You are using an unsupported browser. Please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge.
The one hundred honoree: Elyse R. Park, PhD, MPH

Innovation Story

The one hundred honoree: Elyse R. Park, PhD, MPH

Mass General Giving

In the never-ending battle against tobacco, Elyse Park, PhD, MPH, has played a pivotal role in developing and implementing smoking cessation treatments for people with cancer.

As an associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a senior scientist at the Mongan Institute Health Policy Center at Mass General, Dr. Park is intently focused on providing a patient-driven approach to tobacco cessation. Knowing the mix of emotions, confusion and distress experienced by cancer patients who are smoking while undergoing treatment, she is driven to search for solutions that can help address this complex issue that is often lacking in attention and resources.

Holding clinical research leadership roles in Mass General’s Department of Medicine Tobacco Research & Treatment Center, the Cancer Center’s Survivorship Program, and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Dr. Park’s clinical research has been widely recognized and supported through awards from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society, the Livestrong Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Recently, she received funding from the NCI to conduct a randomized effectiveness trial to determine the best tobacco treatment for cancer patients, and an award to mentor clinical researchers. As a national leader in qualitative research, she has guided many researchers to ask in-depth questions and to continually generate new ideas. As a clinician, she specializes in issues salient to cancer patients following active treatment completion.

In addition, Dr. Park is tremendously respected and admired as a mentor to many who have felt privileged to work alongside her. Mass General psychiatrist Kelly Irwin, MD, calls her a “gifted, kind and effective research mentor who has inspired me and many other cancer outcomes researchers to ask new questions that matter to patients and families.” Psychologist Giselle Perez, PhD, adds, “I can wholeheartedly say that she is among the most dedicated, influential and committed mentors and clinical researchers I have worked with throughout my professional career.”