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About Us 

The HOPE Lab provides biobehavioral interventions that empower vulnerable populations to increase adherence to evidence-based guidelines and improve health outcomes to mitigate risk for chronic diseases such as cancer. Dr. Colleen Spees, the Director of HOPE Lab, has worked with multiple cohorts of survivors of cancer, and her most recent RCT targets childhood obesity and cancer prevention among families residing in low-resource communities. With a living laboratory housed at The Ohio State University Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory and interdisciplinary collaborations with investigators from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, multiple colleges within the university, and community partners, HOPE Lab has developed integral partnerships that have laid the foundation for translational research .

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The Cancer Continuum 

The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society have convened panels of experts to review the body of evidence to establish and disseminate comprehensive recommendations for cancer prevention and survivorship; HOPE Lab’s own Dr. Colleen Spees serves as a panel member and co-author on the most recent American Cancer Society guidelines. HOPE Lab’s research and interests span the cancer continuum from prevention to treatment to survivorship and are dedicated to sharing these evidence-based recommendations with individuals. 

  • Prevention: HOPE Lab’s pediatric garden-based studies promote the obesity and cancer prevention guidelines while empowering youth and their caregivers to adopt positive, lifelong patterns of behavior.

  • Treatment: HOPE Lab’s recent research has raised awareness of the need to better incorporate Registered Dietitians into the oncology care team as part of the standard of care. As a result, HOPE Lab is collaborating on a multi-center randomized controlled trial to implement and test individualized nutrition counseling and medically-tailored meals for patients undergoing active cancer treatment.

  • Survivorship: The transition from active cancer treatment to long-term survivorship is often challenging. To address the need for additional support, HOPE Lab provides an enriched environment for survivors during this difficult transition period using comprehensive biobehavioral interventions that are feasible, effective, sustainable, and replicable.

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