Doctoral Student, Janae Kirsch, receives University of Florida Health Cancer Center Pre-doctoral Award

CHP Doctoral student, Janae Kirsch, MS (mentored by Dr. Deidre Pereira) has won the 2018 UF Health Cancer Center Predoctoral Award for her dissertation entitled “Circadian Rhythms in Gynecologic Cancer: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Intervention.”

Within cancer populations, circadian rhythms may become dysregulated due to factors such as altered hormone levels or chemotherapy. For many patients not only do these changes result in increased fatigue, pain, and depression, but dysregulated rhythms are also linked to tumor progression, recurrence, and survival. Importantly, only a handful of empirical research studies have examined potential interventions that may promote more regular circadian rhythms in patients diagnosed with cancer.

The award will support Kirsch’s dissertation examining circadian rhythm rest-activity cycles and inflammation in women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer. The study will also examine intervention effects of a 6-week Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia and pain (CBTi.p.) intervention.

This competitive award is given annually and is intended to recognize and support outstanding predoctoral candidates who are conducting innovative cancer research. The award allots a total of $10,000 to the recipient for a one-year period: $8,000 for lab supplies and $2,000 for equipment/computer and travel expenses for the student.

The award was presented at the UFHCC Research Day on October 30, 2018.