Faculty Educator of the Month: July 2011

Dr. Leslie R. Schover

Leslie R. Schover, Fellowship Program Director and Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science, has been named the July 2011 Faculty Educator of the Month.

Dr. Schover is internationally recognized for her expertise in reproductive health and cancer, including both sexual function and fertility issues. Her work has helped educate thousands of patients with cancer as well as a generation of oncology professionals.

A very significant part of Dr. Schover’s educational accomplishments has come in the area of patient education. In particular, she authored the original American Cancer Society booklets on sexuality and cancer as well as sexuality and fertility publications for Livestrong. She also authored a self-help book for patients on sexuality and fertility after cancer in 1997. Dr. Schover also has worked with patient educators at MD Anderson to produce written and video materials on sexual function and cancer. She is currently developing and testing multimedia patient and professional education and counseling interventions regarding male and female sexuality and fertility funded by three small business grants she received from the National Cancer Institute.

Since 2006, Dr. Schover has played a key role in the Department of Behavioral Science as its Fellowship Program Director. Specifically, she has helped create a formalized fellowship program that includes training in not only research but also evidence-based clinical interventions. Additionally, she has been a member of the core faculty for the Kellogg Health Scholars Center for Research on Minority Health/Health Disparities, Education, Awareness, Research and Training Consortium at MD Anderson since 2005.

Dr. Schover also has worked with trainees directly and via committee participation over the past decade. Specifically, she has been a research mentor for five students and directly supervised four postdoctoral research fellows. Furthermore, she helped create online video presentations on sexuality and cancer and on fertility and cancer for MD Anderson’s cancer survivorship program for community physicians.

Dr. Schover’s professional education efforts have extended beyond MD Anderson. She has organized and taught three postgraduate courses for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as well as a workshop for the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. In addition, she was the Dukoff Invited Professor of Psychiatry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2005. Dr. Schover has twice served as a plenary speaker for the American Urological Association and in 2010 received a Medal of Honor from the French Society of Oncologic Radiotherapy.

In 2004, Dr. Schover was funded by the National Institutes of Health to organize a 3-day interdisciplinary course entitled Parenthood After Cancer: Today’s Options and Tomorrow’s Hopes. The proceedings were published in 2005 as a monograph of the National Cancer Institute. In 2010, she chaired the first symposium on sexuality and cancer at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting and was invited to return this year for an “Ask the Expert” session. She also gave the keynote talk for the 2010 meeting of the Oncofertility Consortium in Chicago. Furthermore, she has presented workshops for faculty and staff at cancer centers in Australia, France, Portugal, and Norway.

Dr. Schover received her Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1979. She then moved on to Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY, where she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Sex Therapy and Research for 2 years.

In 1981, Dr. Schover came to Houston when she was named an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. She first came to MD Anderson in 1982 when she was named an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology and Assistant Clinical Psychologist. After serving in those positions for 4 years, Dr. Schover went to the Cleveland Clinic, where she was a Staff Psychologist in the Department of Urology with a dual appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and a joint appointment in the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center. After 13 years at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Schover returned to MD Anderson as an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science. She was promoted to Professor in 2003.

Including the grants described above, Dr. Schover has been the principal investigator, a co-investigator, a mentor, or a committee member for 19 funded research projects or protocols. Also, on 13 occasions, she has been a grant reviewer or served on a grant study section.

Dr. Schover has been an associate editor or guest editor for three journals and an editorial board member or reviewer for several others. She has authored more than 70 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 22 invited articles, 8 editorials, 31 book chapters, and 4 books. In 2007, she was recognized for her reviewing contributions when the journal Annals of Internal Medicine named her one of their Outstanding Reviewers.