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Pamela L. Wolters, Ph.D.

Portait Photo of Pamela Wolters
Pediatric Oncology Branch
Head, Neurobehavioral Program
Staff Scientist
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 82, Room 109
Bethesda, MD 20892


Pam Wolters, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and staff scientist in the Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is co-director of the Behavioral Sciences Core and head of the Neurobehavioral Program.

Dr. Wolters background includes a Ph.D. in School Psychology, internship in clinical child and pediatric psychology, post-doctoral fellowship in adolescent medicine, and post-doctoral training in neuropsychological research. Dr. Wolters has over 25 years experience in the developmental, cognitive, and psychological assessment of infants through adults, and she has specific expertise in working with pediatric populations with severe developmental disabilities and chronic medical conditions. She has been a licensed psychologist in the state of Maryland since 1994.

For her entire career, Dr. Wolters has worked at the NCI conducting neurobehavioral research primarily with children, adolescents, and adults with chronic illnesses, such as cancer, HIV infection, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), and sickle cell disease. Previously, she worked on all six of the competitive NCI neuropsychology contracts and served as the Principal Investigator of these contracts for 10 years during which she was responsible for the scientific execution of the research program. She joined the POB in 2009 to lead the further development of collaborative neurobehavioral research and psychological services within the branch. Due to her expertise in research with pediatric medical conditions, Dr. Wolters is an invited peer reviewer for several respected scientific journals and various HIV and oncology grants, and she served as a consultant to develop the pediatric outcome measures for an international clinical trial. Furthermore, Dr. Wolters is an active participant in the NF Consortium on the Neurocognitive and QOL committees. Her specific research interests include the longitudinal effects of disease and treatment on the CNS, relationship between psychological and biological factors, development of novel assessment tools and pediatric outcome measures, and assessment of quality of life in children with chronic medical conditions.


The Neurobehavioral Program of the Behavioral Sciences Core is committed to providing three main services to the intramural research community:

1) Conducting collaborative research to characterize the neurobehavioral effects of cancer and related chronic illnesses, investigate the pathogenesis of CNS dysfunction, and examine other factors that impact functioning using longitudinal evaluations and novel assessment methods

2) Offering comprehensive clinical care to patients including longitudinal assessments of their functioning, interventions to improve coping with their illness and treatment, and consultations to help implement appropriate psychological and educational services

3) Providing excellent training of the next generation of psychologists based on the scientist-practitioner model integrating research and clinical practice

In conducting collaborative research in support of the NCI and NIH investigators, Dr. Wolters and the Neurobehavioral Team have four main scientific research aims:

1) To characterize the effects of the disease and treatment on neurobehavioral functioning and QOL using comprehensive state-of-the-art longitudinal assessments

2) To explore relations between neurobehavioral function, disease parameters, neuroimaging abnormalities, and other factors to better understand the pathogenesis of CNS dysfunction

3) To develop novel assessment tools and batteries to assess disease-related effects or behavioral factors that can be used as reliable and valid outcome measures

4) To develop and evaluate the efficacy of new interventions and established tools used in a novel way aimed at ameliorating the effects of illness and associated treatments

This page was last updated on 3/5/2013.