In May 2007, Ann L. Coker, Ph.D., MPH became the inaugural Verizon Wireless Endowed Chair in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women. She serves as Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine and jointly in the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health. She holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina.
Dr. Coker is currently engaged in several research projects addressing the health effects of partner violence. She instituted a universal screening protocol in the University’s Obstetrics Clinics in February 2008 and is in the process of evaluating the impact of screening on women and infants. She received a five year cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evaluate a statewide intervention to reduce dating and sexual violence using a randomized design in 26 high schools across Kentucky. The intervention is a novel active bystander intervention designed to empower students to reduce violence within their social networks. She also serves as principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant for a five year cohort study to explore how life stresses including partner and family support or interference may impact cancer care and well-being for women diagnosed with breast, cervical or colorectal cancer in Kentucky. The Kentucky Cancer Registry and the Survey Research Laboratory are co-collaborators on that project.