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Experienced in Mentoring, Teaching and Cancer Research Heading link

The UIC Cancer Education and Career Development Program’s leadership team oversees the program’s scientific and administrative direction in consultation with the program’s advisory committees:

  • Co-Director: Marian Fitzgibbon
  • Co-Director: Caryn Peterson
  • Community Engagement: Karriem Watson
  • Program Coordinator: Mirjana Antonic


Marian Fitzgibbon

Marian Fitzgibbon, PhD, is a professor of pediatrics and health policy and administration with appointments in the UIC College of Medicine and the UIC School of Public Health. She is associate director of cancer prevention and control in the University of Illinois Cancer Center, and associate director of the Institute for Health Research and Policy.

Dr. Fitzgibbon’s research has focused predominantly on cancer risk reduction interventions in minority populations. She receives consistent funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and developed with colleagues an evidence-based obesity prevention intervention for preschool minority children. She served as a standing member on the NIH Behavioral Medicine Interventions and Outcomes (BMIO) study section (2011-2015) and chaired the Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section (2007-2009). Dr. Fitzgibbon has a strong history of mentoring students from a variety of backgrounds.

Caryn Peterson

Caryn Peterson, PhD, is a research assistant professor of epidemiology in the UIC School of Public Health.

Dr. Peterson’s research is related to racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in cancer outcomes. Her research focuses primarily on gynecologic cancers and the effects of individual-level characteristics and area-level socioeconomic factors on racial and ethnic disparities in cancer-specific survival. Most recently, Dr. Peterson extended her research to examine determinants of racial disparities in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.

Mirjana Antonic

Mirjana Antonic, M.Ed serves as the Coordinator of the Cancer Education and Career Development Program. In this role, she oversees administrative, programming and grants management aspects of the program. Ms. Antonic has worked as a Research Specialist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy for 8 years. In the last 5 years, she has specifically worked with Dr. Fitzgibbon assisting in various projects and events through IHRP and the Cancer Center.