Lab Team

Dr. Carla L. Fisher

Carla Fisher

Dr. Fisher is professor of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics at the UF College of Medicine, a full member of the UF Health Cancer Center in the Population Sciences Program, and a faculty affiliate in the Center for Arts and Medicine. She was a National Institute on Aging (NIA) pre-doctoral fellow/trainee (T32 AG00048), completed the National Institute of Health (NIH) Post-Doctoral Advanced Summer Training Institute on Health Behavior Theory, and now serves as a mentor on a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) K award. Her research collaborations have garnered $2 million in grant funding. These include federal awards from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the Department of Defense (DOD) as well as private funding from the Acus Foundation, Joseph M. Juran Center for Research at the University of Minnesota, and and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

In her research, Dr. Fisher uses a lifespan, developmental lens to investigate the central role of family communication to health in both familial and clinical settings. Her research on family health communication has spanned numerous health contexts (e.g., diabetes, tobacco, acupuncture, mental health, aging, primary care). The central aim of her research is to provide knowledge critical to psychosocial education and behavioral modeling resources or interventions for implementation in the family environment, clinic, and medical education.

Dr. Fisher’s primary research focus is on family cancer communication with a focus on capturing developmental and generational diversity in individuals’ communication needs, goals, and preferences. She has collaborated with leading medical institutions and diverse multidisciplinary teams of clinicians and scientists. She has expertise in multi-method qualitative design and been an invited expert consultant for various institutions and grant review boards, including for the NCI, NIEHS, National United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Office on Women’s Health (OWH), and the Military Primary Care Research Network, Uniformed Service University in Health Sciences.

Much of her work has addressed mother-daughter breast cancer coping and risk reduction behavior (, which includes collaborations with renowned cancer centers (e.g., Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) and several national-level research awards (e.g., two NCA top dissertation awards).  In 2014, she published the first translational, evidence-based book (Coping Together Side by Side…) focused on the importance of mother-daughter communication when coping with breast cancer. It has been praised by experts at Johns Hopkins Breast Center and UCLA School of Medicine (recent review in Psycho-Oncology), and awarded the 2018 NCA’s Communication & Aging Division Outstanding Book Award.

She is currently a PI on a NIEHS R21 grant within the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), a co-I on a Department of Defense grant, as well as a co-I on a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society grant. Her work can be found in journals spanning multiple behavioral health-related disciplines: Psycho-Oncology; Psychology & Health; Supportive Care in Cancer; Patient Education & Counseling; Journal of Genetic Counseling; Families, Systems, & Health; Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine; Journal of Health Communication; Journal of Family Communication and Journal of Applied Communication Research.