June Featured CHOP Postdoc

The June Featured CHOP Postdoc is Alexandra Psihogios, PhD. Alexandra, Alex for short, is originally from Damascus, Maryland, and she received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Currently, Alex works under the mentorships of Lamia Barakat, PhD, and Lisa Schwartz, PhD.

At CHOP, Alex's research focuses on medical adherence among adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant from the American Cancer Society to conduct a mixed methods study of AYA adherence to multi-faceted cancer treatments, such as adherence to medications and physical activity (recruitment ongoing, n = 51). As part of this research, she will also determine the components of family functioning that promote or impede adherence. Preliminary findings show that physical symptoms (e.g., pain, fatigue) and less parental involvement in the medical regimen are common barriers to adherence. In addition, she is co-leading a quality improvement project that evaluates documentation of AYA nonadherence to cancer treatments in the electronic health record. Results from this project will inform clinical strategies for optimizing routine assessment and documentation of nonadherence. With her research mentors, Dr. Lamia Barakat and Dr. Lisa Schwartz, she has also contributed to several other observational and interventional studies designed to promote the health and well being of AYA with cancer and survivors of childhood cancer.

Alex aspires to become an independent investigator in childhood cancer with expertise in AYA medical adherence. Her ultimate goal is to establish a program of research that employs personalized, mobile health interventions to promote AYA adherence and improve health outcomes. She is eager to contribute to clinical service and teaching in these areas.

Alex's biggest accomplishment at CHOP so far is receiving a three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant from the American Cancer Society and the NIH/NCI Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Award. Her biggest personal accomplishment is finishing the Philadelphia marathon in 2017!

To relax and relieve stress, Alex listens to records, goes for a run, spends time with her husband and pets, and cares for her ever-growing collection of house plants! The last book she read was And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O'Connell. Alex's favorite song right now is Heroes by David Bowie, which has remained her favorite song for many years. Her favorite TV show is Parks and Recreation. If there was any place in the world she could go, Alex would travel to Alaska to go whale-watching.

When asked why Alex would like to connect or collaborate with other CHOP postdocs, she replied:

"I would like to connect or collaborate with other CHOP postdocs in an effort to share and showcase our important research to the CHOP community and public, as well as develop innovative, high-quality, multi-disciplinary strategies for tackling some of the most complex behavioral health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults."