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Cara Exten

Assistant Professor

307D Nursing Sciences Building
University Park

Phone: 814-863-9724


Research & Publications


Dr. Exten received her Master of Public Health (MPH) from Emory University and her PhD in Epidemiology from The Ohio State University. She is an infectious disease epidemiologist, with a focus on health disparities affecting sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ+) populations.  Her program of research is focused specifically on disparities related to sexual health (e.g. HIV and sexually transmitted infections) and substance use. She has extensive experience in survey data collection, the application of advanced statistical methods, and working with high-risk populations. She is passionate about the examination of diseases in their entirety, including biological, sociological and epidemiological factors.



PhD – The Ohio State University (Epidemiology)

MPH – Emory University (Epidemiology)

BS – East Tennessee State University (Biology and Psychology)



  1. Rice CE, Vasilenko SA, Fish JN, Lanza ST. Sexual minority health disparities: an examination of age-related trends across adulthood in a national cross-sectional sample. Annals of Epidemiology 2019; 31, 20-25.
  2. Rice CE, Turner AN, Lanza ST. Sexual behavior latent classes among men who have sex with men: Associations with sexually transmitted infections. Journal of Sex Research 2017; 54, 776-783.
  3. Rice CE, Maierhofer C, Fields KS, Ervin M, Lanza S, Turner AN. Beyond anal sex: Sexual practices among MSM and associations with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Journal of Sexual Medicine 2016; 13(3): 374-382. PMID: 26853044.
  4. Fish JN, Rice CE, Lanza ST, Russell ST. Is young adulthood a critical period for suicidal behavior among sexual minorities? Results from a US national sample. Prevention Science 2019; 20(3): 353-365.



Nese College of Nursing named a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence