As a clinical psychologist with a strong interest in the psychological and physical effects of cancer, I have substantial experience in behavioral oncology research. My long-term goal is to establish an NCI-supported independent research program dedicated to studying genetic influences on cognitive functioning, depression, and fatigue in individuals with cancer. My short-term goal is to examine these side effects in individuals treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). HSCT is one of the most physically and emotionally stressful treatments for cancer. Sizeable subgroups of patients treated with HSCT experience long-term cognitive deficits, depression, and fatigue. The proposed research will: 1) provide a methodologically-rigorous evaluation of longitudinal change in cognitive functioning, depression, and fatigue in patients treated with allogeneic HSCT compared to individuals without cancer;and 2) explore genetic predictors of these side effects. This study is expected to yield clinically and conceptually important data which will inform my independent program of research. The study will be complemented by rigorous training in the following areas: the assessment of cognitive functioning, depression, and fatigue in individuals treated with HSCT;medical aspects of HSCT;longitudinal assessment and data analysis;medical genetics, behavioral genetics, and biological mechanisms of behavior;gene extraction, genotyping, and genome-wide association studies;and the responsible conduct of research. The proposed training plan includes formal mentorship, didactic coursework, and attendance and presentation at intramural and national research meetings. The resources of Moffitt Cancer Center are outstanding and will facilitate my proposed career development and program of research. I am confident that the training and research proposed in this grant will contribute to my continuing success and will accelerate my transition to an independent investigator.

Public Health Relevance

Sizable percentages of patients treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) experience cognitive deficits, depression, and fatigue. The proposed research is expected to yield: 1) detailed data regarding longitudinal changes in these side effects, and 2) genetic predictors of patients at risk. Research of this type is expected to contribute to informed patient decisions regarding treatment, as well as help patients, families, and providers take a proactive approach to managing these side effects in patients at risk.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
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Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Perkins, Susan N
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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
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