Professor Andersen obtained her B.S. magna cum laude in 1973 from the University of Illinois. She continued at Illinois and received her Ph.D. and completed her internship in clinical psychology at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA. In 1980 she joined the faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa as Assistant Professor. In 1985, she was promoted to Associate Professor, with a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; she remained at Iowa through 1988.
Dr. Andersen joined the Ohio State University faculty in 1989 in the Department of Psychology and with a joint appointment in Obstetrics and Gynecology and was promoted to Professor in 1991. Dr. Andersen is also a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program in the Comprehensive Cancer Center. She was instrumental in the development of the Behavioral Measurement Shared Resource and served as Director from 2003 to 2005. She is presently the Director of the OSU Livestrong Survivorship Center of Excellence.
Professor Andersen is active in teaching and service to the profession. She has taught psychometrics, practicum, and behavioral medicine courses. She mentors pre and postdoctoral trainees as well as junior faculty. She has chaired grant review panels for private foundations and NIH. She has over 150 publications and her research has been funded continuously since 1983. Dr. Andersen has received numerous awards, including the Burlington Award in Teaching (1985) and the Faculty Scholar Award (1988) from the University of Iowa. At Ohio State, she has received the Distinguished University Scholar Award (2000) and the Distinguished Lecturer Award (2003). Also in 2003 she received the Award for Outstanding Contributions in Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association (Division 38). She was the recipient of the Peter Minton Hero of Hope Research Champion Medal of Honor (2004) from the American Cancer Society (Ohio Division) and elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS; 2005).
Dr. Andersen studies biobehavioral aspects of cancer and their implications for disease progression. Follow up work continues on the Stress and Immunity Breast Cancer Project, a randomized clinical trial of a psychological intervention to reduce stress, improve quality of life, health behaviors, and adherence for patients with breast cancer. Her long time collaborator on this research is Dr. William Carson. This trial demonstrated reduced risk for recurrence and cancer death for patients randomized to receive the intervention. Publication of intervention materials is anticipated for early 2011.
Andersen's current work focuses on the development of interventions for patients at high risk for psychological or behavioral morbidities or premature cancer death. Intervention development projects for patients with gynecologic cancer, cancer recurrence, or patients with co morbid psychopathology are in progress.