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Pamela L. Wolters, Ph.D.

Portait Photo of Pamela Wolters
Pediatric Oncology Branch
Head, Neurobehavioral Program
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 NCI, is co-director of the Behavioral Health Core and head of the Health Psychology and Behavioral Research Program.

Dr. Wolters background includes a Ph.D. in school psychology, an internship in clinical child and pediatric psychology, a postdoctoral fellowship in adolescent medicine, and postdoctoral 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 psychological 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. In 2009, she joined the NCI intramural research program to lead the further development of collaborative neurobehavioral research and psychological services within the POB. Currently, Dr. Wolters is an active participant in the DOD NF Consortium where she is the co-chair of the Quality of Life (QOL) Committee and leads the assessment of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) on several multi-center studies. Furthermore, Dr. Wolters is the head of the PRO Working Group of the Response Evaluation in Neurofibromatosis and Schwannomatosis (REiNS) International Collaboration and an active member of the Neurocognitive Working Group, which are charged with identifying appropriate PROs and cognitive assessment tools for use in NF clinical trials. Based on her areas of expertise and collaborative research, Dr. Wolters has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, presented at national and international conferences, and been an invited peer reviewer for several respected scientific journals and various grants mechanisms.


The Psychology Team conducts collaborative research in support of NCI and NIH investigators, with four main scientific research aims:

1) To characterize the effects of the disease and treatment on neurobehavioral functioning and quality of life (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

Dr. Wolters' specific research interests include the longitudinal effects of disease and treatment on the central nervous system (CNS), relationship between psychological and biological factors, development of novel assessment tools and pediatric outcome measures, assessment of quality of life (QOL) and pain in children with chronic medical conditions on clinical trials, and development and evaluation of novel interventions to remediate or prevent the cognitive effects of disease and treatment. She has received grants from outside foundations to fund several of the research projects she leads, including the use of a physical activity intervention to remediate the cognitive late effects of radiation in children treated for brain tumors, and the development and validation of pain measures for children and adults with NF1.

This page was last updated on 7/28/2014.