Posted on Jan 14, 2019

Cancer Research Nurse Named to Prestigious Professorship

Cancer Research Nurse Named to Prestigious Professorship

The University of South Florida’s College of Nursing has named Cecile Lengacher, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAPOS, to the Lyall and Beatrice Thompson Nursing Professorship in Oncology.

This professorship was established in 1999 through a grant from the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Century Foundation, Inc., in recognition of Mrs. Thompson’s generous support of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Century Foundation, and nursing care in the Sarasota community.

In accordance with the original agreement, the “endowed professorship shall be responsible for establishing a ‘state of the art’ clinical nursing care model to provide an environment that enhances quality of life care for persons with cancer and develop a research program that demonstrates improvement in the quality of care for these affected individuals.” Clearly, Dr. Lengacher’s passion and expertise make her the perfect person to fulfill the grant’s purpose.

Dr. Lengacher has been an esteemed member of the USF College of Nursing faculty since 1998. Currently, she is a professor and the director of the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Program. For the past 21 years, she has also served as a faculty member in the Moffitt Cancer Center Outcomes and Behavioral Program in the Population Sciences Division, Integrative Medicine, and Breast Cancer Clinical Programs.

Dr. Lengacher is an internationally recognized nurse scientist, with expertise in bio-behavioral clinical trial intervention research including psycho-oncology, psychoneuroimmunology, and complementary alternative medicine (CAM), emphasizing the link between physiological, cognitive and psychological outcomes among cancer survivors and caregivers. As a result of her research, Dr. Lengacher has transformed models of care for delivery of mindfulness-based stress reduction, providing scientific evidence for improvement of symptoms and biological effects of this non-pharmacological treatment for patients and caregivers.

Through her extensive and sustained funding—from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Oncology Nursing Society, project and pilot work totaling more than $7 million—Dr. Lengacher demonstrates significant contributions to advancing science in oncology. She has disseminated her work through more than 146 peer-reviewed papers (abstracts, book chapters, books, and publications) in leading nursing and interdisciplinary journals. She has also made significant contributions to the science of bio-behavioral research and psychosocial oncology and symptom science by presenting her research findings at more than 200 national and international scientific meetings. 

Based on her national prominence and her contributions to psycho-oncology, she has earned recognition as a Fellow of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS), a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and appointment to several national and international grant review panels. At USF, her research has been recognized with the Established Researcher Award, College of Nursing Dissertation Mentor Award and the USF Outstanding Research Achievement Award.

Through her work, Dr. Lengacher is influencing and preparing the next generation of nurse researchers in translational science while also establishing methods for precision medicine.