Lerman: Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Science
at Cancer Center
Caryn E. Lerman has been named Associate Director for Cancer Control
and Population Science at the Penn Cancer Center and Director of
the Tobacco Research Program at the Leonard & Madlyn Abramson
Family Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Lerman, a professor of psychiatry
at the School of Medicine, will also have an appointment at Annenberg
Public Policy Center.
Lerman's recruitment is such a vital component to realizing
our overall mission," said Dr. John H. Glick, director of the Penn
Cancer Center and the Abramson Institute. "Caryn is a preeminent
cancer control researcher with recognized expertise in tobacco control
research. She's an exceptional scientific leader who will significantly
elevate the level of research productivity and collaboration throughout
the Cancer Center."
Lerman's research explores the relationships between genetics
and cancer-related behaviors. As the leader of Penn's cancer
control research effort, she applies molecular genetic technologies
to the development of new cancer prevention and control strategies.
One area of her research explores patient decision-making and outcomes
of breast and colon cancer genetic testing for high-risk families.
In addition, as part of a Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research
Center Grant from the National Cancer Institute and the National
Institute on Drug Abuse, her team investigates the contribution
of genetic factors to nicotine addiction through basic, clinical
and population research. Recently, Dr. Lerman and her colleagues
have linked genetic variants in the brain's dopamine and serotonin
pathways with smoking behaviors.
in molecular genetics provide unprecedented opportunities for identifying
susceptible individuals and targeting disease prevention and treatment
strategies to them," said Dr. Lerman. "However, until such time
as disease susceptibility can be modified at the molecular level,
reductions in morbidity and mortality are most likely to be achieved
by changes in individuals' behaviors. This work has the potential
to alter standard public health approaches to disease prevention
by leading to interventions that are individually tailored to a
patient's genetic profile," explained Dr. Lerman.
to coming to Penn in July of this year, Dr. Lerman was a professor
of oncology, psychiatry, and pharmacology and associate director
for Cancer Control and Population Science at the Lombardi Cancer
Center at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Lerman earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Pennsylvania
State University in 1981. She received a master's in psychology
in 1982 and a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1984, both from
the University of Southern California. Prior to going to Georgetown
in 1993, she was director of behavioral oncology research at Fox
Chase Cancer Center.
has been the recipient of the New Investigator Award from the Society
of Behavioral Medicine, the Preventive Oncology Academic Award from
the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health, and
the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology from
the American Psychological Association. She currently serves on
the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute
(NCI) and has co-chaired the NCI Tobacco Research Implementation
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 6, October 2, 2001
October 2, 2001
Volume 48 Number 6