Lee G. Pedersen Distinguished Professor and Associate Department Chair, Psychology and Neuroscience
Area of Interest
Karen M. Gil, PhD, has research and clinical interests are in the area of coping with the pain and stress of medical illness. The goals of her research program are to develop more effective means to assess and treat pain and distress in individuals with diseases such as sickle cell disease, arthritis, pulmonary disease, and cancer. She has developed and tested the efficacy of several coping skills interventions that focus on the use of daily distraction, relaxation, imagery, positive self-talk and other cognitive-behavioral coping skills.
In the cancer area, she has clinical and research experience with children and adults coping with cancer-related treatments. Since 1998, she has been involved in an active collaboration with Drs. Merle Mishel and Barbara Germino in the UNC Nursing School on NCI-funded studies focusing on the management of uncertainty in breast cancer survivors. She serves as the faculty sponsor for a Kirschstein Individual National Research Service Award to Edward Morrill, graduate student in clinical psychology and a pre-doctoral fellow studying cancer survivorship and its psychosocial, cognitive, and neuropsychological correlates and interventions. Recently, she has begun a web-based daily diary study examining daily stress, positive mood, and benefit finding in cancer survivorship.
Awards and Honors
- Logan Wright Distinguished Research Award, 2003, American Psychological Association, Division 54, The Society of Pediatric Psychology
- Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology Award, 1996
- American Psychological Association, Division 38, Health Psychology