Rady School of Management Ph.D. student Alicea Lieberman was recently honored at the 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Awards, presented by the UC San Diego Graduate Student Association. She was nominated by her department for her innovative interdisciplinary research in increasing colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates among the underserved. She was one of four awardees who presented their research and received a monetary award of $500.
Lieberman is a current second year Ph.D. student in Behavioral Marketing at the Rady School. Before coming to the Rady School, she earned her master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked as a public health research analyst in health-behavior prevention and promotion research.
Lieberman’s work is part of a collaboration between the Rady School of Management, the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth, TX. She works alongside Associate Professor Ayelet Gneezy from the Rady School and Dr. Samir Gupta from the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
CRC is a growing public health concern in the United States and routine screenings are recommended for individuals 50 years and older, yet screening participation is suboptimal, especially for the uninsured. Fecal immunochemical (FIT) kits offer a lower-cost and more accessible option of initial CRC screening. However, participation remains poor, particularly among uninsured patients and minorities. Her research is making key advances in the understanding of the behaviors that drive cancer screenings and improving population level health outcomes.
Combining public health, psychology and economics, Lieberman and team have launched multiple experiments to test different types of invitations to over 150,000 uninsured individuals across Texas, asking them to use the FIT kits. In particular, the invitations include varying combinations of information highlighting: 1. that the kit is offered free of charge, 2. the financial value of the kit, and 3. that potential future tests will also be free of charge. In addition, they have tried an “alert” tactic to increase follow-ups among patients. The team will continue their research with an experiment testing procrastination based on different levels of financial incentives in May.
Danny Huynh (’16) is a second year full-time MBA student concentrating in marketing and brand development at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. He is a Rady School Marketing Intern and a Rady School Ambassador.