Karen Weihs, MD

Professor, Psychiatry
Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine

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



Czamanski-Cohen, J., J. F. Wiley, N. Sela, O. Caspi, and K. Weihs, "The role of emotional processing in art therapy (REPAT) for breast cancer patients.", J Psychosoc Oncol, pp. 1-13, 2019 Apr 01. PMID: 30929590
Weihs, K. L., D. B. Wajsbrot, D. Chiles, S. Ramaker, and P. Chappell, "Re: "Desvenlafaxine Versus Placebo in a Fluoxetine-Referenced Study of Children and Adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder: Design, Definitions, and Ongoing Challenges for Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology Research"", J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol, 2019 Mar 15. PMID: 30874454
Weihs, K. L., M. H. McConnell, J. F. Wiley, C. M. Crespi, S. Sauer-Zavala, and A. L. Stanton, "A preventive intervention to modify depression risk targets after breast cancer diagnosis: Design and single-arm pilot study.", Psychooncology, 2019 Feb 25. PMID: 30803095
Robbins, M. L., R. C. Wright, A. María López, and K. Weihs, "Interpersonal positive reframing in the daily lives of couples coping with breast cancer.", J Psychosoc Oncol, pp. 1-18, 2019 Feb 11. PMID: 30741121
Kollberg, K. Stinesen, J. F. Wiley, K. M. Ross, A. Jorge-Miller, C. Hammen, K. L. Weihs, and A. L. Stanton, "Chronic Stress in Vocational and Intimate Partner Domains as Predictors of Depressive Symptoms After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.", Ann Behav Med, vol. 53, issue 4, pp. 333-344, 2019 Mar 20. PMID: 29931262