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A Psycho-Oncology Fellowship to Support Pre-Doctoral Health Disparity Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Sex and Gender Needs During Cancer

Anao Zhang

Program Lead: Anao Zhang, Curtis Center Faculty Affiliate and Assistant Professor of Social Work

This Signature Program will create a pre-doctoral Psycho-Oncology social work Fellowship at the emergent Michigan Medicine Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Research Group (MAYA) to address the unique developmental issues that result in significantly worse health outcomes among adolescents and young adults (AYAs; aged 15-39) than their pediatric or adult counterparts, both during treatment and throughout survivorship. The detrimental effects of cancer and treatment among this age group on infertility and sexual dysfunction significantly impact their psychosocial wellbeing. The social work research fellow at MAYA will thus address the paucity of research on the health inequities created by heteronormative framing of fertility and promote a more capacious or inclusive understanding of reproductive health care during cancer.

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