Karen Weihs, MD

Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine
Professor, Psychiatry

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.

Research Interests: 

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.

  • MD: University of Iowa College of Medicine, 1979
  • BA: University of Northern Iowa, 1975
Honors and Awards
  • The Outstanding Clinical Care Award, American Psychosocial Oncology Society, 2008
  • Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals "Honors Edition", 2008-2009
  • Senior Women's Health Scholar, Women's Center of Excellence, University of Arizona, 2009
  • University of Wisconsin- Madison, Child Psychiatry, 1989-1991
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Psychiatry, 1986-1989
  • Hunterdon Medical Center, Family Medicine, 1981-1982
  • York Hospital, Family Medicine, 1979-1981
Board Certifications
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology - Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 2012
  • American Board of Family Practice, 2009
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology - Psychiatry, 1994



Howe, G. W., A. P. Hornberger, K. Weihs, F. Moreno, and J. M. Neiderhiser, "Higher-order structure in the trajectories of depression and anxiety following sudden involuntary unemployment.", J Abnorm Psychol, vol. 121, issue 2, pp. 325-38, 2012 May. PMCID: PMC3621986  PMID: 22103803