The QuitAid Team

Helping You Connect. Ask Advice. Quit.

Monotoned photo of smiling Melissa Little

Melissa Little, PhD, MPH


Director, Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Cancer Control and Population Health, UVA Cancer Center 

Department of Public Health Sciences 

Dr. Melissa Little is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia and a member of the University of Virginia Cancer Center. 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).

Team member Dylan Allanson, MPH, RD, Research Specialist Intermediate

Dylan Allanson


Dylan Allanson obtained both his bachelor’s and MPH degree from Virginia Tech and has made rural public health the center of his career in research and in practice. He currently works as a member of Dr. Melissa Little’s research team as a Research Specialist-Intermediate. While he serves as the study coordinator for Dr. Little’s, VergeRx, he is eager to contribute to QuitAid as a Quitline Counselor.  

Smiling photo of Abigail Wester, MPH

Abigail Wester, MPH


Abbey Wester earned her MPH from the University of Virginia and works as a Research Specialist under the direction of Dr. Little. Focused primarily on the development and implementation of interventions to aid in tobacco use cessation and prevention among medically underserved communities, she helps recruit participants, conduct literature reviews, code, and analyze qualitative and quantitative data, write IRB proposals, and collect data as a member of Dr. Melissa Little’s research team.

Smilling mono-toned photo of Haley Wood, PharmD, MBA, CTTs

Hayley Wood, PharmD, MBA, CTTS


Hayley Wood is an independent pharmacy manager and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist with over 20 years of pharmacy experience. Dr. Wood has extensive experience in serving rural populations, and served as a pharmacy consultant in Dr. Little’s QuitAid pilot study. Her education includes an undergraduate degree in Biology from Peace College, a MBA from UNC-G, and a Pharm-D from Wingate University. 

Photo of Leslie Gladney

Leslie Gladney


Leslie Gladney is the Research Leader in support of Dr. Little’s lab. She has extensive research experience in the departments of public health sciences, neurology, radiology and medical imaging, psychology, and African American studies at prestigious research and medical institutions. Her background entails working with underserved populations, stroke patients, military service members, veterans, and their family members. She obtained her graduate degree in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Georgia. 

Kaitlyn Gentille

Kaitlyn Gentille
MPH Student


Kaitlyn Gentille is currently working towards her Masters in Public Health at the University of Virginia and works as a Research Assistant under the direction of Dr. Little. As a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Kaitlyn primarily focuses on the implementation of interventions to aid in tobacco cessation among medically underserved communities. Her other responsibilities include collecting, inputting, and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data as a member of Melissa Little’s research team. 

Headshot of Ashley Babcock, smiling

Ashley Babcock


As a member of Dr. Melissa Little’s research team, Ashley Babcock works within the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia. Her focus is the development and delivery of community-based tobacco prevention and control interventions across a range of populations. As a Tobacco Treatment Specialist, she serves the QuitAid team as a Quitline Counselor and assists with data collection, management, and analysis. She earned her Master’s in Public Health from Eastern Virginia Medical School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience, with a special interest in addiction.


Contact Us

Study PI: Melissa Little, PhD, MPH 

Study Coordinator: Dylan Allanson

Study Phone: 434-260-9517 (opens new window for email)

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