Heather Derry-Vick, Ph.D., is an Assistant Member of the Center for Discovery and Innovation.
Dr. Derry-Vick examines how psychosocial factors, such as stressful experiences or depressive symptoms, interact with health conditions including cancer. As a clinical psychologist who uses biobehavioral research approaches, she investigates how stress impacts health and healthcare experiences, as well as physiological mechanisms (such as levels of inflammation) that raise risk for cancer and co-occurring health problems. A significant focus of her lab’s current work is aimed at adapting and testing stress management strategies to help advanced cancer patients manage anxiety as they await scan results; this work is supported by a Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) award from the National Cancer Institute. By investigating and addressing links between behavioral and physical health, the Derry-Vick lab’s long-term goals are to lessen the impact of stress in the context of medical care and to maximize quality of life among people with chronic conditions.