Kenneth Tercyak


Associate Professor
Director of Behavioral Prevention Research


Population Sciences
General profile


+1 202-687-9484




Dr. Tercyak is a tenured Associate Professor in the Departments of Oncology (Division of Health Outcomes & Health Behaviors) and Pediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. At the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Tercyak serves as Director of Behavioral Prevention Research. He is a member of the Cancer Prevention & Control research program in Georgetown Lombardi's division of Population Sciences, and of the Fisher Center for Hereditary Cancer & Clinical Genomics Research. A clinical health psychologist by training, Dr. Tercyak is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 38, 54) and the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and holds a clinical appointment in pediatrics at Georgetown University Hospital for psychoeducational assessment and evaluation of children with attention/behavior and learning difficulties.

Dr. Tercyak's research focuses on biobehavioral aspects of cancer risk, prevention, and intervention including public health genetics/genomics, tobacco prevention and control, and survivorship. His work in familial cancer examines health communication, decision making and decision support, and outcomes of genetic counseling and testing. Dr. Tercyak's work in tobacco control focuses on primary prevention, behavior change, high risk/special populations, and cessation. His work in survivorship addresses health behaviors and outcomes.

Dr. Tercyak has been supported by the NIH throughout his career, and is currently the Principal Investigator of a randomized trial to promote informed decision making/decision support for mothers undergoing hereditary cancer risk testing, an observational study of adolescents' long-term adaptation to familial cancer, and an mHealth intervention for pediatric cancer survivors. Dr. Tercyak completed a mid-career award focused on basic behavioral research in cancer control, and is a recipient of support from the Hyundai Hope on Wheels research program for improving the lives of children surviving with cancer. In partnership with colleagues at the American Legacy Foundation and MedStar Health, Dr. Tercyak is co-leading a study of health information technology supports for tobacco control in primary care. Dr. Tercyak has also been involved with a research and education partnership with the University of the District of Columbia for cancer control and health disparities.

Dr. Tercyak has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and is the editor of a handbook (Springer) on public health genomics and family medicine. He served as Associate Editor for Prevention Science at the Journal of Pediatric Psychology (Oxford), is currently an Associate Editor at Health Psychology (APA), and is a member of several editorial boards. Dr. Tercyak has served on study sections of the Risk, Prevention, and Health Behavior Integrated Review Group at the NIH and was a standing member of its Behavioral Medicine committee. He is a former member of the psychosocial review groups for the American Cancer Society, the Komen Foundation, and several international grant agencies. Dr. Tercyak is currently serving a term as Chair of the NIH health behavior fellowship study section, and is a faculty mentor at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

At Georgetown University, Dr. Tercyak teaches in the areas of public health, social/behavioral science, and cancer prevention and control and health communication. He is past co-chair of the medical center's Research Committee, and a former member and chair of several Strategic Planning Initiative committees. Dr. Tercyak is elected to the Medical Center Caucus of the Faculty Senate (Basic Science).


  • Fellowship (2000) Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Prevention & Control
  • PhD (1998) University of Florida, Clinical & Health Psychology
  • Internship (1998) University of Miami School of Medicine, Clinical Child & Pediatric Psychology
  • BA (1992) University of Pennsylvania, Psychology