Dr. Carmina Valle

Carmina G. Valle, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor
Department of Nutrition
Associate Director
Connected Health Applications and Interventions (CHAI) Core
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
135 Dauer Drive
MHRC 2004
CB #7461
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Carmina Valle, PhD, MPH is an associate professor of nutrition with more than 15 years of experience in the field of cancer prevention and control. She is a behavioral scientist with training in nutrition, health communication, and cancer health disparities and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UNC Weight Research Program. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on developing and evaluating digital behavior change interventions to eliminate disparities in cancer. Dr. Valle’s research addresses: (1) novel strategies to improve nutrition, physical activity, and weight management in cancer survivors, with a particular emphasis on young adults; (2) implementing behavioral interventions related to cancer prevention and control with potential for scalability and dissemination through the use of technology; and (3) optimizing tailored health communications and innovative interventions to improve cancer prevention behaviors. 

Dr. Valle's program of research has been informed by her previous experiences working at the National Cancer Institute (Office of Cancer Survivorship, President’s Cancer Panel, Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences) and serving on the Board of Directors for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (now Ulman Foundation). Dr. Valle conducted one of the earliest randomized trials of lifestyle interventions delivered through Facebook and the first among cancer survivors. Her program of research has continued to develop and evaluate physical activity and weight management interventions using social media, wearable activity trackers, smart scales, and mobile apps. 

Dr. Valle is principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute-funded grant to evaluate the efficacy of a theory-based, mobile- and Facebook-delivered physical activity intervention for young adult cancer survivors. She currently leads a Lineberger-funded Innovation project to engage a Community Advisory Board in the adaptation and pilot testing of a mobile weight management intervention for adolescent and young adult cancer survivors. 

In addition, she was Co-Principal Investigator of a Gillings Innovation Lab, focused on developing just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) around connected health devices. Dr. Valle has also completed projects that evaluated the effects of tailored health messages on intentions to engage in cancer prevention behaviors and culturally adapted a tailored health assessment tool for Latino cancer survivors.

Carmina Valle in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Fellow - Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Training Workshop
2019-2020, Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer Fellowship Program (R25 CA203650; Competitively selected)

Citation Abstract Award, 38th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions
2017, Society of Behavioral Medicine

New Investigators Workshop Finalist and Participant
2014, American Society of Preventive Oncology

Outstanding Dissertation Award
2013, Society of Behavioral Medicine

Marci Kramish Campbell Dissertation Award Supporting Research Excellence in Cancer and the Population Sciences
2012, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A. Hughes Bryan Outstanding Doctoral Award
2012, UNC Department of Nutrition

Trainee - Training on Optimization of Behavioral and Biobehavioral Interventions
2019, The Methodology Center, Penn State University (P50 DA039838; Competitively selected)

Teaching Interests

NUTR 470/770: Clinical Trials in Nutrition

Research Activities

Cancer prevention and control

Cancer survivorship

Health behavior

Health communication

Health disparity reduction

Obesity prevention and treatment

Physical activity


Young adults

Service Activities

  • Member, MPH Committee, UNC Department of Nutrition
  • Member, Faculty Development Team, UNC Department of Nutrition
  • Member, Royster Society of Fellows Faculty Board, UNC Graduate School
  • Member, Faculty Athletics Committee, UNC
  • Member, Program Committee, American Society of Preventive Oncology

Key Publications

Physical activity maintenance among young adult cancer survivors in an mHealth intervention: Twelve-month outcomes from the IMPACT randomized clinical trial.  Valle CG, Diamond MA, Heiling HM, Deal AM, Hales DP, Nezami BT, Pinto BM, LaRose JG Rini CM, Tate DF. (2023). Cancer Med, 12(15), 16502-16516.

Effect of an mHealth intervention on physical activity outcomes among young adult cancer survivors: The IMPACT randomized controlled trial.  Valle CG, Diamond MA, Heiling HM, Deal AM, Hales DP, Nezami BT, Pinto BM, Gokee LaRose J, Rini CM, Tate DF. (2023). Cancer, 129(3), 461-472.

Designing in-app messages to nudge behavior change: Lessons learned from a weight management app for young adults. Valle CG, Nezami BT, Tate DF (2020). Organ Behav Hum Decis Process, 161.

¿Ahora qué?: Cultural Adaptation of a Cancer Survivorship Intervention for Latino/a Cancer Survivors. Valle CG, Padilla N, Gellin M, Manning M, Reuland DS, Rios P, Lane G, Lewis V, Rosenstein DL (2019). Psychooncology, 28(9), 1854-1861.

Preventing weight gain in African American breast cancer survivors using smart scales and activity trackers: A randomized controlled pilot study. Valle C.G., Deal A.M., & Tate D.F (2017). Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 11(1), 133-148.

Promoting physical activity in young adult cancer survivors using mHealth and adaptive tailored feedback strategies: Design of the Improving Physical Activity after Cancer Treatment (IMPACT) randomized controlled trial. Valle CG, Pinto BM, LaRose JG, Diamond M, Horrell LN, Nezami BT, Hatley KE, Coffman EM, Polzien K, Hales DP, Deal AM, Rini CM, Rosenstein DL, Tate DF (2021). Contemp Clin Trials, 103(106293).

Optimizing Tailored Communications for Health Risk Assessment: A Randomized Factorial Experiment of the Effects of Expectancy Priming, Autonomy Support, and Exemplification. Valle CG, Queen TL, Martin BA, Ribisl KM, Mayer DK, Tate DF (2018). J Med Internet Res, 20(3), e63.

Engagement of young adult cancer survivors within a Facebook-based physical activity intervention. Valle CG & Tate DF  (2017). Translational Behavioral Medicine.

Exploring mediators of physical activity in young adult cancer survivors: Evidence from a randomized trial of a Facebook-based physical activity intervention. Valle CG, Tate DF, Mayer DK, Allicock M, Cai J. (2015). Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, 4(1), 26-33.
View publication

A randomized trial of a Facebook-based physical activity intervention for young adult cancer survivors. Valle CG, Tate DF, Mayer DK, Allicock M, Cai J (2013). J Cancer Surviv, 7(3), 355-368.


  • PhD, Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012
  • MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University, 2002
  • BS, Biology, Yale University, 1997