Michael Businelle, PhD
Co-Director of the TSET Health Promotion Research Center, Director of the mHealth Shared Resource at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, 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 OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center Mobile Health (mHealth) Shared Resource. The mHealth resource is staffed by 4 computer scientists/engineers, a program management team (2 FTE), and a Quality Assurance team (3 FTEs). The InsightTM platform enables researchers to rapidly create mobile applications that can use 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 health risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, heavy alcohol use, poor diet / inactivity / obesity, etc.) and deliver context-specific adaptive interventions in real-time. To date, the mHealth resource has supported 82 research studies (42 NIH funded, 5 studies have collected data outside the US – Cambodia, Laos, and Scotland; 5 languages [English, Spanish, Khmer, Vietnamese, and Lao]).
Since 2011, Dr. Businelle has been the PI on 20 studies that have been funded by the NIH, ACS, and internal funds and he has a strong publication record (i.e., over 170 peer reviewed publications) in the areas of smoking cessation, health disparities, and mHealth. Eighteen of his previous studies collected EMA data to identify mechanisms of health risk behaviors and 14 studies have used smartphones to intervene to improve health behaviors in real-time. His primary goal is to improve understanding of the causes of health disparities and to create and disseminate effective smartphone based just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) that reduce health disparities
Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Lizbeth "Libby" Benson, PhD
Lizbeth “Libby” Benson, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center. Libby earned her BA in Psychology with honors from the University of Wisconsin Madison, spent three years working as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, and most recently earned her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in the department of Human Development and Family Studies. Libby’s research program is focused on developing analytic methods for intensive longitudinal data captured in situ and in real time by wearable sensors in order to advance the knowledge base on positive health and human development. Data visualization is also an important component of her work as a way to better understand complex behavioral processes, to generate new ideas, and to use as a tool for scientific communication. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Libby is excited to integrate an applied component into her research program by working with her mentor, Dr. Michael Businelle, and others at the HPRC on methods for analyzing mHealth intervention data, and computational modeling methods for building context and time sensitive mHealth programs.
Sarah Tonkin, PhD
Sarah Tonkin, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center. Sarah earned her BS in Psychology from Penn State University and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from The State University of New York at Buffalo. She completed her clinical internship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Sarah’s research seeks to identify psychological treatment mechanisms for smoking cessation and address treatment disparities by examining how these processes vary in populations that tend to benefit less from smoking interventions. To answer these questions, Sarah uses a translational approach by examining laboratory and “real-world” measurement of behavior, affect, and cognition.
Bingjing Mao, PhD
Dr. Bingjing Mao began her postdoctoral research fellowship at the HPRC in August 2022 after earning her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Miami. Dr. Mao’s research program involves the intersection between media psychology, digital technology, and cancer communication. Specifically, her research aims to understand the cognitive mechanisms through which interactions in a technology-mediated environment can impact health outcomes. Additionally, she is interested in the emotional processes behind health decision-making. As a research fellow at the HPRC, Dr. Mao can envision contributing to the multidisciplinary scholarship of digital health by working with her mentors Drs. Michael Businelle and Jordan Neil.
Ruosi "Rose" Shao, PhD
Dr. Ruosi (Rose) Shao began her fellowship at the HPRC in August 2022 after earning her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in the College of Communications. Dr. Shao’s research focuses on leveraging communication technologies for social support and health intervention. She is passionate about mental health, emotion regulation, and the potential of artificial intelligence in fulfilling the social role of a companion for people with chronic conditions. Methodologically, she is interested in involving intensive longitudinal data and passive sensing data in mHealth to promote effective and targeted intervention. Primary Mentor: Michael Businelle and Jordan Neil (August 2022-present)
Krista Kezbers, PhD, DipACLM, ACSM-EIM
Senior Program Manager
Krista Kezbers joined the TSET HPRC in July 2021 after spending 4 years as a Research Associate at OU-Tulsa. She earned her PhD in Health and Human Performance from Oklahoma State University in 2017 and her dissertation focused on the health and well-being of sports coaches. Krista received a masters degree in Kinesiology from The University of Texas and an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from The University of Minnesota. Her research interests revolve around improving the health and lifestyle behaviors of individuals in unique populations.
Senior Research Coordinator
Audrey Montgomery joined the TSET HPRC in January 2020 as a research technician. She previously worked as a licensed professional counseling candidate after receiving her Master of Education in Professional Counseling from the University of Oklahoma. Audrey completed her undergraduate research experience at the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Applied Social Research (CASR). She worked on multiple research projects focused on the relationship between attitudes in ideological Internet discussions and emotion and communication strategies. Her current research interests include the use of mobile health technology for mental health interventions among chronic smokers and cancer patients.
Research Project Coordinator
Meghan Neumann joined the TSET HPRC in March 2020 as a research technician. She received her Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, she assisted in research in the department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Her current research interests include the combination of mobile health technology and epidemiology for community health monitoring.
Research Project Coordinator
Jillian Robison joined the TSET HPRC in the spring of 2020. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma where she completed undergraduate research in the Visual Neuroscience Laboratory. Previous research focus was on the effects of iron deficiency on perception, memory and cognition. Her current research interests include the utilization of mobile health technology as a predictor into future health-related behaviors of an individual.
Irene De La Torre, B.S., BHCM2
Research Project Coordinator
Irene De La Torre joined the TSEST HPRC in February 2021. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy with an Honors distinction from Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, she was an undergraduate research assistant in the Child Adaptation and Maternal Psychopathology Laboratory and an assistant in the Psychological Service Center. She was rewarded the Psychology departmental outstanding senior award in Spring 2020. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a Level 2 Behavioral Case Manager in charge of the COMPASS Transitional Housing Program at HOPE Community services. Her current research interest include the use of mobile health technology for health promotion in vulnerable populations.