Dr. Weihs' research focuses on family processes and emotion regulation as they affect both mental health and disease progression in patients with cancer and end stage renal disease. She has written and lectured widely on family influences on medical illness. Dr. Weihs is also an experienced psychopharmacology researcher, focusing on pharmacologic interventions for anxiety and depressive disorders in children, adolescents and adults. At the Center for Family Research she collaborated on prevention studies of children of depressed parents and children in families stressed by parental unemployment. Her research includes a longitudinal study of marital quality in breast cancer patients, examining oxytocin as a mediator of the salutary effects of close personal relationship on disease progression. This was a five-year study funded by the Army Medical Research Program in Breast Cancer Research. She is also collaborating on animal model studies of oxytocin and social bonding with Denise Frank, PhD, an animal behavior research specialist at the Arizona Cancer Center.
Dr. Karen Weihs is Professor of Psychiatry and a Comprehensive Member of the Arizona Cancer Center. She is Medical Director of Psychosocial Support and PsychoOncology Services for the Arizona Cancer Center. Dr. Weihs has developed a model for cancer patients, mental health care including a collaborative team of oncologists, social workers and psychiatrists.