School of Health and Human Sciences

Karen M. Mustian, Ph.D., M.A., M.P.H.

Dean’s Distinguished Endowed Professor of Oncology and Surgery
Co-Director, Wilmot Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program
Co-Director and MPI of the University of Rochester Cancer Center NCORP Research Base
Director, Human Performance Clinical Research Laboratory
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Karen M. Mustian
Bio – Dr. Mustian is an energetic, passionate, world-traveling yogi, scuba diver, foodie and world-renowned scientist, who spends her life working to help good people through lousy times when they encounter cancer! Dr. Mustian is an international leader in the fields of Cancer Control and Survivorship, Behavioral Oncology, Exercise Oncology, Geriatric Oncology, and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Health. Her research is in the area of cancer control and survivorship with primary foci on investigating the influence of exercise (i.e., exercise, yoga, tai chi) on symptoms and side effects (acute, chronic and late) stemming from cancer and its treatments.

Dr. Mustian is a leader in conducting large, multi-center, phase III clinical trials testing exercise and behavioral interventions among cancer patients and survivors with over 19 years of experience at the University of Rochester Wilmot Cancer Institute. She is the PI for several local and nationwide randomized clinical trials funded by the NCI, NCCAM, OCCAM, NINR and DOD. To date, she has acquired over $80 million in research funding and authored over 150 articles and book chapters in the field of exercise and cancer control. Dr. Mustian has been recognized for her excellence in research and leadership with more than 43 awards nationally and globally.

Dr. Mustain is a new federally appointed member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors, and member of the NCI Symptom Management and Quality of Life Steering Committee and Cardiotoxicity Task Force. She has contributed to multiple national and international panels to establish clinical cancer treatment guidelines, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Fatigue Treatment Guidelines (Chair), the ASCO Evaluation & Management of Vulnerabilities in Older Patients Treatment Guidelines (member), the Integrative Medicine in Oncology Treatment Guidelines (member) and the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer International Cancer-Related Fatigue Treatment Guidelines Committee (Chair).

Fall 2021 Lecture: Exercise and Yoga as Adjuvant Therapy for Cancer: A Women’s Health Perspective

This event was hosted on October 14th, 2021 from 4:00-5:30pm in the EUC Auditorium
Watch the event!

Fall 2021 Clinical Trials Workshop: Tips and Strategies For Conceptualizing and Proposing Successful Clinical Trials Research Grants

This event was hosted on Friday, October 21st from 9:30 – 11:30 am in the Nursing and Instructional Building, Room 510. Watch this event! 


The development of innovative interventions are needed to respond directly to the needs of racially and sexually minoritized populations. In this application-based workshop, attendees will develop and refine interventions for responding to complex health and behavioral health problems. We will discuss techniques for successfully engaging and partnering with the community for culturally inclusive intervention development and refinement using the ORBIT Model (Obesity-Related Behavioral Intervention Trials). Attendees will engage in small group work sessions to apply content from the workshop to further build their research agendas and methodologies. Lastly, we will discuss funding mechanisms to support intervention development and refinement.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • To enhance methodological approaches for intervention development using the ORBIT Model.
  • To learn techniques for successful community-engaged research with diverse populations
  • To increase awareness of funding mechanisms to support research agendas.

This event was followed by the Women’s Networking Lunch.