Laura Dunn, MD

Laura Dunn, MD

Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Director, Psycho-Oncology, UCSF
Gloria Hubner Endowed Chair in Psycho-Oncology, UCSF

Phone: Psycho-Oncology Services: (415) 353-7019
Academic Office: Box 0984-F, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0984

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Cancer Center Membership

Associate Member » Breast Oncology» Prostate Cancer


Harvard College, AB, 1988, Linguistics, magna cum laude
University of California, San Francisco, MD, 1997, Medicine
University of California, San Diego, 1997-2001, Internship and Residency in Psychiatry
University of California, San Diego, 2001-2002, Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry

Professional Experience

  • 2002-07
    Assistant Professor in Residence, UCSD Department of Psychiatry
  • 2002-06
    Associate Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program, UCSD Department of Psychiatry
  • 2005-07
    Assistant Director, John A. Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry, UCSD Department of Psychiatry
  • 2006-07
    Associate Director, Psychiatry Residency Training Program, UCSD Department of Psychiatry
  • 2006-07
    Director, VA Special Fellowship in Advanced Psychiatry, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network, San Diego
  • 2007-2013
    Associate Professor in Residence, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry
  • 2007-
    Director of Psycho-Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry
  • 2011-
    Ethics Director, UCSF School of Medicine
  • 2013-
    Professor in Residence, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry

Honors & Awards

  • 1988
    Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard College
  • 1999
    NIMH Outstanding Resident Award
  • 1999-01
    American College of Psychiatrists PRITE Fellowship
  • 1999-01
    American Psychiatric Association/GlaxoWellcome Fellowship
  • 2001
    Judd Resident Research Award, UCSD Department of Psychiatry
  • 2001
    NCDEU New Investigator Awardee
  • 2001
    West Coast College of Biological Psychiatry Resident Travel Award
  • 2002
    Member-in-Training Award, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
  • 2004
    UCSD National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine
  • 2005-06
    Scholar, NIMH Sponsored Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health
  • 2007
    Award for Excellence in Research Mentorship, UCSD Department of Psychiatry

Selected Publications

  1. West C, Paul SM, Dunn L, Dhruva A, Merriman J, Miaskowski C. Gender Differences in Predictors of Quality of Life at the Initiation of Radiation Therapy. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2015 Sep 1; 42(5):507-16.
    View on PubMed
  2. Kestenbaum A, James J, Morgan S, Shields M, Hocker W, Rabow M, Dunn LB. "Taking your place at the table": an autoethnographic study of chaplains' participation on an interdisciplinary research team. BMC Palliat Care. 2015; 14:20.
    View on PubMed
  3. Powell RA, Emanuel L, Handzo G, Lantos J, Dunn LB, Idler EL, Wilkie DJ, Massey K, Summerfelt WT, Barnes MJ, Quest TE, Kestenbaum A, Steinhauser K, Fitchett G, Zollfrank A, Olsen AK, Balboni TA, Sommer D. Transcending differences to study the transcendent: an exploratory study of researchers' and chaplains' reflections on interdisciplinary spiritual care research collaboration. BMC Palliat Care. 2015; 14:12.
    View on PubMed
  4. Lidz CW, Albert K, Appelbaum P, Dunn LB, Overton E, Pivovarova E. Why is therapeutic misconception so prevalent? Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2015 Apr; 24(2):231-41.
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  5. Langford DJ, Paul SM, West CM, Dunn LB, Levine JD, Kober KM, Dodd MJ, Miaskowski C, Aouizerat BE. Variations in potassium channel genes are associated with distinct trajectories of persistent breast pain after breast cancer surgery. Pain. 2015 Mar; 156(3):371-80.
    View on PubMed
  6. Luker K, Cooke M, Dunn L, Lloyd-Williams M, Pilling M, Todd C. Development and evaluation of an intervention to support family caregivers of people with cancer to provide home-based care at the end of life: A feasibility study. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2015 Apr; 19(2):154-61.
    View on PubMed
  7. Miaskowski C, Dunn L, Ritchie C, Paul SM, Cooper B, Aouizerat BE, Alexander K, Skerman H, Yates P. Latent Class Analysis Reveals Distinct Subgroups of Patients Based on Symptom Occurrence and Demographic and Clinical Characteristics. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Jul; 50(1):28-37.
    View on PubMed
  8. Yates P, Miaskowski C, Cataldo JK, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Alexander K, Aouizerat B, Dunn L, Ritchie C, McCarthy A, Skerman H. Differences in Composition of Symptom Clusters Between Older and Younger Oncology Patients. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Jun; 49(6):1025-34.
    View on PubMed
  9. Dunn LB, Langford DJ, Paul SM, Berman MB, Shumay DM, Kober K, Merriman JD, West C, Neuhaus JM, Miaskowski C. Trajectories of fear of recurrence in women with breast cancer. Support Care Cancer. 2015 Jul; 23(7):2033-43.
    View on PubMed
  10. Langford DJ, Schmidt B, Levine JD, Abrams G, Elboim C, Esserman L, Hamolsky D, Mastick J, Paul SM, Cooper B, Kober K, Dodd M, Dunn L, Aouizerat B, Miaskowski C. Preoperative Breast Pain Predicts Persistent Breast Pain and Disability After Breast Cancer Surgery. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Jun; 49(6):981-94.
    View on PubMed
  11. Merriman JD, Aouizerat BE, Cataldo JK, Dunn LB, Kober K, Langford DJ, West C, Cooper BA, Paul SM, Miaskowski C. Associations between catecholaminergic, GABAergic, and serotonergic genes and self-reported attentional function in oncology patients and their family caregivers. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2015 Jun; 19(3):251-9.
    View on PubMed
  12. Kyranou M, Puntillo K, Dunn LB, Aouizerat BE, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Neuhaus J, West C, Dodd M, Miaskowski C. Predictors of initial levels and trajectories of anxiety in women before and for 6 months after breast cancer surgery. Cancer Nurs. 2014 Nov-Dec; 37(6):406-17.
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  13. Doong SH, Dhruva A, Dunn LB, West C, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Elboim C, Abrams G, Merriman JD, Langford DJ, Leutwyler H, Baggott C, Kober K, Aouizerat BE, Miaskowski C. Associations between cytokine genes and a symptom cluster of pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depression in patients prior to breast cancer surgery. Biol Res Nurs. 2015 May; 17(3):237-47.
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  14. Miaskowski C, Cataldo JK, Baggott CR, West C, Dunn LB, Dhruva A, Merriman JD, Langford DJ, Kober KM, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Aouizerat BE. Cytokine gene variations associated with trait and state anxiety in oncology patients and their family caregivers. Support Care Cancer. 2015 Apr; 23(4):953-65.
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  15. Bell E, Racine E, Chiasson P, Dufourcq-Brana M, Dunn LB, Fins JJ, Ford PJ, Glannon W, Lipsman N, Macdonald ME, Mathews DJ, McAndrews MP. Beyond consent in research. Revisiting vulnerability in deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disorders. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2014 Jul; 23(3):361-8.
    View on PubMed
  16. Dhruva A, Aouizerat BE, Cooper B, Paul SM, Dodd M, West C, Wara W, Lee K, Dunn LB, Langford DJ, Merriman JD, Baggott C, Cataldo J, Ritchie C, Kober KM, Leutwyler H, Miaskowski C. Cytokine gene associations with self-report ratings of morning and evening fatigue in oncology patients and their family caregivers. Biol Res Nurs. 2015 Mar; 17(2):175-84.
    View on PubMed
  17. Miaskowski C, Cooper BA, Melisko M, Chen LM, Mastick J, West C, Paul SM, Dunn LB, Schmidt BL, Hammer M, Cartwright F, Wright F, Langford DJ, Lee K, Aouizerat BE. Disease and treatment characteristics do not predict symptom occurrence profiles in oncology outpatients receiving chemotherapy. Cancer. 2014 Aug 1; 120(15):2371-8.
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  18. Huang AX, Delucchi K, Dunn LB, Nelson JC. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Psychotherapy for Late-Life Depression. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 Mar; 23(3):261-73.
    View on PubMed
  19. Saad S, Dunn LB, Koetters T, Dhruva A, Langford DJ, Merriman JD, West C, Paul SM, Cooper B, Cataldo J, Hamolsky D, Elboim C, Aouizerat BE, Miaskowski C. Cytokine gene variations associated with subsyndromal depressive symptoms in patients with breast cancer. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2014 Aug; 18(4):397-404.
    View on PubMed
  20. Shields M, Kestenbaum A, Dunn LB. Spiritual AIM and the work of the chaplain: A model for assessing spiritual needs and outcomes in relationship. Palliat Support Care. 2015 Feb; 13(1):75-89.
    View on PubMed

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