Institute Leadership

Frank J. Penedo, PhD

Frank J. Penedo, PhD

Institute Director
Cancer Control and Survivorship Research Program Leader

Dr. Frank J. Penedo is the Roswell Park Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Psychology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is also the Program Leader of the Cancer Control and Survivorship Program in the Lurie Cancer Center. He obtained his PhD in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Miami in 1999 after completing a clinical internship in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on evaluating the role of psychosocial, sociocultural and biobehavioral processes in adjustment, health related quality of life and health outcomes in chronic disease populations with a major emphasis on cancer survivorship.

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Sheetal Kircher, MD MSc

Sheetal Kircher, MD, MSc

Institute Medical Co-Director
Director of Specialty Survivorship Clinics

Dr. Kircher is a Medical Oncologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. She obtained her MD in 2006 at the Rush Medical College and completed her fellowship in Medical Oncology in 2011 at Northwestern University. Her clinical interests include treating gastrointestinal malignancies. Dr. Kircher's research interests are focused on improving the quality of cancer care and cancer survivorship, and better understanding the trends in use and expenditure of services and medical treatments. She is also interested in evaluation of cancer-related health policies. As Institute Medical Co-Director and Director of the Survivorship Specialty Clinics, Dr. Kircher will oversee all programmatic aspects of survivorship medical care across the Specialty Survivorship Clinics in the Lurie Cancer Center.

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Sofia F. Garcia, PhD

Sofia F. Garcia, PhD

Institute Translational Research Program Director

Dr. Garcia is an Assistant Professor of Medical Social Sciences and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago after completing a pre-doctoral internship at Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital, with an emphasis in Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Garcia completed a fellowship in psychosocial oncology and health outcomes research at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Her research examines methods of assessing and addressing the symptoms and concerns of individuals with cancer and other chronic illness. Included among Dr. Garcia's current studies are interventions, some including health information technology, to assist patients' transition from active cancer treatment to extended survivorship. As Institute Director of Translational Research, she oversees integration of clinical initiatives and research programs focused on cancer survivorship.

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Timothy Pearman, PhD

Timothy Pearman, PhD

Institute Supportive Oncology Program Director

Timothy Pearman, PhD is the Director of Supportive Oncology at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and Associate Professor in the Departments of Medical Social Sciences and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In his role as Program Director, he works with patients and referring physicians as a clinical psychologist in both Lurie Clinical Cancer Center sites. In addition, he oversees all aspects of the Lurie Cancer Center's Supportive Oncology Program and manages outreach and community education activities for the Clinical Cancer Center. From 2008-2010, Dr. Pearman served as Director of the Tulane Cancer Center and was Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Pearman oversees all supportive oncology services provided to cancer patients and their families.

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Melissa Simon, MD

Melissa Simon, MD, MPH

Institute Director of Community Engaged Survivorship Research and Clinical Initiatives

Dr. Simon is the George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology and Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences. She received her MD in 2000 at the Rush Medical College and completed her residency in obstetrics-gynecology in 2004 at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr. Simon's primary research interests are aimed at eliminating health disparities among low income, medically underserved women across the lifespan. Integrating health services research with social epidemiologic models, Dr. Simon's research focuses on interventions (such as patient navigation and community health outreach workers) that aim to reduce and eliminate such disparities. Within this context, Dr. Simon prefers to leverage culture and community to achieve these goals and thereby integrates community based participatory research framework into her work. As Institute Director of Community Engaged Survivorship Research and Clinical Initiatives, Dr. Simon directs community outreach and engagement in clinical and research programs focused on cancer survivorship.

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