As part of an effort by Michigan State University College of Human Medicine to establish a statewide research network, the College has two full-time researchers based at Munson Medical Center.

Kelly Hirko, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Dr. Hirko’s research uses biomarkers to illuminate the pathways through which lifestyle factors may contribute to the development and progression of cancer.  She is particularly interested in understanding risk factors for aggressive breast cancer subtypes, including young-onset breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer.  Her research also examines contributors to racial, socioeconomic, and rural cancer disparities and evaluates the implementation of evidence-based behavioral interventions to address disparities.

Dr. Hirko earned her BS in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan, MPH in Epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health, and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Jean Kerver, PhD, MSc, RD

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

As a nutritional epidemiologist and a registered dietitian, Dr. Kerver has spent her career developing effective ways to promote health and well-being for families living in poverty or facing other challenges. She is a community-based researcher committed to addressing issues related to health equity. Her overarching research goal is to understand the effects of diet quality and nutritional status on health outcomes, with a particular focus on maternal and child health.

Three of Dr. Kerver’s degrees were earned from Michigan State University—a BS in Dietetics (1990), a PhD in Human Nutrition (2003), and an MSc in Epidemiology (2010).  She also earned an MS in Clinical Nutrition from Rush University (1993) and completed an NIH funded post-doctoral fellowship in Perinatal Epidemiology at Michigan State University (2007).