Research Faculty

Louise Henderson, PhD
Principal Investigator, Director

After graduating from the UNC School of Public Health with a doctorate in Epidemiology, Dr. Henderson joined faculty in the Department of Radiology at UNC Chapel Hill as Assistant Professor in July 2009. Dr. Henderson currently serves as Director of CMR and participates in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium.

Dr. Henderson has over 10 years of experience collaborating with physicians, research scientists, and statisticians in the areas of health services research, quality improvement activities, disease surveillance, and clinical trials. Dr. Henderson’s research interests focus on cancer screening and the application of linked cancer outcomes and Medicare/administrative data to assess patterns and outcomes of care. Dr. Henderson’s interests lie primarily in breast cancer screening and the performance of imaging technologies, comparative effectiveness research, and disparities in cancer screening and treatment.

Sarah Nyante, PhD

Dr. Nyante joined the Department of Radiology in 2014 after receiving her masters and doctoral degrees in Epidemiology from UNC-Chapel Hill and completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Nyante’s main research interests include cancer heterogeneity, the role of hormonal factors in breast cancer risk and prognosis, and mammographic density. Past studies include analyses of change in mammographic density as a predictor of breast cancer prognosis among tamoxifen-treated patients; common genetic variation in adipokine and estrogen-related candidate genes and risk of breast cancer molecular subtypes; smoking and breast cancer risk; and risk factors for rare breast cancer histologic types.


Caitlin Bearden, MSW
Project Manager

Caitlin Bearden joined the Department of Radiology in January 2018. She is the Project Manager for a Lung Screening Registry aimed at gaining a better understanding of lung cancer screening patterns and outcomes in North Carolina. Her responsibilities include assisting in employee recruitment, addressing project issues, budgeting, monitoring project progression, and preparing progress reports.

Ms. Bearden has worked in the field of research both locally and internationally with her most recent experience living in Zambia, Africa working with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Her research interests include health inequities, social determinants of health, and using an intersectional approach to investigate disparities in health outcomes. Ms. Bearden is bilingual, trained in community management and public policy, and holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Thad Benefield, MS

Thad Benefield received his MS in Biostatistics from UNC Chapel Hill in 2000. In March 2012, Mr. Benefield joined CMR as a statistician. Mr. Benefield’s primary duties include statistical modeling and creation of analytic datasets.

Katie Earnhardt, BA
Research Specialist

Katie Earnhardt joined the CMR in 2018. She earned a BA in Political Science from Appalachian State University in 2005. Ms. Earnhardt has worked in health research for a number of years, supporting projects in Behavioral Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and in Epidemiology at RTI and UNC. As Research Specialist for the CMR, Ms. Earnhardt is responsible for managing data abstraction and assisting with surveys, manuscript preparation, grant applications, and web design.

Roger Huamani
Research Assistant

Roger Huamani joined the CMR in 2018. Mr. Huamani is the Research Assistant for the Lung Screening Registry. His primary role in this position is to review health information and the abstraction of health data for analysis.

Prior to this, Mr. Huamani worked for Partners in Health in Peru supporting social and clinical research interventions.  He also worked on projects at the University of Washington focused on an intervention for alcohol abuse for day laborers as well as a Hepatitis C treatment model for people who inject drugs. Mr. Huamani earned his Associate’s with a Public Health concentration at Seattle Central College.

Ley A. Killeya-Jones, PhD
Project Manager

Ley Killeya-Jones joined CMR in April 2018. She manages Dr. Sarah Nyante’s projects investigating the role of quantitative imaging data on risk for breast cancer, as part of the CMR. Ley’s role will encompass research and analysis tasks, manuscript and grant writing and submission, budget development and oversight, and IRB submissions.

Ley received her PhD in Social-Developmental Psychology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy.

Katie Marsh, MPH
Project Manager

Katie Marsh joined CMR in September 2013. As project manager, Mrs. Marsh oversees daily operations of Dr. Henderson’s group and works closely with her on a range of tasks including IRBs, grant submissions, budgets, research goals, and staff assignment.

Mrs. Marsh received her BS in Biochemistry from the University of Virginia in 2009 and completed her MPH in Epidemiology at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health in 2013.

Michael Pritchard, BA
Data Manager

Michael Pritchard began working with the CMR in November 2016. As the Data Manager, Mr. Pritchard is responsible for coordinating data acquisition from facilities working with the CMR, in addition to managing, preparing, and merging the data-sets for further analysis.

Mr. Pritchard received his BA in Psychology from UNC in 2012 and worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Developmental Science for several years.

Samantha Sites, MPH
Data Manager

Samantha Sites joined the Department of Radiology in August 2018. Ms. Sites is part of the Epidemiology Research Team and works as the Data Manager for the Lung Screening Registry. Her responsibilities include data acquisition from external facilities and managing both SAS data sets and REDCap databases.

Ms. Sites completed both her BS in Nutritional Sciences in 2013 and her MPH in Epidemiology in 2015 at the University of Florida. She completed her graduate internship at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Gainesville, FL.

Allison Throneburg, BS
Research Assistant

Allison Throneburg joined the Department of Radiology in August 2018. Ms. Throneburg is the research assistant for a study aiming to improve molecular biomarker testing in lung cancer patients. Her main role is to abstract and analyze medical data from pathology reports.

Ms. Throneburg graduated from UNC Wilmington in 2017 with a BS in Biology and a minor in Psychology. She previously worked as an intern at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in the Zimmer Cancer Center, screening and consenting patients for treatment-based clinical trials.

Kristin Voltzke, MPH
Graduate Research Assistant

Kristin Voltzke joined the CMR as a Graduate Research Assistant in January 2018. She is working with Dr. Nyante on a literature review and meta-analysis. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the Department of Epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill. Kristin’s main research interests include the role of molecular and genetic factors in the development and progression of cancer.

Kristin received her B.S. in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development in 2010 and her MPH in Epidemiology in 2014 from the University of Minnesota.