I am a social and health psychologist whose program of behavioral research examines psychosocial aspects of cancer prevention and control. Specifically, my research aims to translate advances in genetics and genomics into improvements in patient care and public health. I am interested in understanding how people perceive, adapt to, and make decisions regarding uncertain health risk information, such as the information that people can receive through genetic and genomic testing. I am currently leading studies to assess how patients and their families respond to inherited risk information that is revealed as part of tumor sequencing (e.g., the MSK-IMPACT™ test), to evaluate alternative models for offering genetic counseling and testing to patients with cancer, and to examine the effects of novel breast cancer genetic risk feedback on patients’ decision-making, psychological, and behavioral outcomes.
I co-lead the Genomics, Risk & Health Decision Making Laboratory in Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Behavioral Sciences Service. The mission of this laboratory is to optimize the translation of novel discoveries regarding cancer risk and genomics, through research concerning cancer risk perceptions and health decision-making in patients, families, healthcare providers, and members of the general public across diverse populations and settings. Our laboratory also provides training and mentorship to students, fellows, and junior faculty involved in this research. In addition, I have a secondary appointment in the Clinical Genetics Service of the Department of Medicine, where I am affiliated with the clinical genetics laboratory of Dr. Kenneth Offit.
I am a member of various scientific societies including the American Society of Human Genetics, American Society of Preventive Oncology, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and Society for Health Psychology. I am also a member of the Survivorship, Outcomes and Risk Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Education: PhD, Stony Brook University; MPH, Columbia University
Fellowships: National Cancer Institute
Department & Service: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Sciences Service; Department of Medicine, Division of Solid Tumor Oncology, Clinical Genetics Service