Faculty Educator of the Month: September 2011

Dr. Karen M. Basen-Engquist

Karen M. Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science; Director of the Patient Reported Outcomes, Survey, and Population Research (PROSPR) Shared Resource; and Adjunct Professor in the Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health (UTSPH) and in the Department of Kinesiology at Rice University, has been named the September 2011 Faculty Educator of the Month.

Dr. Basen-EnquistDr. Basen-Engquist’s educational experience throughout her career has been quite diverse. For example, she is currently a guest lecturer for courses related to cancer prevention at the UTSPH and The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS). In addition, she has been a guest lecturer for other courses at these institutions as well as in the MD Anderson Oncology Fellows Training Course and the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Kinesiology at Rice University.

Furthermore, Dr. Basen-Engquist has had a great deal of experience in supervising trainees in the Texas Medical Center. Specifically, she has directly supervised 25 graduate students, 6 postdoctoral research fellows, and 5 undergraduate and Allied Health students. Also, Dr. Basen-Engquist has chaired 5 supervisory committees and served on 12 others, been an academic advisor for 4 advisory committees and served on 5 others, and served on 2 supervisory committees.

Dr. Basen-Engquist has been recognized for her work with trainees at MD Anderson by being named Leading Mentor in Cancer Prevention (2010-2011) and nominated for the Robert M. Chamberlain Distinguished Mentor Award (2006 and 2007). Also, she has been a member of the MD Anderson Faculty Leadership Academy (2005-2006).

Dr. Basen-Engquist received her Ph.D. degree in Community Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1989. She then came to Houston, where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development at the UTSPH in 1990. During her fellowship, she also received an M.P.H. degree in Health Promotion/Health Education from the UTSPH.

After her fellowship, Dr. Basen-Engquist joined the UTSPH faculty in 1990 as a Faculty Associate in the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development. A year later, she was named Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at the UTSPH. She was promoted to Adjunct Associate Professor in 2001 and Adjunct Professor in 2008. Also, she was named Adjunct Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Rice University in 2010.

Dr. Basen-Engquist came to MD Anderson in 1996 when she was named an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001 and Professor in 2007.

As Director of the PROSPR Shared Resource, a position she has held since 2003, Dr. Basen-Engquist oversees the provision of technical assistance and support to MD Anderson researchers performing clinical, behavioral, and survivorship research using participant-reported outcomes. PROSPR is one of the institution’s Cancer Center Support Grant Resources.

Over the past 5 years, Dr. Basen-Engquist has been the principal investigator, a co-investigator, a mentor, or a co-mentor for 27 funded research projects. Her areas of research in these projects have included health behavior interventions, improving physical functioning and quality of life, and reducing chronic disease risk in cancer survivors. Furthermore, she has studied behavioral change interventions and real-time symptom and behavior assessment in both patients with and survivors of cancer. In addition to her funded research activities, Dr. Basen-Engquist has been a reviewer for several grant agencies.

Besides her research, administrative, and educational duties, Dr. Basen-Engquist chairs the Survivorship Research Advisory Working Group, which is leading the organization of a survivorship research center. Part of their effort involves providing seed money funding to survivorship researchers and organizing meetings and symposia related to survivorship.

Dr. Basen-Engquist is currently an editorial board member for the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Over the span of her career, she has authored 90 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 8 invited articles, 12 book chapters, 15 editorials, and numerous abstracts.