Justin Wilford, PhD, Co-Founder, MaxLove Project

Justin is the husband of Audra DiPadova Wilford and the father of Max and Maesie. He earned a PhD in cultural geography from UCLA in 2010, shortly before Max, 4 years old at the time, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumor. Max’s treatment, recovery, and journey into survivorship led Justin and Audra to found MaxLove Project to help other families thrive in childhood cancer treatment and beyond.

Justin’s work with MaxLove Project led him to return to earn a second PhD, this time in disease prevention with a focus on social support and social media health promotion programs. Building on his earlier research in cultural geography, Justin combines social scientific insights into group dynamics and social identity with health psychology, epidemiology, and health outcomes research. Justin’s primary goal is to use his academic work to design, implement, and disseminate effective, low-cost, and scalable health promotion programs that leverage the power of social support to improve quality of life and lower long-term health risks for childhood cancer survivors and their families. 

Justin currently teaches health promotion planning, culture and health, health policy, and social epidemiology at UC Irvine; serves as a consultant and grant writer for non-profits; and designs and evaluates health promotion programs for MaxLove Project.

Justin’s curriculum vitae