Lori Wiener, Ph.D., DCSW, LCSW-C

Lori Weiner, Ph.D., DCSW, LCSW-C
Senior Associate Scientist
Co-Director, Behavioral Health Core
Head, Psychosocial Support and Research Program
Social Worker

Lori Wiener, Ph.D., is co-director of the Behavioral Health Core and head of the Psychosocial Support and Research Program. As both a clinician and behavioral scientist, Dr. Wiener has dedicated her career to the fields of oncology and pediatric HIV/AIDS.

Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Professionals
Visit the Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Professionals website, which was developed to foster international collaborations in clinical care, research, and education in this field.

Areas of Expertise

1) pediatric cancer, 2) pediatric HIV/AIDS, 3) psychosocial oncoloogy, 4) psychosocial studies, 5) therapeutic resources, 6) support

Contact Info

Lori Wiener, Ph.D., DCSW, LCSW-C
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10 - Hatfield CRC, Room 1C247B-4
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 301-451-9148

Psychosocial Support and Research Program

Dr. Wiener’s early research focused on critical clinical issues that had not previously been studied in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) field, including parental needs and coping, father's experiences, sibling issues, diagnosis disclosure, and loss and bereavement. In the past several years, her research within pediatric oncology has focused on distress screening, lone parenting, transnational parenting, couples dyadic coping, emotional consequences of medically required isolation, sibling donor experiences, and end-of-life planning. She holds a special interest in understanding the psychosocial experiences and needs of youth living with rare diseases, including graft-versus host disease (GVHD), gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and medullary thyroid carcinoma.

The current Psychosocial Support and Research Program carries out research both in support of NCI and NIH investigators and to further the field of pediatric psycho-oncology.  Several multi-institutional protocols have been designed to address and evaluate pediatric psychosocial therapeutic tools and interventions; several are actively accruing participants.

In addition to Dr. Wiener's NCI studies, she also directs several studies that are sponsored by the NIH Office of Human Subjects Research (OHSR) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Social and Behavioral Sciences
View Dr. Wiener's PubMed Summary.

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Wiener, L., Devine, K.A., Thompson, A.L.
    Current Opinion in Pediatrics . 32: 41-47, 2020. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Battles H, Bedoya SZ, Pao M, Mullins LL, Wiener L
    Psychooncology. 27(12): 2869-2872, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Shain, L.M., Pao, M., Bedoya, S.Z., Horowitz, L.M., Wiener, L.
    J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 27: 173-181, 2020. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Wiener L, Kazak AE, Noll RB, Patenaude AF, Kupst MJ.
    Pediatr Blood Cancer. [Epub ahead of print - Sep. 23], 2015. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Steineck, A., Wiener, L., Mack, J., Shah, N., Summers, C., Rosenberg, A.
    Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 67: 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Lori Wiener, Ph.D. is co-director of the Behavioral Health Core and head of the Psychosocial Support and Research Program. As both a clinician and behavioral scientist, Dr. Wiener has dedicated her career to the fields of oncology and pediatric HIV/AIDS. Dr. Wiener received her Ph.D. in social work from New York University in 1988. She joined NIH in 1986 and then NCI's Pediatric Oncology Branch in 2006 where she developed a robust clinical and research program. Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Wiener worked with adults undergoing treatment for cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and as a pioneer in the early AIDS epidemic, running the first support groups with persons living with what was then referred to as gay related immune disease (GRID) and AIDS related complex (ARC).

Dr. Wiener has dedicated a substantial part of her career to applying knowledge from her clinical experience and psychosocial studies to create innovative resources such as therapeutic workbooks for children with cancer, their siblings, bone marrow donors and children living with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1); therapeutic games for medically challenged children, siblings and children whose parents have cancer (ShopTalk); and an advance care planning guide for adolescents and young adults (Voicing My CHOiCES). Each of these resources are distributed worldwide and are widely utilized in pediatric centers. The Psychosocial Support and Research Program also developed and hosts the Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Professionals website.

Dr. Wiener was one of the Founders of The Children’s Inn at NIH. She is the federal liaison for the Board of Trustees of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society where she chairs the Pediatric Special Interest Group (SIG) and the American Psychosocial Oncology Social Workers where she chairs the Research and Publication Committee. Dr. Wiener has was selected as a 2019 NYU Alumni Changemaker for “Visionaries who have leveraged creativity and entrepreneurial spirit for greater good”; with an NIH Director’s Award for Clinical Care and an NCI Director’s Award for “Scientific and medical excellence and the outstanding, compassionate care for patients and those who love them”. She has been given the distinction of Fellow at the American Psychological Association in recognition of Outstanding and Unusual Contributions to the Science and Profession of Psychology and at the American Psychosocial Oncology Society in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions in Psycho-Oncology.  Dr. Wiener has been a part of the leadership team that has developed the first evidence-based psychosocial standards of care for children with cancer and their family members.

Dr. Wiener has published widely in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has co-written many book chapters. She is the lead editor on the 1st and 2nd editions of the Quick Reference Book for Pediatric Oncology Clinicians: The Psychiatric and Psychological Dimensions of Pediatric Cancer Symptom Management and is co-editor of Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology: Textbook for Multi-disciplinary Care. Dr. Wiener has been invited to speak about her research with children, adolescents and young adults living with cancer and their families at both national and international conferences, and enjoys being a mentor to many early career professionals worldwide.

Position Degree Required Contact Name E-mail Address
Staff Scientist - Psychosocial Support and Research Program Ph.D. or equivalent Dr. Lori Wiener wienerl@mail.nih.gov
Name Position
Haven Brill Battles Ph.D. Clinical Support Assistant (Contr.)
Abigail Fry Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Robin Lockridge Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist (Contr.)
Brian Pennarola M.D. Clinical Fellow
Sima Zadeh Bedoya, PsyD Clinical Psychologist


Pediatric Oncology Branch: Psychosocial Support & Research Program Resources - This page provides a number of educational and therapeutic materials to help the children we serve learn about their condition and cope with the challenges they might face as a result of their illness.