Michael Hoerger PhD

Michael Hoerger PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry

Dr. Hoerger conducts psychosocial research to reduce the emotional and physical burden of serious illnesses.

Dr. Hoerger is an international expert in psychosocial oncology as well as pandemic mitigation. He is an Associate Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Oncology at Tulane University, and the Managing Director of Palliative Care Research at the University Medical Center of New Orleans. As a clinical health psychologist, medical scientist, and financial analyst and strategist, Dr. Hoerger's career focuses on improving quality of life by reducing the emotional and physical burden of serious illnesses. Dr.Hoerger has published 100 articles and chapters in psychology and medicine, served as a reviewer for 50 scientific journals, teaches research methodology and statistics, mentors research trainees, provides clinical services, and engages with the community on issues related to health, education, and work. He serves as Co-Director of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)national advisory board on Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science and has reviewed $100 million in PCORI research awards. He recently began serving as an NIH reviewer and functions as Tulane's Organizational Lead for the NIH-sponsored Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC). Dr. Hoerger founded the Psycho-Oncology Research Program in 2013 at Tulane University. The mission of the Psycho-Oncology Research Program is to improve quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and alleviating the emotional and physical burden of cancer. The program has trained over 30 scientists, supported in part by>$2.5 million in federal, state, and local research funds. Dr. Hoerger leads Louisiana's 1st psychosocial oncology trial funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS). He also leads the only PCORI-funded pandemic-related research award in Louisiana. Dr. Hoerger welcomes collaborations aimed at helping peopleto make decisions that will reduce cancer risk.


PhD, Clinical Health Psychology (2010)

MSCR, Clinical Oncology Research (2016)

MBA, Financial Analytics and Strategy (2022)

ORCID identifier



MyNCBI (updated periodically): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1viVrg6nILmkE/bibliography/public/

Lab (updated frequently, sortable by topic):



Selected Publications

Hoerger, M., Gerhart, J., & Swartz, M. C. (in press). Evidencebase for health care strategies to protect vulnerable patients during theCOVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Oncology.


Hoerger, M., Gerhart, J., & Swartz, M. C. (2023).Variability in COVID-19 vaccine response among people with cancer: What healthcare strategy best protects the vulnerable? JAMA Oncology.


Hoerger, M., Greer, J. A., Jackson, V. A., Park, E. R.,Pirl, W. F., El-Jawahri, A., Gallagher, E. R., Hagan, T., Jacobsen, J., Perry,L. M., & Temel, J. S. (2018). Defining the elements of early palliativecare that are associated with patient-reported outcomes and the delivery ofend-of-life care. Journal of Clinical Oncology.


Epstein, R. M., Duberstein, P. R., Fenton, J. J., Fiscella,K., Hoerger, M., Tancredi, D. J., Xing, G., Gramling, R., Mohile, S., Franks,P., Kaesberg, P., Plumb, S., Cipri, C. S., Street, R. L., Shields, C. G., Back,A. L., Butow, P., Walczak, A., Tattersall, M., Venuti, A., Sullivan, P.,Robinson, M., Hoh, B., Lewis, L., Kravitz, R. L. (2017). Effect of apatient-centered communication intervention on oncologist-patient communication,quality of life and healthcare utilization in advanced cancer: The VOICErandomized clinical trial. JAMA Oncology.


Gramling, R., Fiscella, K., Xing, G., Hoerger, M.,Duberstein, P., Plumb, S., Mohile, S., Fenton, J., Tancredi, D., Kravitz, R.,& Epstein, R. (2016). Differences of opinion or inadequate communication?Determinants of patient-oncologist prognostic discordance in advanced cancer.JAMA Oncology.


“Topics” (Keywords/Tags)

Psychosocial oncology

Clinical trial design

Statistical analysis

Decision interventions

Video interventions

Survey design

Palliative care

Pandemic mitigation

Cancer prevention

Tobacco cessation

Social media

Focus groups

Community outreach



Link to lab website if they have one



LCRC Faculty

Missy Wooley
Population Sciences
Louisiana Tech University
Asim Abdel-Mageed DVM PhD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Tulane University School of Medicine
Ramsy Abdelghani, MD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Tulane University School of Medicine
Jiri Adamec, PhD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
LSU Health - New Orleans
Sara Al-Dahir, PharmD, PhD, MPH
Population Sciences
Xavier University
Suresh K. Alahari PhD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
LSU Health - New Orleans
Ashad Alam, MD, PhD
Tumor Biology
Ochsner Health
Muralidharan Anbalagan, PhD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Tulane University School of Medicine
Wayne L. Backes PhD
Tumor Biology
LSU Health - New Orleans