Heather Badt, MBA
Executive Director, Research and Training Institute
Heather Badt is the Executive Director of the Cancer Support Community’s Research and Training Institute (RTI). Heather received her Bachelors degree in Marketing and Human Resources from Syracuse University and her Masters of Business Administrations (EMBA) from the Fox Business School at Temple University. While working at Walgreens over the last nine years she also received her Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification. She has expertise in areas such as process improvement, change management and commercial operations.
Heather is a breast cancer survivor and simultaneously a caregiver of her husband who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer one week before her diagnosis. Through this experience, Heather discovered the unique support and depth of CSC services. Heather joined the Radiation Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) at Penn Medicine in 2017 and joined the Board at RTI in 2018.
Heather lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband and two teenage boys.
Jemeille Ackourey, MPH
Jemeille joined the Cancer Support Community in July 2019 as a Research Fellow. Prior to joining the team, she earned her MPH at Boston University with a focus in community health and chronic disease. While in Boston, she interned with the Brookline Department of Public Health focusing on the promotion of community health events and initiatives. Jemeille graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in biology and a minor in social work. Between degrees, she served with City Year as a tutor/mentor for middle school students in Little Rock, Arkansas. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, running, and crocheting.
Manager, Research & Training Institute
Kelly joined the Cancer Support Community in June 2018 as a Research Manager at the Research and Training Institute. In this role, she is responsible for providing project support, overseeing outreach activities, and facilitating relationships with other departments, affiliates, and CSC partners. Kelly graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wake Forest University in 2010 and a Master’s degree in Psychology from American University in 2013. She comes to CSC with a background in both clinical and research settings. Previous work experience includes completing an internship at the National Institutes of Health studying genetic aspects of mood disorders, conducting research on traumatic brain injuries in children, and providing psychological services to individuals with intellectual disability and mental health disorders.
Branlyn DeRosa, PhD
Branlyn (Brandy) DeRosa, PhD, manages and supports research focusing on individuals with cancer and other serious illnesses. She is trained as a behavioral health researcher and a clinical psychologist. She received her undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina and completed her doctorate in Clinical and Health Psychology from University of Florida. After completing clinical internship and two years of postdoctoral training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she stayed on as a Psychologist and researcher in the Division of Oncology and later in the Department of Behavioral Health. Dr. DeRosa’s professional interests center on the health and wellbeing of children and families with cancer and other serious health conditions, as well as the development and evaluation of evidence-based practices.
Alyssa Jaisle, PhD
Director, Market Research
Alyssa Jaisle recently completed her doctorate in Health Communication at the University of Florida. Her research interests include how visual and risk communication strategies can improve health outcomes. Alyssa received her master's in Advertising from the University of Florida and her bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University. She enjoys reading, traveling, and walking her dog.
Operations Manager, Research & Training Institute
Levi is very excited to join the CSC and RTI staff full time as the Operations Manager at the RTI! He started working for CSC as a development intern in March of 2017. Prior to his work at CSC, Levi worked in CRM, technology, and analytics for the Philadelphia 76ers and is still a diehard Sixers fan. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in History.
Nicole Nicksic, PhD, MPH
Research Director, Biostatistics
Nicole Nicksic PhD, MPH is the Research Director of Biostatistics at the Cancer Support Community. Dr. Nicksic earned her BS in Clinical Laboratory Science and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2008. She worked as a medical technologist in a hospital laboratory in Milwaukee, WI before beginning her graduate studies in Epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at the Austin campus to earn a MPH in 2013 and PhD in 2016. Dr. Nicksic completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University, which included a year in the NCI-Funded T32 Cancer Prevention and Control Research Training Program in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy, where her research focused on tobacco prevention and control focusing on e-cigarette use behaviors among youth. At CSC, Dr. Nicksic will bring her expertise and interests in data analysis, methodology, and health behaviors to support ongoing projects, including the Cancer Experience Registry.
Alexandra Zaleta, PhD
Senior Director, Research & Training Institute
Alexandra Zaleta, PhD, is the Senior Director of Research at the Cancer Support Community. In this role, she manages and supports numerous Research and Training Institute initiatives focusing on individuals with cancer and caregivers. Dr. Zaleta is trained as a behavioral health researcher and a clinical psychologist. She received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and a master’s degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University. She completed her doctorate in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and clinical internship training at the VA Boston Healthcare System. She subsequently completed three years of postdoctoral training in Psychosocial Oncology and Women’s Behavioral Health at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital. Dr. Zaleta’s professional interests involve the intersection of health psychology and geriatric psychology. Her research focuses on the psychological consequences of illness, fear of illness recurrence, patient values and priorities, health communication, and cancer survivorship.