Rochester, Minnesota


Ehlers.Shawna@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


The research interests of Shawna L. Ehlers, Ph.D., L.P., focus in the area of psycho-oncology and stem cell transplantation. Dr. Ehlers conducts transdisciplinary patient-oriented research aimed at improving patient care and overall health. Her research focuses on issues such as health behaviors, including tobacco use, obesity-related behaviors, and adherence and compliance to medical regimens; quality of life; psychological adjustment to chronic illness; social support and caregiving; coping; and psychological factors affecting medical conditions.

Focus areas

  • Blood and marrow transplant (BMT) populations. Dr. Ehlers has worked in collaboration with the BMT team and several other interdisciplinary colleagues to ensure continuous quality improvement in the pretransplant psychological evaluation of BMT candidates. She is the primary investigator on a study that examines the relationship between health behaviors and transplant outcomes in the BMT population.
  • Health behaviors, psychological factors and outcomes. Dr. Ehlers' research includes investigation of health behaviors, adherence and compliance to medical regimens, quality of life, adjustment to chronic illness, social support and caregiving, coping, and psychological factors affecting medical conditions in multiple medical populations.
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). Dr. Ehlers contributes her expertise to a multidisciplinary team carrying out patient-initiated research regarding SCAD, a nonatherosclerotic abnormality of the heart artery where process obstruction to blood flow to the heart occurs due to splitting of the vessel walls.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Ehlers's research is aimed at working with the patient to promote proactively healthy behaviors and to fully engage each patient in the process of his or her own medical care. She hopes that her research will contribute to improving both quality of life and overall outcomes.

Professional highlights

  • Associate director of postdoctoral programs, Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science, 2013-present
  • Member, Scientific Program Committee, The American Psychosocial Oncology Society, 2014
  • Behavioral and social science theme leader, Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science, 2013-2014
  • Fellow, Advanced Training Institute in Health Behavior Theory, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-National Cancer Institute Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR), 2006
  • Fellow, NIH-OBSSR Summer Institute on the Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions, 2005
  • Invited Grant Reviewer, National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel on Clinical Outcomes of Live Organ Donors, 2005


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Consultation, Department of Psychiatry & Psychology
  2. Co-Chair, Division of Outpatient Consultation, Department of Psychiatry & Psychology

Academic Rank

  1. Associate Professor of Psychology


  1. Research Fellowship - Psycho-oncology, Head and Neck Cancer Work Group University of Florida Health Science Center
  2. Postdoctoral Fellowship - Transplant Psychology, Center for Behavioral Health Research in Organ Transplantation and Donation University of Florida Health Science Center
  3. PhD - Clinical Psychology, Emphasis: Health Psychology University of Iowa
  4. Clinical Internship - Clinical & Health Psychology University of Florida
  5. MA - Clinical Psychology University of Iowa
  6. BA - Psychology (summa cum laude) University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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