Patti Gravitt, Ph.D., M.S., Deputy Director, Center for Global Health
Patti E. Gravitt, Ph.D., M.S., joined NCI as Deputy Director of the Center for Global Health in July 2021. In this role she leads implementation science efforts and provides scientific and programmatic direction across our research, training, partnership, and dissemination goals.
Dr. Gravitt is a molecular epidemiologist whose research in human papillomavirus and cervical cancer spans the translational spectrum from the natural history of genital infection across the lifespan to the translation of evidence-based prevention tools to low- and middle-income countries. Her efforts have contributed significantly to the evidence base regarding the efficacy of alternative cervical cancer screening strategies, being among the first to show an increase in screening coverage afforded by self-collected sampling and HPV testing and the relatively poor performance of visual inspection methods where intensive international technical assistance and training are not available.
As an extramural researcher, Dr. Gravitt’s NIH-funded research included the study of cervical cancer prevention in Peru’s Loreto region in the Amazon rainforest. In addition, the study identified approaches to engage health providers and the community in education, screening, and treatment. Most recently, Dr. Gravitt led a team of interdisciplinary scientists and screening implementers to use a systems-thinking approach to the design, implementation, and evaluation of WHO-recommended, HPV-based screening algorithms. Through this work, she led the development of the Integrated Systems Praxis for Implementation Research (INSPIRE) methodology, which leverages systems thinking and participatory action research for shared decision-making and context adaptation of cancer control programs.
Dr. Gravitt earned her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and her M.S. in Biology from University of North Carolina, Charlotte. In addition, she serves on several WHO working groups related to HPV and cervical cancer elimination.