Frank Balis, MD, and John M. Maris, MD, recently announced the appointment of Lamia P. Barakat, PhD, to head the Section on Behavioral Oncology. Dr. Barakat is currently the Director of Psychosocial Services for the Division of Oncology, and she will be promoted to the rank of Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Pediatrics effective July 1st 2013.

Dr. Barakat has an active and highly productive multidisciplinary research program focused on evidence-based assessment of psychosocial risk in families of children newly diagnosed with cancer, family interventions to improve disease management, quality of life, and school functioning in pediatric hematology and oncology, identifying strategies to increase recruitment and retention in pediatric clinical trials, and health care disparities in pediatric oncology follow-up care and transition. Dr. Barakat is also an outstanding teacher and mentor, and she leads the Cancer Center's clinical psychology services, Drs. Balis and Maris noted.

The mission of the Section on Behavioral Oncology of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research is to apply behavioral translational research to improve outcomes in pediatric cancer across the continuum of care with an emphasis on neurodevelopmental and psychosocial processes of risk and resilience. Under Dr. Barakat's leadership the section will continue to be highly productive in the clinical and research arenas and will continue to train the next generation of leaders in the field, Drs. Balis and Maris said.