Our Team


Program Director Dr. Linda E. Carlson

Dr. Linda E. Carlson

Dr. Linda Carlson

  • Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology
  • Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Health Scholar
  • Fellow in the Society of Behavioural Medicine
  • Professor Department of Oncology
    Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Psychology
    University of Calgary
  • Clinical Psychologist
    Tom Baker Cancer Centre

Dr. Linda Carlson holds the Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology, is an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Health Scholar, and Full Professor in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She is Director of Research and works as a Clinical Psychologist at the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Dr. Carlson trained as a Clinical Health Psychologist at McGill University in Montreal, researching the area of psychoneuroendocrinology. She worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, sponsored by a Terry Fox Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the National Cancer Institute of Canada/Canadian Cancer Society and subsequently received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator award from 2002-2007. Dr. Carlson received the Kawano New Investigator Award from the International Psycho-Oncology Society in 2006; the William E. Rawls Prize in cancer control from the National Cancer Institute of Canada/Canadian Cancer Society in 2007; a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Psychological Association Health Section in 2009 and the Research Excellence award from the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology in 2010.

Dr. Carlson’s research in Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery has been published in many high-impact journals and book chapters, and she recently published a patient manual entitled: Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery: A step-by-step MBSR approach to help you cope with treatment and reclaim your life, in addition to a professional training manual published in 2009 with Shauna Shapiro entitled The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating mindfulness into psychology and the helping professions. She has published over 100 research papers and book chapters in the area of psycho-oncology, holds several millions of dollars in grant funding and regularly presents her work at international conferences.

Dr. Speca

Dr. Michael Speca

Dr. Michael SpecaDr. Michael Speca is Adjunct Associate Professor in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary and former Post-doctoral Fellow in Psychosocial Oncology at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. As a Clinical Psychologist at the Centre’s Department of Psychosocial Resources he counsels cancer patients and their families and facilitates a range of group support programs including the Centre’s very popular Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, inaugurated in 1995. His research and publications have examined the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for reducing distress and improving the quality of life of patients and their families.

While his great joy is sharing the practice of mindfulness and its fruits with patients day by day, he has presented at international professional conferences and written several book chapters on mindfulness and stress reduction in the context of illness. In 2011 he and Dr. Linda Carlson released a book written for patients: Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery: A Step-by-Step MBSR Approach to Help You Cope with Treatment and Reclaim Your Life published by New Harbinger Publications. In 2012 Michael received the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology’s Award for Clinical Excellence.


Dr. Culos-Reed

Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed

Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed

  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary
  • Researcher, Department of Psychosocial Resources, Tom Baker Cancer Centre
  • Ph.D., University of Waterloo
  • MSc, University of Oregon
  • BA, University of British Columbia
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, National Cancer Institute of Canada

Other info:

  • Director, Thrive Centre and Thrive Program, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary
  • Board Member, Cancer Chic, Calgary (Fall 2011 to present)
  • Alberta Centre for Active Living, Research Advisory Committee – 2011 –
  • Prostate Cancer Canada – Health Education Research Committee – 2012 (November) – 2014

Dr. Culos-Reed’s research focuses on quality of life and physical activity for cancer survivors (on or off treatment). The research employs a “clinic-to-community” model for the development of evidence-based sustainable wellness programming for cancer survivors. This research has resulted in the development of exercise programs, educational events and lectures for cancer survivors.  

To support our research and knowledge translation activities, we operate the Thrive Program and the Thrive Centre in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. The Thrive Program provides individualized and specific exercise assessment and program design, aiming to enhance survivor quality of life. The Thrive Centre provides a safe and supportive fitness facility for people affected by cancer. Various programs and open gym times supervised by trained personnel are offered for all individuals affected by cancer. In addition, specific funded programs for head/neck, breast, prostate and pediatric oncology are offered. The Thrive Centre runs on a student volunteer model, with over 130 undergraduate and graduate students trained and aiding in its operation.

For more information: Dr. Culos-Reed’s Health and Wellness Lab


Dr. Campbell

Dr. Tavis Campbell, Ph.D.

Dr. Tavis Campbell

  • Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Calgary
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Calgary
  • Chair, Health Psychology Section, Canadian Psychological Association
  • Chair, Adherence Subcommittee, Canadian Hypertension Education Prog.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duk University Medical Centre
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, PQ
  • B.A. (Honours), Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, PQ

Email: t.s.campbell@ucalgary.ca
Phone: 403-998-0706

Dr. Tavis Campbell is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Calgary. His research interests involve identifying and understanding the behavioral factors involved in the etiology of illnesses such as hypertension, cancer and insomnia. Further, Dr. Campbell’s program of research involves the evaluation of behavioral treatment for chronic illnesses and their symptoms including stress management, exercise and weight loss.
As a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Campbell treats patients in his private practice, which is focused on issues including insomnia, depression, anxiety and coping with chronic illnesses.
For more information on the work that Dr. Campbell does, please visit his website: http://psychology.ucalgary.ca/behmed/


Dr. Giese-Davis

Dr. Janine Giese-Davis

Dr. Janine Giese-DavisJanine Giese-Davis received her B.A. in English Literature and B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology, Division of Psychosocial Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is also affiliated with the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta. And she also holds an Adjunct Associate Professorship in the Department of Psychology, University of Calgary.

In Calgary, she leads the research effort on Cancer Survivorship on behalf of the provincial CancerBRIDGES team, an effort that is part of the Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology. The goal of this research program is to provide evidence-based clinical programs for cancer survivors throughout Alberta.

Her research has focused on mind/body interactions that affect psychological, physiological, and survival outcomes for people with cancer.

In her past research, She has specifically focused on women with breast cancer and particularly on emotion regulation and expression in group therapy and peer counseling interventions. Her research spans both basic and applied settings.

She created the Emotion Coding Lab–Stanford in 1996 in which we code emotional expression from videotape using the Specific Affect Coding System-Cancer (SPAFF for Breast Cancer), Specific Affect Coding-Text (SPAFF for Text), and facial coding using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS).

In addition, the lab created coding schemes for and coded types of Topic discussions in support groups, Narratives (types of stories) in support groups, and Face, Body, Voice, and Content in a study of self-conscious emotions in breast cancer recovery. We have coded behavior for a broad array of research and industry projects.

Over 230 students have completed internships in this coding lab, most of them have gone on to graduate or medical school.

Her studies have included brain wave (ERP) and autonomic psychophysiology, endocrine, immune, metabolic function, and sleep measures.

She has also emphasized the importance of community/research collaborations throughout her career, working with The Wellness Community–National; The Cancer Support Community, San Francisco, CA; WomenCARE, Santa Cruz, CA; and the Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory-Stanford.

Her work includes mentoring undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.

She is currently re-establishing her lab, The Emotion Coding Lab–Calgary.

She has also launched a small business venture, iEMPATH, LLC, located in Palo Alto, CA, USA, iempath.com.


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