Samantha Mayo RN, PhD

Director, Doctoral Programs
Associate Professor
RBC Financial Chair in Oncology Nursing Research

Currently Accepting Students

My research advances an understanding of how to best support people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis

Dr. Samantha Mayo’s research program focuses on optimizing the long-term health of people with hematological (blood) cancers, by addressing the psychosocial and functional consequences of disease and its treatment. Using longitudinal and mixed methods approaches, her research characterizes the patterns of patient and caregiver outcomes with a goal of developing health service interventions to support coping, self-management, and quality of life. Dr. Mayo has published extensively on the topic of cancer-related cognitive impairment, a common issue among people with cancer characterized by difficulties in thinking abilities, such as memory and concentration.

Dr. Mayo holds the RBC Financial Group Chair in Oncology Nursing Research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network and Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. She is co-lead of the non-pharmacological intervention subgroup of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) Neurological Complications Study Group and a contributing member of the Oncology Nursing Society Putting Evidence into Practice panel on Cognitive Impairment. Her research has been funded by the Oncology Nursing Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

RBC Financial Group Chair – Oncology Nursing Research

The RBC Financial Group Chair in Oncology Nursing Research is supported jointly through affiliations with Cancer Care Ontario, the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division), University Health Network, and the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. The RBC Chair in Oncology Nursing Research was Canada’s first endowed chair in oncology research.

Dr. Sam Mayo was appointed to hold the chair in July 2019. She leads research that seeks to optimize the long-term health of cancer survivors, by understanding patterns and predictors of late and long-term effects, investigating biological mechanisms and designing interventions to mitigate the negative impacts of these effects. Her work has a particular focus on cancer-related cognitive impairment (“chemobrain”) after treatment for blood cancers.

  • 2015 – PhD, University of Toronto

  • 2006 – MN, University of Toronto

  • 2004 – BScN, University of Toronto

  • 2002 – BSc, University of Toronto

Dr. Mayo’s PubMed link can be found here.

Grace Kusi

Thesis title: The effectiveness of psychoeducational interventions on caregiver-oriented outcomes in caregivers of adult cancer patients

Grace Kusi is a registered nurse and doctoral candidate currently pursuing a PhD in Nursing Science. Her research interest focuses on feasibility testing of an adapted psychoeducational intervention for caregivers of patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplant. Grace is a research trainee with the Mayo Lab, working under the mentorship of Dr. Samantha Mayo. Grace has research experience working with cancer caregivers in Ghana and other low- and middle-income countries, gaining insights into the unique challenges faced by caregivers in resource-constrained settings.

Argin Malakian, RN

PhD Student

Argin is a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Department of Supportive Care, a research fellow at the Global Institute for Psychosocial Palliative and End of Life Care, and a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. His research focuses on understanding the patient experience and their needs for supportive care, with a particular emphasis on the psychological well-being of cancer patients and their families. For his doctoral studies, Argin is exploring the experiences and supportive care requirements of adults living with relapsed or refractory acute leukemia – individuals with “advanced” blood cancers known to experience a high symptom burden, poor prognosis, high healthcare utilization rates, and low palliative care referral rates.

Shannon Nixon, NP

Thesis title: Implementation of complex shared-care programs to support patients with access to safe and effective care close to home

Shannon Nixon is a Nurse Practitioner at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and a Doctor of Nursing student at the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. Her clinical background is the management of patients diagnosed with hematologic malignancies, in particular acute leukemia and lymphoma. Shannon’s doctoral research aims to better understand the implementation of complex malignant hematology shared-care programs, to improve health equity and support patients with access to safe and effective care closer to home.