Melissa A. Little, PhD, MPH.

Dr. Little’s research focuses on developing, evaluating and translating evidence-based health behavior and disease prevention interventions for underserved populations. Dr. Little’s research portfolio focuses on reducing cancer health disparities in Appalachia through interventions to reduce health risk behaviors, namely tobacco use, and promote vaccines and cancer screenings. She also has a line of research focusing on promoting healthy  behaviors among active duty military, retirees and dependents (i.e., family members).

Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences
Director of the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Research

Department of Public Health Sciences
University of Virginia
560 Ray C. Hunt Drive, Rm 2119
Charlottesville, VA 29903


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Nutritional Cancer Epidemiology
  • Ph.D., University of Southern California, Preventive Medicine
  • M.P.H., University of Southern California, Health Communication
  • B.A., University of Southern California, International Relations and Psychology


  • Dissemination and implementation research
  • Program design and evaluation
  • Tobacco prevention and cessation
  • Rural health
  • Cancer disparities research
  • Military health

Current Research Funding:

  • R01 CA267963:  Leveraging Community Pharmacists to Optimize Smoking Cessation Services for Rural Smokers in Appalachia, Principal Investigator
  • R01 DA043468: Determinants of Tobacco Relapse and Initiation following a Period of Forced Abstinence in the U.S. Military: A Social Ecological Approach, Principal Investigator
  • VFHY8521389 :Testing an Anti-Tobacco Intervention to Reduce Tobacco and Nicotine Use among High School Students, Principal Investigator
  • P30 CA044579-30:Evaluating the Feasibility and Acceptability of Implementing the QuitAid Program in Federally Qualified Health Centers, Principal Investigator
  • P01 CA229143:Improving Uptake of Cervical Cancer Prevention Services in Appalachia, Co-Investigator


  • Fellow, Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • Research Communications Fellow, University of Virginia


  • Co-Chair, Program Committee, Health Equity Network, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
  • Co-Chair, Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine, Society for Behavioral Medicine
  • Topic Area Chair, Military and Veterans’ Health, Society for Behavioral Medicine

Links to Publications:

  • Google Scholar profile:
  • NCBI profile: