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Meet the Staff: The Study Managers

Our study managers are the individuals who work to ensure that the day-to-day operations of the California Teachers Study run smoothly. Together they help manage the creation of study questionnaires and the detailed elements of California Teachers Study projects to make the study what it is today.

Meet Chris!

What I do on the CTS: I’ve led many of the sub-studies in Northern California, including managing multiple projects that have led to the collection of over 32,000 biospecimens within the CTS. I’ve also been involved in the validation of nutritional data within the study and have been instrumental, along with my study manager colleagues at City of Hope, in the development of innovative ways to improve the data and specimen collection and better engaging study participants and their overall experience for study participants.

When I joined: I’ve been working on the CTS since 1999!

A fun fact about me: My husband and I are currently in the midst of raising 5 teens, so I have true respect and admiration for our California teachers and all that they do both in the classroom and with their dedication to this important research! Thank you!

Get in touch: I can be reached at

Meet Jennifer!

What I do on the CTS: My primary role is as the system architect for the database and related software that we use to manage your contact information and project data. This system enables us to keep in touch with you and efficiently manage the activities of our various sub-studies.

When I joined: I joined the CTS team at City of Hope in 2013 to manage the New Biospecimens project in Southern California. Prior to that, I coordinated a biorepository project for childhood leukemia at UC Berkeley, and before that, I worked on other breast cancer studies in Northern California, where Chris Duffy was simultaneously working on the Teachers Study. Cancer epidemiology in California is a small world!

A fun fact about me: I’m a third generation Californian who grew up hearing family origin stories that could have been plucked straight from a Steinbeck novel, à la Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden. With family now spread all over the state, and having lived in over half a dozen counties, I find that most of California feels like home—a sentiment that further increases my affinity for this study!

When I’m not working, I enjoy doing a variety of things that our lovely state has to offer: skiing, diving, and trying to keep my garden alive in the scorching heat with as little water as possible.

Get in touch: I can be reached at

Meet Kristen!

What I do on the CTS: My main role is to improve communication between our study participants and researchers. I manage our website, lead the team that sent you Questionnaire 6, and make sure that Quarterly Digests get sent to every participant who wants one so that you can see how your contributions over the past 20 years have led to essential research findings about what causes cancer. I also help out with our call center. Chances are if you call our 1-800 number, we may have the opportunity to chat!

When I joined: I began working on the California Teachers Study in December 2015. Jennifer and I actually worked together at an educational non-profit in Los Angeles years before, and she introduced me to the wonderful world of the California Teachers Study.

A fun fact about me: I come from a family of Los Angeles teachers! My mother just retired from teaching elementary school and my father is a university professor, so it seems only fitting that my career would be related to education in some way, shape, or form.

Get in touch: I can be reached at

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