Top Navigation

Fellows

The purpose of Fellow status is to recognize and honor outstanding contributions to the science and practice of psychosocial oncology. Membership in the Fellowship is not purely honorific, however: it carries an expectation of ongoing contributions to and leadership within the Society.  View the APOS Fellow eligibility criteria.

SCOTT A. IRWIN, MD, PHD

Dr. Irwin is currently the Director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer’s Patient and Family Support Program and a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences within Cedars-Sinai Health System. His career focuses on improving outcomes for those with cancer or other progressive, potentially life-limiting illnesses, and their families, through leading-edge clinical services, ongoing research, and program development, improvement, and implementation. Read more here.

JON LEVENSON, MD

Dr. Jon Levenson’s specialty within psychiatry includes consultation-liaison psychiatry. He is boarded in the related subspecialty of Psychosomatic Medicine. Within these fields Dr. Levenson’s special areas of interest include psychiatric aspects of AIDS and Oncology, as well as psychiatric contributions to palliative care. He is past president of both the American Psychosocial Oncology Society and the Society for Liaison Psychiatry. Dr. Levenson is also interested in the training of medical students, residents, as well as other health professionals in the psychiatric aspects of medicine.

LYNNE PADGETT, PHD

Dr. Padgett is a rehabilitation psychologist who has worked in multiple healthcare and cancer care settings, including the School of Medicine at Emory University, Kaiser Permanente Department of Hospital Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and currently at the Washington, D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Read more here.

ELYSE PARK, PHD, MPH

Dr. Park is a clinical health psychologist and health services researcher who focuses on improving health-related behaviors among populations at risk for cancer and survivors. Her research is conducted at the MGH Mongan Institute for Health Policy and she co-directs the cancer survivorship program at the MGH Cancer Center. Additionally, she is director of Behavioral Research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at MGH and the MGH Tobacco Research and Treatment Center. Read more here.

ALLA SIKORSKII, PHD

Dr. Alla Sikorskii a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University. Dr. Sikorskii has formal training in Statistics and Probability and a track record of successful productive collaboration with health researchers and clinicians. She has built a program of research in cancer symptom management and patient-reported outcomes, and design and evaluation of interventions to improve these outcomes among people with cancer and other chronic conditions.  Read more here.

HISTORY OF APOS FELLOWS

At the 2012 APOS 9th Annual Conference, the APOS Board of Directors decided to explore establishing a Fellow status for the organization. A task force was formed in April 2012, and that task force presented a proposal to the Board in August recommending creation of this honorary status, as well as suggesting eligibility criteria and selection procedures.

At the 2013 APOS 10th Annual Conference, the APOS Board presented the first class of APOS fellows, individuals recognized for their outstanding contributions to the science and practice of psychosocial oncology. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the organization, 10 fellows were inducted.

View the previous classes of APOS Fellows 

Dr. Karen Kayser holds the Dr. LaRocca Chair in Oncology Social Work at the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work.  She earned in interdisciplinary PhD in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan. Upon completing her PhD, she worked as an NICHD Post-doctoral Fellow on a clinical research with families coping with childhood cancer. This experience inspired her to pursue her career in psychosocial oncology with a particular focus on studying cancer within the context of families and intimate relationships.

After her post-doc, Dr. Kayser was offered an Assistant Professor position at the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College where she taught and conducted research for the next 20 years. During her years in Boston, her research agenda focused on studying the interpersonal and cultural factors that impact adjustment to cancer.  She developed a couple-based intervention for breast cancer patients (Partners in Coping) and conducted a randomized controlled trial at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.  She disseminated the Partners in Coping treatment protocol in the book Helping Couples Cope with Women’s Cancers: An evidence-based approach for practitioners (co-authored with Dr. Jennifer Scott; Springer, 2008).

In 2011, Dr. Kayser left Boston College to become the inaugural Endowed Chair in Oncology Social Work at the University of Louisville (UofL).  As the Dr. LaRocca Chair, she has developed innovative educational and research programs with the goal of building the workforce capacity to provide evidence-based psychosocial oncology services. Nationally, she established the first program in Psychosocial Oncology in a graduate school of social work. Her clinical research has focused on improving the delivery of distress screening and management services in cancer care.  She collaborated with Dr. Brad Zebrack and the Association of Oncology Social Work on A Project to Assure Quality Cancer Care (APAQCC) and the Patient-Centered Research Collaborative (PCRC). Her current research focuses on the promotion of cervical cancer screening and the HPV vaccination in rural Kentucky where rates of HPV-related cancers are among the highest in the nation. Dr. Kayser also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.

Scott A. Irwin, M.D., Ph.D., is currently the Director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer’s Patient and Family Support Program and a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences within Cedars-Sinai Health System.

His career focuses on improving outcomes for those with cancer or other progressive, potentially life-limiting illnesses, and their families, through leading-edge clinical services, ongoing research, and program development, improvement, and implementation.

He is widely published, has been recognized at many levels for his research, teaching, consulting, and clinical endeavors, and has received research funding from the NCI, NIMH, the National Palliative Care Research Center, the Archstone Foundation, and industry.

Dr. Irwin earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and both his MD and PhD (neuroscience) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He successfully completed his psychiatry residency at UC San Diego as chief resident of Outpatient Psychiatric Services, as well as a two-year elective in hospice and palliative care at San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with subspecialty certification in psychosomatic medicine.

Dr. Karen Kayser holds the Dr. LaRocca Chair in Oncology Social Work at the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work.  She earned in interdisciplinary PhD in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan. Upon completing her PhD, she worked as an NICHD Post-doctoral Fellow on a clinical research with families coping with childhood cancer. This experience inspired her to pursue her career in psychosocial oncology with a particular focus on studying cancer within the context of families and intimate relationships.

After her post-doc, Dr. Kayser was offered an Assistant Professor position at the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College where she taught and conducted research for the next 20 years. During her years in Boston, her research agenda focused on studying the interpersonal and cultural factors that impact adjustment to cancer.  She developed a couple-based intervention for breast cancer patients (Partners in Coping) and conducted a randomized controlled trial at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.  She disseminated the Partners in Coping treatment protocol in the book Helping Couples Cope with Women’s Cancers: An evidence-based approach for practitioners (co-authored with Dr. Jennifer Scott; Springer, 2008).

In 2011, Dr. Kayser left Boston College to become the inaugural Endowed Chair in Oncology Social Work at the University of Louisville (UofL).  As the Dr. LaRocca Chair, she has developed innovative educational and research programs with the goal of building the workforce capacity to provide evidence-based psychosocial oncology services. Nationally, she established the first program in Psychosocial Oncology in a graduate school of social work. Her clinical research has focused on improving the delivery of distress screening and management services in cancer care.  She collaborated with Dr. Brad Zebrack and the Association of Oncology Social Work on A Project to Assure Quality Cancer Care (APAQCC) and the Patient-Centered Research Collaborative (PCRC). Her current research focuses on the promotion of cervical cancer screening and the HPV vaccination in rural Kentucky where rates of HPV-related cancers are among the highest in the nation. Dr. Kayser also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.

Dr. Padgett is a rehabilitation psychologist who has worked in multiple healthcare and cancer care settings, including the School of Medicine at Emory University, Kaiser Permanente Department of Hospital Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and currently at the Washington, D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Her research interests are at the intersections of cancer rehabilitation, psychosocial and palliative care in oncology.  More specifically she has worked in screening for distress, symptoms and physical function in cancer patients, palliative care decision making, cognitive and psychosocial effects of cancer and cancer treatment and the implementation of evidenced based care in community cancer settings.  She is interested in the potential of technology to extend the reach of clinical care and to facilitate screening and referrals.  Her clinical work focuses on symptom management in cancer patients, particularly cognition and fatigue.  She has published in these areas and works as part of two writing and research teams.

Dr. Padgett currently serves as the APOS Secretary and served as Director of Research.     She is also a member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, where she is a member of the Cancer Rehabilitation Cognition and Research and Outcomes working groups.

Dr. Padgett’s work has been characterized by a focus on translation scientific evidence into care.  From her experiences she has taken the following lessons:  If it’s worth doing, it’s worth evaluating; Quality care builds on the unique strengths of a cancer center; and Start programs where they are excited to see you!

 

 

Dr. Park is a clinical health psychologist and health services researcher who focuses on improving health-related behaviors among populations at risk for cancer and survivors. Her research is conducted at the MGH Mongan Institute for Health Policy and she co-directs the cancer survivorship program at the MGH Cancer Center. Additionally, she is director of Behavioral Research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at MGH and the MGH Tobacco Research and Treatment Center. Her research focuses on developing and implementing behavioral interventions to enhance resiliency, decrease tobacco use, and improve access to healthcare.  She founded the MGH Qualitative Mixed Methods Research Unit. She has been funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ), and the Livestrong Foundation to support her survivorship and cancer prevention research. Her contributions are reflected in 250 peer-reviewed publications. Clinically, she treats cancer survivors. She founded two hospital-based clinical services: the MGH Cancer Center’s Smokefree Support Service and the MGH Cancer Center Resiliency Survivorship Group Program.

As recipient an NCI K24 mentoring award recipient to promote patient-oriented research, she conducts her research, and mentors junior Medicine trainees and faculty, on the integration of behavioral interventions into cancer clinical care.  She is currently conducting two NCI-funded R01 effectiveness-implementation trials integrating telehealth-delivered tobacco treatments into patients’ care during cancer screening and at the time of a cancer diagnosis.  These trials are available to English and Spanish speaking patients and utilize novel health information technology (IT) platforms to promote patient outreach and access, including patient portals, informational clinician videos, and video-conferencing software. She is also conducting an American Cancer Society-funded trial to assess a health insurance navigation for childhood cancer survivors. Dr. Park has utilized national cohorts to examine survivors’ quality of life, specifically, the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium, and the National Lung Screening (NLST) Trial cohort.

Dr. Park was the standing Chair of the American Cancer Society’s national peer review Psychosocial and Behavioral research committee and has served as an ad hoc reviewer for NIH review committees as well as for various foundations. She is a member of the NCCN’s Guidelines for Smoking Cessation for cancer patients and the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Tobacco Taskforce. She serves on the American Cancer Society’s National Lung Cancer Round Table as a Task Group member of the Provider Outreach and Tobacco Task Groups.  She co-chairs the ECOG-ACRIN Health Promotion Subcommittee within the Cancer Control and Survivorship Committee, to advance a program of health promotion research within the community-based oncology clinics in the National Clinical Trials Network.

Dr. Alla Sikorskii a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University. Dr. Sikorskii has formal training in Statistics and Probability and a track record of successful productive collaboration with health researchers and clinicians. She has built a program of research in cancer symptom management and patient-reported outcomes, and design and evaluation of interventions to improve these outcomes among people with cancer and other chronic conditions.

Dr. Sikorskii has designed numerous randomized controlled trials (RCTs) including procedures for screening, randomization, timing of longitudinal assessments, measurement of important factors, and ways to control for them. Her completed work includes defining the cut-points for symptom severity and anchor-based definition of responses to multiple cancer-related symptoms, in collaboration with Drs. Barbara and Charles Given. She has proposed and successfully implemented the innovative analyses of response and times to response to the management of multiple symptoms. She has served as a co-investigator and statistician on 18 NIH-funded R01 grant projects. Her most recent work is devoted to the advance from traditional RCTs that test fixed interventions to adaptive interventions tailored to individuals. This shift requires research that sequences interventions and creates decision rules for switching from one intervention to another based individuals’ demonstrated needs. When an intervention does not initially work, clinical logic is to either extend the timeframe or move to a more intensive intervention. This logic leads to multi-staged interventions, where the subsequent stage is individually tailored, based on the response to the previous intervention (stage). The sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) allows to build the evidence base for multi-staged interventions. Dr. Sikorskii has led the applications of the SMART design to test sequences of supportive care interventions among people with cancer.

Dr. Sikorskii has over 170 peer-reviewed publications. She has served as a member and chair of NIH study sections; peer reviewer for many journals including Psychooncology; editorial board member of the Journal of Clinical Oncology; and Associate Editor of Research in Nursing and Health.