Jessica Burris

jlburr4's picture
  • Assistant Professor, Clinical
  • Psychology
  • Health, Society and Populations
307 Combs Research Building
(859) 218-4092
Other Affiliations:
  • Department of Behavioral Sciences (COM)
  • Center for Health Equity Transformation
Research Interests:

B.A., Marquette University, 2006
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2012


My research spans the continuum from cancer prevention to cancer control, all with a focus on the health risk behavior of tobacco use. A particular area of scientific inquiry involves identification and modification of psychological variables that are germane to the process of smoking cessation (e.g., mood, motivation, risk perception, distress tolerance, fatalism, and posttraumatic growth). Funded by the National Cancer Institute, my Career Development Award (K07) seeks to uncover the manner in which cancer diagnosis functions as a “teachable moment” for smokers. In a sample of newly diagnosed head/neck and cervical cancer patients, this longitudinal study investigates day-to-day changes in smoking behavior and the cognitive and affective processes that underlie these changes. In addition, I am also conducting a mixed-methods pilot study with cervical cancer survivors and their supporters. The goal of this study is to test a conceptual model whereby low social resources or socioeconomic disadvantage functions as a moderator between the teachable moment of cancer diagnosis and smoking cessation. With funding from a new grant award, I also have a pilot randomized clinical trial to test the adaptation of a proven strategy for smoking cessation induction (that is, prompting quit attempts among smokers across the continuum of readiness to quit) for cancer survivors who live in rural, Appalachian, or other low resource areas. Finally, a new administrative supplement to UK's Cancer Center Support Grant provides me with the resources to oversee the development of a center-wide, evidence-based tobacco treatment program for all adult outpatients at Markey Cancer Center ( As a strong proponent of the scientist-practitioner model, my research program is complemented by my work as a licensed psychologist who specializes in the delivery of psychological services within medical settings.

Graduate Training

Clinical Psychology

Selected Publications: 

Burris, J. L., & Andrykowski, M. A. (2011). Physical and mental health status and health behaviors of survivors of multiple cancers: A population-based, case-control study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 42, 304–312. PMC3319008.

Sterba, K. R., Burris, J. L., Heiney, S., Baker Ruppel, M., Ford, M. E., & Zapka, J. (2014). “We both just trusted and leaned on the Lord”: A qualitative study of religiousness and spirituality among African American breast cancer survivors and their caregivers. Quality of Life Research, 23, 1909–1920. PMC4141026.

Burris, J. L., Heckman, B. W., Mathew, A. R., & Carpenter, M. J. (2015). A mechanistic test of nicotine replacement therapy sampling for smoking cessation induction. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29, 392–399. PMC4411194.

Burris, J. L., Studts, J. L., DeRosa, A. P., & Ostroff, J. S. (2015). Systematic review of tobacco use after lung or head/neck cancer diagnosis: Results and recommendations for future research. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 24, 1450–1461. PMC4592460.

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