Mary Jane Esplen

PhD, RN, Executive Director

Dr. Esplen is a Professor and Vice- Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Executive Director of the de Souza Institute, a centre for educating health professionals in oncology in Ontario. She is also a Clinician and Affiliate Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and has held prior career scientist awards from CIHR and NCIC for her research program in psychosocial oncology. She has conducted studies of psychotherapeutic and counseling interventions, designed and validated psychometric instruments and completed descriptive research on various cancer populations, including those individuals and their families who carry genetic mutations.

Dr. Esplen has a PhD with a fellowship specialty in psychosomatic medicine from the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto. Her PhD work was a randomized trial of guided imagery. Following her PhD, Dr. Esplen completed a post-doctorate fellowship in cancer genetics and psychosocial oncology at the prestigious Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto. Dr. Esplen is a scientist, educator, therapist and scholar and has received several awards, given numerous workshops and keynotes in psychosocial oncology- from prevention to palliative care. She has a strong interest in professionals’ experience of grief and loss and offers workshops and a course through de Souza on the topic. Dr. Esplen is a past President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) and a prior recipient of the CAPO’s lifetime achievement award.