Pebbles Fagan, Ph.D., MPH, Joins Leadership Team at UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

By Marty Trieschmann

Fagan, a leading expert on tobacco-related health disparities and co-founder of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s Tobacco Research Network on Disparities, will lead new and existing cancer prevention and control activities for the Cancer Institute.

“Dr. Fagan is a nationally recognized cancer researcher and has studied cancer health disparities for decades,” said Michael Birrer, M.D. Ph.D., director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. “She is passionate about social justice and will be a tremendous leader as we work to address the needs of Arkansas communities hit disproportionately hard by cancer.”

Fagan is a professor in the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at UAMS and director of the UAMS Center for the Study of Tobacco. She is director of research in the UAMS Office of Health Initiatives and Disparities Research.

Fagan also leads the NIH Center for Research, Health and Social Justice at UAMS — one of only 11 Multiple Chronic Disease Centers funded in the United States. The center is funded by an $18.9 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to support new research and interventions to reduce cancer among people who live in rural areas and African American populations across Arkansas.

Fagan previously served as program director for the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and as a health scientist in the NCI’s Tobacco Control Research Branch.

Fagan is the recipient of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco’s 2021 President’s Award and the 2022 David Bourne Leading Light Award from the Arkansas Cancer Coalition. A graduate of the University of Virginia, she earned a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University and a doctorate in health education and community health from Texas A&M University. She complete her postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.


UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.