Janae Kirsch, M.S.

Kirsch

Biography

Janae is a fourth-year graduate student at the University of Florida in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. She graduated from St. Olaf College in 2013 with a major in psychology and exercise science and a minor in biomedical studies. After graduation, Janae worked as a Research Assistant at Mayo Clinic, Rochester specializing in self-management, quality of life, and disease uncertainty in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and transplant populations. She trained extensively in Motivational Interviewing implementation as a research intervention to reduce 30-day re-hospitalization rates in patients with severe COPD. During this time, she also volunteered as a weekly group counselor for women of domestic violence. Janae is in the Clinical Health Psychology track and she works as a Graduate Assistant in the Psycho-Oncology Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Deidre Pereira. During her time at UF, she completed her master’s thesis examining the role of sleep latency and vascular endothelial growth factor in long-term endometrial cancer survival as well as published several studies examining the relationship between sleep, pain, inflammation, and behavioral health factors in gynecologic cancer populations.

She is currently completing her dissertation entitled “The effects of a cognitive behavioral intervention on rest-activity circadian rhythms and survival among women with gynecologic malignancies.” In addition, Janae recently won the UF Health Cancer Center Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Award. She is using this award to develop and assess the feasibility of a multi-component intervention study to improve circadian rhythms in women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer.

Research Focus

Janae’s research interests include circadian rhythms, quality of life, coping, and psychoneuroimmunology in cancer populations. She is interested in the interplay between biological and psychological factors that influence cancer development, progression, and survival. In addition, she is interested in the role psychologists can play in exploring and facilitating positive emotional and behavioral change in patients at various stages of a cancer diagnosis.

Awards

  •  University of Florida Health Cancer Center Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Award (2018)
  •  Second Place Research Award Winner, Public Health and Health Professions Research Day (2018)
  •  University of Florida Graduate School Fellowship (2016-2020)

Publications

Kacel, E. L., Kirsch, J. L., Sannes, T. S., Esparza-Duran, D., Patidar, S., Postupack, R., … Pereira, D. B. (2019). Interleukin-6 and body mass index, tobacco use, and sleep in gynecologic cancers. Health Psychology, 38, 866-877. doi: 10.1037/hea0000775

Kirsch, J. L., Robinson, M. E., McCrae, C. S., Kacel, E. L., Wong, S., Patidar, S., … Pereira, D. B. (2018). Associations among sleep latency, subjective pain, and thermal pain sensitivity in gynecologic cancer. Pain Medicine. doi: 10.1093/pm/pny236

Benzo, R. P., Kirsch, J. L., Hathaway, J. C., McEvoy, C. E., & Vickers, K. S. (2017). Health coaching in severe COPD after a hospitalization: A qualitative analysis of a large randomized study. Respiratory Care, 62, 1403-1411. doi: 10.4187/respcare.05574

Benzo, R. P., Kirsch, J. L., & Nelson, C. (2017). Compassion, Mindfulness, and the Happiness of Healthcare Workers. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 13, 201-206. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2017.02.001

Benzo, R. P., Kirsch, J. L., Dulohery, M. M., & Abascal-Bolado, B. (2016). Emotional intelligence: A novel outcome associated with wellbeing and self-management in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 13, 10-16. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201508-490OC 

Presentations

Oral Presentations

Kirsch, J. L., Robinson, M. E., Schultz, G., McCrae, C. S., Kacel, E. L., Ulfig, C. M., & Pereira, D. B. (2019, March). Circadian rhythms, interleukin-6, and morning fatigue and in gynecologic cancer: A moderated mediation analysis. In D. B. Pereira (Chair), Biobehavioral influences on circadian rhythm in cancer. Symposium conducted at the Society for Behavioral Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Pereira, D. B., Kirsch, J. L., McCrae, C. S. Robinson, M. E., Kacel, E. L., Ulfig, C. M., & Antoni, M. (2019, March). Cognitive-behavioral effects on circadian rhythms in gynecologic cancer. In D. B. Pereira (Chair), Biobehavioral influences on circadian rhythm in cancer. Symposium conducted at the Society for Behavioral Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Kirsch, J. L. (2019, July). Sleep and Circadian Rhythms. Oral presentation presented at the Cancer Research Conference for Science Teachers, Gainesville, Florida.

Kirsch, J. L. (2018 October). Circadian Rhythms in Gynecologic Cancer: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Intervention. Oral presentation presented at the University of Florida Health Cancer Day, Gainesville, Florida.

Poster Presentations

Cartagena, G., Ulfig C., Kirsch, J., Padron, A., Schultz, G., & Pereira, D. (2019, April). Understanding the relationships among race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, mood/anxiety, and inflammatory cytokines in women with suspected gynecologic malignancies. Poster session presented at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions Research Day, Gainesville, Florida.

Kirsch, J. L., Robinson, M. E., McCrae, C. S., Castagnos, J., Kacel, E. L., Ulfig, C. M., & Pereira, D. B. (2018, October). Circadian rhythm dysregulation and pain in gynecologic cancer: The role of sleep-wake patterns in clinically reported and thermally-induced pain. Poster session presented at University of Florida Health Cancer Center Research Day, Gainesville, FL.

Kirsch, J. L., Kacel, E.L., Ulfig, C. M., Padron, A., Esparza-Duran, D., Wong, S., Smith, S., McCrae, C. S., Robinson, M., & Pereira, D. B. (2018, April). The role of sleep latency and subjective pain on thermal pain sensitivity in gynecologic cancer. Poster session presented at the Society for Behavioral Medicine, New Orleans, LA.

Kirsch, J. L., McCrae, C. S., Robinson, M., & Pereira, D. B. (2018, April). Circadian Rhythms and Fatigue in Gynecologic Cancer. Poster presented at University of Florida Public Health and Health Professions Research Day, Gainesville, FL.

Kirsch, J. L., Trinastic, L., Sannes, T., Garey, S., Jensen, S., Dodd, S., Schultz, G., Castagno, J., & Pereira, D. B. (2017, November). Sleep latency and vascular endothelial growth factor in long-term endometrial cancer survival. Poster session presented at University of Florida Health Cancer Center Research Day, Gainesville, FL.

Kennedy, C. C., Ridgeway, J. L., Stevens, E. N., Kirsch, J. L., Carroll, K., & Benzo, R. (2017, October) The waiting game: Adult thoracic transplant patients’ experiences with uncertainty. Poster session presented at CHEST, Ontario, Canada.

Kirsch, J. L., Trinastic, L., Sannes, T., Smith, S., Jensen, S., Dodd, S., Schultz, G., & Pereira, D. B. (2017, April). Emotional support and vascular endothelial growth factor in long-term endometrial cancer survival. Poster session presented at University of Florida Public Health and Health Professions Research Day, Gainesville, FL.

Kacel, E. L., Ulfig, C. M., Kirsch, J. L., Padron, A., Esparza-Duran, D., Wong, S., Smith, S., Schultz, G., & Pereira, D. B. (2017, April). Presurgical sleep quality, individual resilience, and postsurgical inflammation among women with suspected gynecologic cancer. Poster session presented at University of Florida Public Health and Health Professions Research Day, Gainesville, FL.

Kacel, E. L., Ulfig, C. M., Kirsch, J. L., Padron, A., Esparza-Duran, D., Wong, S., Smith, S., Schultz, G., & Pereira, D. B. (2017, March). Presurgical sleep quality, individual resilience, and postsurgical inflammation among women with suspected gynecologic cancer. Poster session presented at American Psychosomatic Society, Seville, Spain.

Benzo, R. P., & Kirsch, J. L. (2015, May). Emotional intelligence in COPD: The impact on self-management abilities and quality of life. Poster session presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference, Denver, CO.