Karen Hurley, PhD

Dr. Karen Hurley is a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic with over twenty years of experience specializing in hereditary cancer risk.  She received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1983, and completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Temple University in 1998.  After finishing a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer prevention and control at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, she spent eight years on faculty at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center conducting research funded by the National Cancer Institute on decision-making about risk-reducing surgery and other psychosocial issues relevant to familial cancer. She spent another six years in private practice in New York, NY seeing hereditary cancer risk patients and taught graduate health psychology at Teachers College-Columbia University.  She has provided psychotherapy and consultation to hundreds of individuals, couples, and families with BRCA1/2 mutations, Lynch syndrome, FAP, PHTS, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer, Li-Fraumeni syndrome and other forms of hereditary cancer.

Dr. Hurley frequently presents lectures, workshops, and webinars for national and international audiences on decision-making about risk-reducing surgery, talking with children about risk, and building psychological resilience in the face of hereditary risk.  She is a member of several national and local advisory boards, including FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Bright Pink, Sharsheret, Cancer Support Community’s Breast and Gastric Cancer Registries, and The Gathering Place. In 2014, she received a Spirit of Empowerment Award for Individual Commitment at the 8th Annual FORCE conference, in recognition of her work on behalf of the hereditary cancer community.