COVID-19 Statement (May 2021)

The Psycho-Oncology Research Program persists to fight the emotional and physical burden of cancer in the wake of the global pandemic. We are accepting students, conducting ongoing and new studies, publishing productively, and submitting research grants. We advocate for the highest level of safety precautions and will be among the last to discontinue COVID-related safety protocols. The lab is well-positioned given our core values of courage and future-mindedness, competencies in strategic management and remote research methods, and focus on serious illness.


The mission of the Psycho-Oncology Research Program is to improve quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and alleviating the emotional and physical burden of cancer.


Stationed out of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Psycho-Oncology Research Program was founded in 2013 by Dr. Hoerger. "Psycho-oncology" is the scientific field at the intersection between psychology and oncology. The discipline examines how psychosocial factors -- thoughts, emotions, behaviors, relationships, and culture -- contribute to cancer outcomes, as well as how the experience of living with cancer affects patients and their families. With the goal of mitigating the emotional and physical burden of cancer, our group has published 80 articles and chapters and trained over 30 scientists, supported in part by $2.5 million in federal, state, and local research funds. We thank the patients, family members, clinicians, community members, and funders that have made this research possible.

Research Priorities
  • Palliative Care, especially emphasizing Perceptions, Process & Outcomes Research, and Dissemination and Implementation Research
  • Patient Education and Empowerment
  • Psychosocial Determinants of Quality of Life and Mental Health
  • Cancer Disparities
  • Smoking Prevention and Cessation
  • Health Psychology Education and Training
  • Translational Psychological Science, especially emphasizing Personality, Affect, and Decision Making