This award, supported by CIHR – Institute of Cancer Research, honours a new investigator for outstanding contributions to research in the field of psychosocial oncology. Candidates must be within seven years of completing their postgraduate, fellowship or equivalent specialist training (defined as a PhD or MD or equivalent). Please note times of prolonged leave (e.g. medical leave, maternity leave, compassionate leave) should not be counted towards the seven years.
Recipients are distinguished by the level and quality of research output at this early career stage.
2023 Early Career Investigator Award Recipient:
Dr. Nicole Alberts
Dr. Nicole Alberts is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Behavioural Health Intervention in the Department of Psychology, Concordia University. Following her undergraduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Regina, she completed her pre-doctoral residency at the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. She also completed a one-year clinical and research fellowship in Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Washington.
In 2016, Dr. Alberts joined the Department of Psychology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, USA as an Assistant Member (clinician-scientist track) and Attending Psychologist. There she examined pain and psychosocial outcomes within pediatric oncology as well as the development of digital health interventions. In 2020, she joined the Department of Psychology, Concordia University.
Dr. Alberts has established herself as an expert in chronic pain and childhood cancer survivorship as well as in the development and testing of digital health interventions targeting pain and psychological outcomes among medical populations. She has been recognized through a variety of awards and honours including the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Career Development Award and the Editor’s Choice award in the journal PAIN for her topical review on chronic pain in survivors of childhood cancer, in which she proposed a developmental model of pain across the cancer trajectory. In 2020, Dr. Alberts was invited to speak to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Expert Committee on Childhood Cancers and Disability about the nature and impacts of chronic pain in childhood cancer and survivorship. To date, she has received 6 research grants as a principal investigator (e.g., Canadian Institutes of Health Research) and her scholarly work has resulted in 45 publications, 3 book chapters, 10 invited talks, and over 20 conference presentations.
Dr. Alberts’ program of research is aimed to improve behavioural health and psychological outcomes among individuals across the lifespan – with an emphasis on those diagnosed with childhood cancer. In doing so, she also seeks to better characterize pain among those completing childhood cancer treatment and surviving childhood cancer as well as to identify biopsychosocial risk factors for the development of pain in childhood cancer. She also leverages digital health approaches to answer key research questions and to develop and test innovative interventions targeting pain and psychological outcomes.