: 14678916].

Dennis LK, VanBeek MJ, Beane Freeman LE, Smith BJ, Dawson DV, Coughlin JA. Sunburns and risk of cutaneous melanoma: does age matter? a comprehensive meta-analysis. Annals of Epidemiology. 2008; 18(8):614-27. [PMID: 18652979].

Dennis LK, Lowe JB, Lynch CF, Alavanja MC. Cutaneous melanoma and obesity in the Agricultural Health Study. Annals of Epidemiology. 2008; 18(3):214-21. [PMID: 18280921]. (PMCID: PMC2459339)

Dennis LK, Lowe JB, Snetselaar LG. Tanning behavior among young frequent tanners is related to attitudes and not lack of knowledge about the dangers. Health Education Journal. 2009; 68(3):232-44.

Dennis LK, Coughlin JA, McKinnon BC, Wells TS, Gaydos CA, Hamsikova E, Gray GC. Sexually transmitted infections and prostate cancer among men in the US military. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009; 18(10):2665-71. [PMID: 19755645].

Dennis LK, Lynch CF, Sandler DP, Alavanja MC. Pesticide use and cutaneous melanoma in pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Heath Study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2010; 118:812-7. [PMID: 20164001]

Dennis LK, Lashway SG, Langston ME.  Sun sensitivity and sunburns as related to cutaneous melanoma among populations of Spanish descent: a meta-analysis. J Dermatol Res Ther. 2015; 1(2):1-5. †

Hansen V, Oren E, Dennis LK, Brown HE. Infectious Disease Mortality Trends in the United States, 1980-2014.  JAMA. 2016; 316(20): 2149-2151.†

Harvey EM, Leonard-Green TK, Mohan K, Kulp MT, Davis AL, Miller JM, Twelker JD, Camus I, Dennis LK. Interrater and Test-Retest Reliability of the Beery Visual-Motor Integration in Schoolchildren. Optom Vis Sci. 2017;94(5):598-605.

Langston ME, Dennis LK, Lynch CF, Roe D, Brown HE. Temporal Trends in Satellite-Derived Erythemal UVB and Implications for Ambient Sun Exposure Assessment. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(2): pii: E176. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14020176.†

Tsai RJ, Dennis LK, Lynch CF, Snetselaar LG, Zamba GKD, Scott-Conner C. Lymphedema following breast cancer: the importance of surgical methods and obesity. Front Womens Health. 2018;3(2):1-6. doi: 10.15761/FWH.1000144†

Harvey EM, McGrath ER, Miller JM, Davis AL, Twelker JD, Dennis LK. A Preliminary Study of Astigmatism and Early Childhood Development. J AAPOS (Am Assoc Ped Opthalmol Strabismus). 2018; 22(4):294-298. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2018.03.004. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

Brown H, Dennis L, Lauro P, Purve J, Pelley E, Oren E. Emerging evidence for infectious causes of cancer in the United States. Epidemiologic Reviews. 2019; 41:82-96.

† Manuscripts resulting from student dissertation projects or master theses.


Research Synopsis

Dr. Dennis’ research focus is on melanoma, hepatocellular cancer and prostate cancer etiology and prevention as related to environmental risk and lifestyle factors. She has used tools such as mailed questionnaires, telephone interviews along with molecular analyses of trace elements and sexually transmitted infections to conduct this research. She also has expertise in conducting meta-analyses as related to risk factors for cancer.


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