Broadly, my research program focuses on evaluating and improving psychosocial outcomes in pediatric neuro-oncology. Our goal is to systematically evaluate long-term outcomes of youth treated for central nervous system tumors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. More specifically, I am interested in better understanding those factors related to self-management and the promotion of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in pediatric neuro-oncology. Youth with a brain tumor, in particular, require high-intensity and complex medical treatment that often results in late-effects (e.g., physical, mental, and social problems, other chronic health conditions, second cancers). If the goal of medical treatment is to maximize HRQOL, interventions to improve HRQOL and psychosocial functioning are critical to achieving that goal. Understanding and addressing how best to optimize HRQOL and promote resilience and adaptation following a brain tumor diagnosis are key objectives within my current research program.

  • Measurement of patient-reported and neurocognitive outcomes of youth with brain tumors receiving active therapy
  • Long-term outcomes of pediatric brain tumor survivors

Yelena Johnson, PhD (Fellow, Emory University)

Isra Abugroun, MBBS (Fellow, Emory University)

Sarah Vitale, MS (Graduate Student, Mercer University)

Lindsay Jane Sutcliff, MS (Graduate Student, Mercer University)

Amanda Rach, PhD

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia

Gabrielle Banks, PhD 

Current Position Assistant Professor, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Heather Gammel, PhD 

Current Position: Psychologist, Behavioral Science Consulting

Trisha Arnold, BA 

Current Position: Graduate Student, Jackson State University

Paige Lembeck, PhD 

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Yale School of Medicine

Lauren Weathers, PhD (Fellow, Private Practice)

Current Position: Fellow, Private Practice

Naadira Upshaw, PsyD 

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Emory University

CURE Childhood Cancer

Health Related Quality of Life Outcomes during Molecularly Targeted Therapy for the Treatment of Refractory or Progressive Pediatric Brain Tumors

Role: PI


NCI: R01

Pediatric Trial of Indoximod With Chemotherapy and Radiation for Relapsed Brain Tumors or Newly Diagnosed DIPG

Role: Co-I


Rising Tide Foundation

Neurocognitive and QoL Outcomes in Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors in Photon and Proton Treated Cohorts

Role: Co-I


Department of Defense USAMRMC and the Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

A Phase II Trial of Poly-ICLC for Progressive, Previously Treated Low-Grade Gliomas in Children and Young Adults with Neurofibromatosis Type 1

Role: Co-I

  • Fellowship Site Training Coordinator, Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center, Emory University Postdoctoral Residency Program in Health Service Psychology
  • Fellow, American Academy of Clinical Health Psychology
  • Editorial Board Member, Pediatrics
  • Member, International Guidelines Harmonization Group for Late Effects of Childhood Cancer
  • Member, Behavioral Science Committee, Children’s Oncology Group
  • Member, Quality of Life Committee, Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trial Consortium

A limited number of volunteer positions are available to graduate and undergraduate students each year. Volunteers will have the opportunity to experience psychological/outcomes-based research in a pediatric academic hospital and will participate in a number of research activities. Experiences may include: training in regulatory requirements in research, project recruitment, data collection, and data management. All volunteers complete onboarding at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (e.g., background and physical health screen). This process takes approximately one month and must be completed prior to the volunteer’s start date.

If interested, please e-mail a copy of your resume/CV and current research interests to: Lisa.Ingerski@emory.edu.