Mayer Named to Blue Ribbon Panel for Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot

Mayer, an advanced practice oncology nurse and cancer survivor, joins the national panel to help guide more than $1 billion in federal funding for breakthrough cancer research.

Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN, has been named to the panel of national experts guiding the “Cancer Moonshot” unveiled during President Barack Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address.

During his annual speech to Congress in January 2016, President Obama called for $1 billion in new funding to fast-track promising research for the prevention, early detection, treatment and ultimate curing of cancer. Calling the initiative the “Cancer Moonshot,” he tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead the effort to “eliminate cancer as we know it.”

Dr. Mayer, professor of adult and geriatric health at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing and director of cancer survivorship at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center, is among the nationally recognized experts who will recommend how the proposed funding should be spent. Read the National Cancer Institute’s press release here.

“This is a wonderful recognition and opportunity to bring nursing and patient perspectives to this prestigious panel,” said Dr. Mayer. “Our work will be significant in identifying opportunities to reduce the burden of cancer.”

Dr. Mayer has decades of experience with national efforts to improve cancer care, having worked for more than 30 years as a specialist in cancer nursing practice, education, research and management experience. Dr. Mayer is past president of the Oncology Nursing Society, a former member of the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Advisors and National Cancer Advisory Board (a Presidential appointment). Dr. Mayer was also elected a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She was the Editor for the Oncology Nursing Society’s Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON), and has published nearly 100 articles and book chapters. She lectures internationally on oncology and oncology nursing, and also maintains a clinical practice working with breast cancer survivors at UNC Chapel Hill.

“Dr. Mayer brings to the panel tremendous acumen and understanding of the crucial role nurses play in the care and treatment of cancer,” said Donna Havens, interim dean of the UNC School of Nursing. “They couldn’t have made a better choice, and we are so pleased that she will represent UNC as a home for world-class cancer research and care.”