Michael Celestin, Ph.D. Receives LA CaTS Career Development Award to Address Tobacco Use Treatment in Rural Populations

New Orleans, LA – Dr. Michael D. Celestin, Jr. recently received a 2022 Roadmap Scholars Award from the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center (LA CaTS) to improve tobacco use treatment in rural health centers.  Each year, La CaTS bestows four Roadmap Scholar awards to early-stage investigators from Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Tulane University, and LSU Health New Orleans through a competitive selection process.

Dr. Celestin is the first faculty member to receive the award from the LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health.

As a Roadmap Scholar, La CaTS will support 75% of Dr. Celestin’s salary for 2 years to ensure his advancement as an independent investigator in cancer prevention using implementation and translational science. The Roadmap Scholar Program provides him with a mentoring team of expert scientists, course work at Tulane University’s School of Medicine leading to a Master’s of Science in Clinical Research, and other paid Scholar activities, including attendance at conferences, training workshops, lectures, seminars, and networking opportunities.

LA CaTS aims to address pervasive health disparities and improve associated health outcomes in the state’s underserved populations burdened with chronic diseases. This award will support LA CaTS’ aim by advancing the science of implementing and translating evidence-based interventions to treat and reduce tobacco use, a primary risk factor for cancer and death from cancer.

Dr. Celestin’s project is entitled “Promoting Implementation of Interventions to Improve Tobacco Cessation in Healthcare (PITCH) for Rural Populations.” This project aims to develop multi-level implementation strategies to overcome barriers to tobacco use treatment by healthcare providers who serve rural populations.

Dr. Celestin is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at LSU SPH. The LSU SPH’s mission is to advance the public’s health and well-being through education, research, and service, focusing on Louisiana’s issues. He is also Director of the Louisiana Tobacco Control Initiative, a Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC) program. The LCRC’s mission is to conduct research and promote education in the diagnosis, detection, and treatment of cancer. The primary strategic objective is to build a consortium cancer center capable of attaining national recognition as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated Cancer Center.

For more information about the La CaTS program please visit www.lacats.org.