I am a pediatric psychologist and researcher whose work focuses on promoting health behavior change, including medication adherence, among adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer.
For many adolescents and young adults with cancer, treatment includes a variety of complex health behaviors, such as taking multiple medications at varied dosing schedules. Following treatment recommendations can be difficult, but it can result in better health outcomes. The goal of my research is to develop and test new interventions to help make it easier for adolescents and young adults with cancer to adhere to their treatment recommendations.
I first became interested in this line of research as a psychology doctoral student when I volunteered at a camp for teens with type 1 diabetes. I watched teens balance their day-to-day activities, such as hiking, sports, and spending time with friends, with the tasks required for self-management — things like checking their blood sugar and administering insulin. As I gained an appreciation of the challenges of managing a medical condition as an adolescent or young adult, I began to consider how I could contribute to adherence science.
To prepare me for a career in adherence science, I obtained specialized training in this field, including a National Institutes of Health T32 postdoctoral fellowship. Since starting my faculty position at Cincinnati Children’s in 2014, I have developed a research career focused on finding solutions that will help make it easier for adolescents and young adults with cancer adhere to treatment recommendations.
I’m also a proud mom, hiking enthusiast, triathlete, and music lover.