About Cancer Survivorship Research: History
The Office of Cancer Survivorship was established in July of 1996 by the National Cancer Institute in recognition of the large number of individuals now surviving cancer for long periods of time and their unique and poorly understood needs.
From July 1996 through July 1999, Dr. Anna T. Meadows, an internationally recognized pediatric oncologist and pioneer in the field of childhood cancer survivors was appointed to direct the OCS. Dr. Meadows was appointed through an interagency personnel agreement on a part-time basis, and continued to hold appointments at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Dr. Julia H. Rowland assumed the position as full-time Director of the OCS in September 1999. Dr. Rowland has been actively involved in research, teaching and program development in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer for more than three decades. Immediately prior to her appointment at the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Rowland developed and led the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She served for nine years as Co-Director of this program and as Director of Psycho-Oncology Research in Georgetown University's Department of Psychiatry and the Lombardi Cancer Center.
Dr. Catherine M. Alfano was named the first Deputy Director of the OCS in March 2012. Her work in the survivorship field has focused on transdisciplinary approaches to cancer rehabilitation and survivorship. Her research aims to promote exercise and healthy body weight in cancer survivors; develop and test interventions that prevent or ameliorate the chronic and late effects of cancer and treatment; and determine the biobehavioral pathways driving chronic and late effects of cancer and prognosis, including identifying the mechanisms through which exercise, fitness, and healthy weight may influence these outcomes. Dr. Alfano joined the OCS in 2008 as a Program Director after being a faculty member at The Ohio State University with appointments in the College of Public Health, Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.