Karen L. Syrjala, PhD

Director, Behavioral Sciences; Co-director, Survivorship Program
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington School of Medicine
Professor, Clinical Research Division; Professor, Public Health Sciences Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Clinical expertise
Clinical psychology; Cancer survivorship; Symptom management; Managing distress and worry; Non-drug methods to reduce symptoms and improve long-term outcomes; Imagery and hypnosis; All cancer diagnoses.
“My care is focused on helping people to recognize their strengths and take charge of their health during treatment and long-term survival. When useful, I offer specific skills to assist people in being as comfortable as possible both during and after treatment.”
— Dr. Syrjala
Why do you practice oncology?

Provider background

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Wellesley College
Medical Degree
Boston University
University of Washington
MA, Boston University; Internship, University Hospital, Boston


Clinical trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by SCCA doctors. Many of these trials at SCCA have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.

Study ID:
Self-Management Program and Survivorship Care Plan in Improving the Health of Cancer Survivors After Stem Cell Transplant
Complete title
INSPIRE: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial Integrating Health Informatics in a Scalable Stepped Care Self-Management Program for Survivors after Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Your care team

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a team coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Registered nurse (RN)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your physician and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Team coordinator (TC)
Your team coordinator works closely with you and your physician and serves as your scheduler.


SCCA accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.