Aubrey Van Kirk Villalobos, DrPH, MEd

Headshot of Aubrey Villalobos
Health Scientist
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Aubrey Van Kirk Villalobos, DrPH, MEd, is a Health Scientist with the Implementation Science (IS) Team in the Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In this role she leads efforts to advance the involvement of practitioners in IS to enhance the integration of evidence-based guidelines, programs, and policies for cancer control in public health and clinical practice. Dr. Villalobos cultivates research-practice partnerships through participation in the Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partnership, Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, and the Consortium for Cancer Implementation Science, and serves as an advisor on the Evidence Based Cancer Control Programs website and the Healthy People 2030 cancer workgroup.

Prior to joining the NCI, Dr. Villalobos served as director of cancer control and health equity at the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center where she supported strategic planning for the center’s community outreach and engagement activities and directed a multi-million-dollar portfolio of sponsored projects providing technical assistance and training to public health and health care professionals. Previously, she served as the cancer education outreach coordinator in the international outreach program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dr. Villalobos’s scientific and programmatic interests include social and structural influences on health behaviors and inequities, particularly related to primary cancer and chronic disease prevention and early detection. Her mixed methods dissertation research focused on social norms and breastfeeding among African American women and was supported by fellowships from the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness and the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health Clara Schiffer Project. She has expertise in social/behavioral science; community engagement and partnership-building; policy, systems, and environmental change for health promotion; and clinician, professional, patient and community education. 

Dr. Villalobos received a Doctor of Public Health in health behavior from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she also earned a Master of Public Health in health promotion. She holds a Master of Education from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN and a Bachelor of Science in biological chemistry from Bates College in Lewiston, ME.


Select Publications

  • Villalobos A, Vanderpool R, Vollinger R, Percy-Laurry A. Implementation science: An essential tool for advancing DrPH practice. HPHR. 2021;35.  
  • Villalobos AVK, Turner MM, Lapinski MK, et al. Predicting Breastfeeding Intentions: A Test and Extension of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior with African American Social Identity [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jun 9]. Health Commun. 2021;1-13. doi:10.1080/10410236.2021.1936750
  • Davis C, Villalobos AVK, Turner MM, Long S, Lapinski MK. Racism and Resistance: A Qualitative Study of Bias As a Barrier to Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2021;16(6):471-480. doi:10.1089/bfm.2020.0307
  • Villalobos AVK, Davis C, Turner MM, Long S, Hull S, Lapinski MK. Breastfeeding in Context: African American Women's Normative Referents, Salient Identities, and Perceived Social Norms. Health Educ Behav. 2021;48(4):496-506. doi:10.1177/10901981211014445
  • Ayers K, Klosky J, Li Z, Villalobos A. Evaluation of the St. Jude Cancer Education for Children Program on Cancer Risk Awareness, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions Among Fourth-Grade Science Students: Comparisons Between Racially Identifiable/High-Poverty Schools and Racially Diverse/Affluent Schools. J Cancer Educ. 2020;35(2):380-387. doi:10.1007/s13187-019-1476-3
  • Harvey A, Zhang Z, Phillips S, Suarez R, Dekle L, Villalobos A, et al. Initial Outcomes of an Online Continuing Education Series Focused on Post-treatment Cancer Survivorship Care. J Cancer Educ. 2020;35(1):144-150. doi:10.1007/s13187-018-1453-2
  • Moore A, Villalobos A, Gardner AL, Staples C, Shafir S. Leveraging the strength of comprehensive cancer control coalitions to support policy, systems, and environmental change. Cancer Causes Control. 2019;30(10):1033-1044. doi:10.1007/s10552-019-01215-w
  • Villalobos A, Phillips S, Zhang Y, Crawbuck GSN, Pratt-Chapman ML. Oncology healthcare provider perspectives on caring for diverse patients fifteen years after Unequal Treatment. Patient Educ Couns. 2019;102(10):1859-1867. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2019.04.030
  • Phillips S, Villalobos A, Crawbuck GSN, Pratt-Chapman ML. In their own words: patient navigator roles in culturally sensitive cancer care. Support Care Cancer. 2019;27(5):1655-1662. doi:10.1007/s00520-018-4407-7
  • Love B, Benedict C, Villalobos A, Cone JN. Communication and comprehensive cancer control coalitions: lessons from two decades of campaigns, outreach, and training. Cancer Causes Control. 2018;29(12):1239-1247. doi:10.1007/s10552-018-1122-0
Last Updated
December 09, 2021