Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Hematology/Oncology

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photo Carissa A. Low, PhD

Assistant Professor

Division of Hematology/Oncology (primary)

Department of Psychology (secondary)

Biobehavioral Medicine in Oncology Program

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute


Phone: 412-623-5973

Office: 5115 Centre Avenue, Suite 140
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: 412-623-5973
Fax: 412-623-5980
Administrative Assistant:
Stacy Fitzsimmons
Address: 5115 Centre Avenue, Room G-17
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: 412-623-5973
Fax: 412-623-5980
Education and Training
BS, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2000
Ph.D., University of California - Los Angeles, 2008
Clinical Psychology Internship, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, PA, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2011
Research Interest
Dr. Low's research focuses on interactions between behavior, biology, and patient-centered outcomes in the context of cancer. She is particularly interested in the use of mobile and online technology to assess and target health behaviors, psychological stress, and symptoms during cancer treatment. Current projects include a prospective observational study examining biological (e.g., proinflammatory cytokines) and behavioral (e.g., physical activity) predictors of postoperative recovery after cancer surgery; a randomized controlled trial testing a technology-mediated sedentary behavior intervention before and after cancer surgery; a pilot study testing whether smartphone and wearable sensor data can detect changes in stress and symptoms during chemotherapy; and sentiment analyses to identify the mechanisms underlying American Cancer Society online support communities
Selected Publications:
Schmidt JE,, Beckjord E, Bovbjerg DH, Low CA, Posluszny DM, Lowery AE. Prevalence of perceived cognitive dysfunction in survivors of a wide range of cancers: Results from the 2010 LIVESTRONG Survey. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2016; 10: 302-311.
Low CA, Bovbjerg DH, Ahrendt S, Alhelo S, Choudry H, Holtzman M, Jones HL, Pingpank JF, Ramalingham L, Zeh H, Zureikat AH, Bartlett DL. Depressive symptoms in patients scheduled for hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy with cytoreductive surgery: Prospective associations with morbidity and mortality. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2016; 34: 1217-1222.
Low CA, Stanton AL. Activity disruption and depressive symptoms in women living with metastatic breast cancer. Health Psychology. 2015; 34: 89-92.
Thurston RC, Ewing LJ, Low CA, Christie AJ, Levine MD. Behavioral weight loss for the management of menopausal hot flashes: A pilot study. Menopause. 2015; 22: 59-65.
Low CA, Kalinski P, Bovbjerg DH. Neurocognitive impairment as one facet of cancer-related sickness behavior symptoms. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2015; 107: 176.
Low CA, Beckjord E, Bovbjerg DH, Dew MA, Posluszny DM, Schmidt JE, Lowery AE, Nutt SA, Arvey SR, Rechis R. Correlates of positive health behaviors in cancer survivors: Results from the 2010 LIVESTRONG Survey. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. 2014; 32: 678-695.
Low CA, Bovbjerg DH, Jenkins FJ, Ahrendt SA, Choudry HA, Holtzman MP, Jones HL, Pingpank JF, Ramalingham L, Zeh HJ, Zureikat AH, Bartlett DL. Preoperative inflammatory biomarkers and neurovegetative symptoms in peritoneal carcinomatosis patients. Brain, Behaviora & Immunity. 2014; 42: 65-68.
Carroll JE, Low CA, Prather AA, Cohen S, Fury JM, Ross DC, Marsland AL. Negative affective responses to a speech task predict changes in interleukin(IL)-6. Brain, Behavioral & Immunity. 2011; 25: 232-238.
Low CA, Stanton AL, Bower JB, Gyllenhammer L. A randomized controlled trial of emotionally expressive writing for women with metastatic breast cancer. Health Psychology. 2010; 29: 460-466.
Low CA, Thurston RC, Matthews KA. Psychosocial factors in the development of heart disease in women: Current research and future directions. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2010; 72: 842-854.
Notable Achievements
UCSUR Steven D Manners Faculty Development Award, 2015