Nancy Lau, PHD

Nancy  Lau, PHD

On staff since June 2020

Children's Title: Clinical Psychologist

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Research Center: Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development

"My research focuses on the development, testing, and implementation of digital mental health interventions for teens and young adults with cancer and other serious medical conditions. Digital interventions are scalable, highly appealing to teens and young adults, and maximize public health impact."

  • Dr. Nancy Lau is an Assistant Professor and Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Her psycho-oncology research program focuses on the development and implementation of evidence-based psychosocial interventions for teens and young adults with cancer. Teens and young adults with cancer experience unique developmental and psychosocial needs, and are at risk of poor psychosocial outcomes including social isolation, distress, behavioral maladjustment, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Lau's research leverages technological advances to improve availability and access to evidence-based psychosocial care via eHealth and mHealth delivery platforms. Digital mental health care initiatives have the potential to scale-up interventions and overcome structural barriers and unequal access to psychosocial care.

    Dr. Lau received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Harvard University in 2016. She completed her psychology residency training at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital in 2017. In 2019, she completed her NIH-funded T32 postdoctoral research fellowship in pediatric palliative care at the University of Washington. Dr. Lau has been a faculty member in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences since 2019.

  • Other Publications

    • Barton KS, Steineck A, Walsh CA, Lau N, O'Donnell MB, Rosenberg AR
      "I won't get to live my life the way I planned it": A qualitative analysis of the experiences of adolescents and young adults with advanced cancer.
      37438862 Pediatric blood & cancer, 2023 Oct. : 70(10)e30554
    • Lau N, Zhou AM, Yuan A, Parigoris R, Rosenberg AR, Weisz JR
      Social skills deficits and self-appraisal biases in children with social anxiety disorder.
      37772042 Journal of child and family studies, 2023 Sept. : 32(9)2889-2900 PMCID:PMC10538948
    • Murphy KM, Siembida E, Lau N, Berkman A, Roth M, Salsman JM
      A systematic review of health-related quality of life outcomes in psychosocial intervention trials for adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.
      37269881 Critical reviews in oncology/hematology, 2023 Aug. : 188104045 PMCID:PMC10527433
    • Steineck A, Lau N, Fladeboe KM, Walsh CA, Rosenberg AR, Yi-Frazier JP, Barton KS
      Seeking virtual support: Digital technology use in adolescent and young adults with advanced cancer.
      36069542 Pediatric blood & cancer, 2022 Nov. : 69(11)e29938 PMCID:PMC10324622
    • O'Daffer A, Colt SF, Wasil AR, Lau N
      Efficacy and Conflicts of Interest in Randomized Controlled Trials Evaluating Headspace and Calm Apps: Systematic Review.
      36125880 JMIR mental health, 2022 Sep 20 : 9(9)e40924 PMCID:PMC9533203
    • McDermott CL, Coats H, Bernacki GM, Blakeney EA, Brown CE, Lau N, Lee RY, Modes ME, Steineck A, Steiner JM, Taylor MR, Kross EK
      What Does it Mean to be an Excellent Mentor? J. Randall "Randy" Curtis' Living Legacy.
      35595383 Journal of pain and symptom management, 2022 June : 63(6)e657-e659
    • Lau N, Zhou AM, Zhao X, Ng MY, Suyemoto KL
      The invisibilization of Asian American women psychologists in academia: A Call to Action.
      37346970 The Behavior therapist, 2022 March : 45(3)99-106 PMCID:PMC10284571
    • Berkman AM, Murphy KM, Siembida EJ, Lau N, Geng Y, Parsons SK, Salsman JM, Roth ME
      Inclusion of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Adolescent and Young Adult Phase III Therapeutic Trials: An Analysis of Cancer Clinical Trials Registered on
      34838280 Value in health : the journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, 2021 Dec. : 24(12)1820-1827 PMCID:PMC8630401
    • Rosenberg AR, Steiner J, Lau N, Fladeboe K, Toprak D, Gmuca S, O'Donnell MB, Smith K, Brown CE, Yi-Frazier JP
      From Theory to Patient Care: A Model for the Development, Adaptation, and Testing of Psychosocial Interventions for Patients With Serious Illness.
      33677072 Journal of pain and symptom management, 2021 Sept. : 62(3)637-646 PMCID:PMC8418616
    • Lau N, Colt SF, Waldbaum S, O'Daffer A, Fladeboe K, Yi-Frazier JP, McCauley E, Rosenberg AR
      Telemental Health For Youth With Chronic Illnesses: Systematic Review.
      34448724 JMIR mental health, 2021 Aug 27 : 8(8)e30098 PMCID:PMC8459754
    • Lau N, Parsa AG, Walsh C, Yi-Frazier JP, Weiner BJ, Curtis JR, McCauley E, Rosenberg AR, Barton K
      Facilitators and Barriers to Utilization of Psychosocial Care in Adolescents and Young Adults with Advanced Cancer: Integrating Mobile Health Perspectives.
      32985937 Journal of adolescent and young adult oncology, 2021 Aug. : 10(4)476-482 PMCID:PMC8418520
    • Lau N, O'Daffer A, Yi-Frazier JP, Rosenberg AR
      Popular Evidence-Based Commercial Mental Health Apps: Analysis of Engagement, Functionality, Aesthetics, and Information Quality.
      34259639 JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 2021 Jul 14 : 9(7)e29689 PMCID:PMC8319777
    • Scott SR, O'Daffer AG, Bradford MC, Fladeboe K, Lau N, Steineck A, Taylor M, Yi-Frazier JP, Rosenberg AR
      Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and medically traumatic events (TEs) in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer: a report from the Promoting Resilience in Stress Management (PRISM) randomized controlled trial.
      33219407 Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 2021 July : 29(7)3773-3781 PMCID:PMC8134517
    • Lau N, O'Daffer A, Yi-Frazier J, Rosenberg AR
      Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Just-Right Hybrid Model to Synthesize the Growing Landscape of Publicly Available Health-Related Mobile Apps.
      34096868 Journal of medical Internet research, 2021 Jun 7 : 23(6)e27105 PMCID:PMC8218213
    • Lau N, Rosenberg AR
      35037004 Pediatric e-journal, 2021 May : 6326-30 PMCID:PMC8759592
    • Lau N, Waldbaum S, Parigoris R, O'Daffer A, Walsh C, Colt SF, Yi-Frazier JP, Palermo TM, McCauley E, Rosenberg AR
      eHealth and mHealth Psychosocial Interventions for Youths With Chronic Illnesses: Systematic Review.
      33075743 JMIR pediatrics and parenting, 2020 Nov 10 : 3(2)e22329 PMCID:PMC7685926
    • Weisz JR, Vaughn-Coaxum RA, Evans SC, Thomassin K, Hersh J, Ng MY, Lau N, Lee EH, Raftery-Helmer JN, Mair P
      Efficient Monitoring of Treatment Response during Youth Psychotherapy: The Behavior and Feelings Survey.
      30657721 Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 2020 Nov. : 49(6)737-751 PMCID:PMC8051589
    • Rosenberg AR, Barton K, Junkins C, Scott S, Bradford MC, Steineck A, Lau N, Comiskey L, Yi-Frazier JP
      Creating a Resilient Research Program-Lessons Learned From a Palliative Care Research Laboratory.
      32621950 Journal of pain and symptom management, 2020 Oct. : 60(4)857-865 PMCID:PMC7328580
    • Lau N, O'Daffer A, Colt S, Yi-Frazier JP, Palermo TM, McCauley E, Rosenberg AR
      Android and iPhone Mobile Apps for Psychosocial Wellness and Stress Management: Systematic Search in App Stores and Literature Review.
      32357125 JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 2020 May 22 : 8(5)e17798 PMCID:PMC7275252
    • Lau N, Bradford MC, Steineck A, Scott S, Bona K, Yi-Frazier JP, McCauley E, Rosenberg AR
      Examining key sociodemographic characteristics of adolescents and young adults with cancer: A post hoc analysis of the Promoting Resilience in Stress Management randomized clinical trial.
      31680625 Palliative medicine, 2020 March : 34(3)336-348 PMCID:PMC7289194
    • Lau N, Yi-Frazier JP, Bona K, Baker KS, McCauley E, Rosenberg AR
      Distress and resilience among adolescents and young adults with cancer and their mothers: An exploratory analysis.
      31456508 Journal of psychosocial oncology, 2020 Jan. : 38(1)118-124 PMCID:PMC6994369
    • Walsh CA, Rosenberg AR, Lau N, Syrjala KL
      Key considerations for advancing the development and testing of mHealth interventions in adolescent and young adult oncology.
      31475768 Psycho-oncology, 2020 Jan. : 29(1)220-223 PMCID:PMC6980895
    • Steineck A, Bradford MC, Lau N, Scott S, Yi-Frazier JP, Rosenberg AR
      A Psychosocial Intervention's Impact on Quality of Life in AYAs with Cancer: A Post Hoc Analysis from the Promoting Resilience in Stress Management (PRISM) Randomized Controlled Trial.
      31684055 Children (Basel, Switzerland), 2019 Nov 2 : 6(11) PMCID:PMC6915541
    • Lau N, Bradford MC, Steineck A, Junkins CC, Yi-Frazier JP, McCauley E, Rosenberg AR
      Exploratory analysis of treatment response trajectories in the PRISM trial: Models of psychosocial care.
      31037789 Psycho-oncology, 2019 July : 28(7)1470-1476 PMCID:PMC7307312
    • Lau N, Curtis JR
      Identifying the Best Approach to Patient-Centered Decisions About Serious Illness Care: What's Autonomy Got to Do With It?
      30681706 JAMA network open, 2019 Jan 4 : 2(1)e187872
    • Lau N, Bona K, Steineck A, Rosenberg AR
      What we did not learn from an exploratory analysis of economic hardship in newly diagnosed adolescents and young adults with cancer.
      30155981 Pediatric blood & cancer, 2018 Dec. : 65(12)e27411 PMCID:PMC6193842
    • Barton KS, Tate T, Lau N, Taliesin KB, Waldman ED, Rosenberg AR
      "I'm Not a Spiritual Person." How Hope Might Facilitate Conversations About Spirituality Among Teens and Young Adults With Cancer.
      29428188 Journal of pain and symptom management, 2018 June : 55(6)1599-1608 PMCID:PMC5951752
    • Rosenberg AR, Bradford MC, Bona K, Shaffer ML, Wolfe J, Baker KS, Lau N, Yi-Frazier J
      Hope, distress, and later quality of life among adolescent and young adults with cancer.
      28934026 Journal of psychosocial oncology, 2018 March : 36(2)137-144 PMCID:PMC5801075
    • Weisz JR, Chorpita BF, Frye A, Ng MY, Lau N, Bearman SK, Ugueto AM, Langer DA, Hoagwood KE, Research Network on Youth Mental Health
      Youth Top Problems: using idiographic, consumer-guided assessment to identify treatment needs and to track change during psychotherapy.
      21500888 Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 2011 June : 79(3)369-80
  • Grant Title Grantor Amount Award Date
    Pilot trial testing mobile health psychosocial intervention for Adolescents and Young Adults with cancer NIH/NCI Sep 1, 2022 - Aug 31, 2027


Board Certification(s)


Medical/Professional School

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA


Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Research Description

Dr. Lau is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Child Health, Behavior & Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute and Principal Investigator of the Pediatric Pain and Sleep Innovations Lab.