• Mary Cooley, PhD, CRNP, FAAN

    Mary Cooley, PhD, CRNP, FAAN
    Nurse Scientist

    Phone: 617-632-4653
    Email: mary_cooley@dfci.harvard.edu


    Research Department

    Phyllis F. Cantor Center

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215


    The focus of my work is symptom management and quality of life in adults with cancer. I started working as a research scientist in The Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services in December 2002 and continue to move forward my program of research in symptom management and quality of life in adults with cancer.

    I began doctoral study at University of Pennsylvania and was awarded an institutional pre-doctoral fellowship through the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and doctoral scholarships from the American Cancer Society and the Oncology Nursing Foundation. I then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychosocial oncology at University of Pennsylvania sponsored by the NIH. I conducted a secondary analysis to examine symptom prevalence, distress, and change over time in adults receiving treatment for lung cancer. Results from this study found that fatigue and pain were the most distressing symptoms for each group and at each time. Significant differences in distressing symptoms among the treatment groups were noted. Many of the individual symptoms were associated with demographic and treatment group values but no consistent pattern emerged over time except for baseline symptom distress. Symptom distress at entry to the study was a strong predictor of nine distressing symptoms at three months and seven distressing symptoms at six months. Subsequently, I received funding through the American Cancer Society for a study examining the use of health status questionnaires as predictors of unscheduled health care visits in ambulatory oncology. During this time, I also participated in the development of a state cancer control plan for Connecticut and as a result became interested in smoking cessation interventions. After completing the post-doctoral fellowship, I joined a multidisciplinary research team in the Smoking Cessation Research Program. While at the Smoking Cessation Research Program, I was selected to attend the 2002 Summer Institute for Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions sponsored by the NIH. Most recently, I was chosen as the recipient of the Oncology Nursing Society New Investigator Award.


    Education and Training
    University of Pennsylvania (PhD)
    University of Pennsylvania (Post Doctoral Fellowship)


    • Fellow, The American Academy of Nursing, 2012