Inspired by patient wisdom, we conduct innovative psychosocial oncology research focused on adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients in the domains of financial hardship, social determinants of health, disparities, embodied research methods, and antiracist patient engagement in the conduct of research. Our goal is to eliminate unnecessary suffering.

– Christabel Cheung, PhD, MSW
Principal Investigator

LAB MEMBERS

Thuli Katerere-Virima, LMSW
Doctoral Student Researcher
University of Maryland School of Social Work

Thuli is originally Zimbabwean, but she has grown up all over the United States. She is at the University of Maryland School of Social Work PhD program- focused on culturally responsive mental health care. With Christabel, Thuli was co-author on: The Impact of a Cancer Diagnosis on Siblings Across the Lifespan: A Systematic Review; Capturing the Financial Hardship of Cancer in Military Adolescent and Young Adult Patients: A Conceptual Framework; and A Call to Action: Antiracist Patient Engagement in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Research and Advocacy. Thuli enjoys playing with her new-born baby, reading fiction not at all related to my studies, and watching British television as escapism.

Laura E. Helbling, MSW
Graduate Research Scholar
University of Maryland School of Social Work

Laura Helbling is a second year MSW student at the University of Maryland School of Social Work where she is concentrating her studies in clinical behavioral health. She holds a BA in psychology from the University of Maryland, where she also assisted with research in psychotherapeutic interventions and worked for her school’s peer-support and crisis intervention hotline. Laura’s current research and practice interests are in psychotherapy, suicide prevention, and crisis intervention. Laura’s most significant research contributions have been helping develop the academic article The impact of a cancer diagnosis on sibling relationships from childhood through young adulthood: a systematic review and another manuscript on financial hardship of cancer in military adolescent and young adult patients, which is still under review. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, listening to musical comedy, and dancing in her kitchen.

Bria N. Thomas, BS
Graduate Research Scholar
Master of Biomedical Sciences Program
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Bria Thomas is from Baltimore Maryland, and recently graduated from Loyola University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science with a dual major in Biology/Psychology and a strong pre-medicinal focus. Bria first joined forces with Christabel Cheung’s research lab as a summer research intern in the competitive National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Nathan Schnaper Internship Program – a training program for undergraduate STEM scholars. She has been on the team ever since, and has worked on numerous projects such as, “Capturing the financial hardship of cancer in military adolescent and young adult patients: A conceptual framework,” “A thin line between helpful and not: Embodied research on Internet experiences among adolescent and young adult cancer patients,” and “A call to action: Antiracist patient engagement in adolescent and young adult oncology research and advocacy.” In her free time, she enjoys painting, volunteering within the Baltimore community, and cooking.


Monica Garcia Norlander, MPH, MLIS, MA
Pre-Doctoral Student Researcher

Monica Garcia Norlander joins the Cheung Research Lab after meeting Dr. Christabel Cheung at the National Cancer Institute’s Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research, co-sponsored by UCSF-UCLA in June 2018. Her research interests include Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship in relation to work and support systems. She has served as Project Director and Project Manager for multi-million dollar National Institute of Health grants on health equity and cancer disparities in Chicago, IL. Before pursuing her research interests, she was a management and operations consultant at Stanford Health Care’s Cancer Center. Monica has a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Master’s Degrees and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles. Monica is a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor since date of diagnosis, April 24, 2017.
[email protected],
monicagarcia.org
@MonicaBruin

ALUMNI FROM UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI’I

Matthew S. Garrido, MSW, LCSW, BCD, MAJ, USA
Doctoral Student Researcher

Matthew S. Garrido joins the Cheung Research Lab after meeting Dr. Christabel Cheung at the University of Hawaii, Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work in 2017. His research interests include Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship in relation to adverse childhood experiences and resilience. He has over 23 years of active duty military service in the U.S. Army. Prior to pursuing his research interests, he served as the Director of Training for the Social Work Internship Program for the U.S. Army Health Clinic at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Matthew has a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Hawaii and a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science from Chaminade University.
[email protected]


Rachel Savereux, MSW
Graduate Student Researcher

Rachel is in her second year of the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at the University of Hawaii, Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, and holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from Eastern Washington University. Her interest in research grew during her first year in the MSW program, where she began to better understand the important role that research plays within the scope of social work. The majority of her experience has been working with youth in different capacities including the juvenile justice system, behavioral mental health and as a Youth Development Volunteer in the United States Peace Corps (Ukraine 2010-2012).
[email protected]


Katherine Wear, MSW
Graduate Student Researcher

Katie is in her second year of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Hawaii, Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in the Comparative History of Ideas. Katie’s interest in research stems from a personal passion for evidence-based mental health practices, including current and ongoing research in meditation and mindfulness. Katie has many years of experience working with youth in mentorship and education within the United States and many countries abroad.
[email protected]


Brian Yi, MSW
Graduate Student Researcher

Brian is in his second year in the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at the University of Hawaii, Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Hawaii. Studying sociology as an undergraduate and his interests in community and societal studies have led him to pursue a Master of Social Work. Brian’s research interests include drug abuse and addiction. He is a student volunteer at the Hawaii State Department of Health Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD). He aims to work within and give back to his community by improving community relations.
[email protected]

University of Maryland School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 706-7011
[email protected]