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Allison Werner-Lin, Ph.D., A.M., Ed.M., L.C.S.W.

Senior Advisor
University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice

NCI Shady Grove

Dr. Allison Werner-Lin joined the Clinical Genetics Branch as a special volunteer in 2010. She became an adjunct investigator in 2014 and senior advisor to the Branch in 2017. Dr. Werner-Lin has built a behavioral research portfolio alongside several clinical trials, including those addressing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, and Dyskeratosis Congenita. She recruits, trains, and partners with research fellows and trainees across disciplines to conduct qualitative and mixed-method research addressing the needs of individuals, couples, and families living with inherited cancer predisposition. 

Dr. Werner-Lin earned her Ph.D., and Master of Arts in Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, Illinois. She earned an M.A., from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (MA), and a B.A. in family studies and psychology from Wellesley College, MA. Dr. Werner-Lin is an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State with expertise in childhood bereavement and medical family therapy. In 2017, she became a fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research. She has won multiple outstanding teaching and mentoring awards. 

Research Interests

Dr. Werner-Lin’s areas of scientific interest include studying the consequences of genomic discovery on human development and family formation. She has specific interests in hereditary cancer syndromes, reproductive decision-making, team science, qualitative research, and psychotherapeutic interventions. She has served as co-investigator on multiple research grants studying the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genetic technologies. She has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and presented her work at local, national, and international professional venues. 

Current and Former Fellows

Dr. Werner-Lin's current fellows in CGB include: Camella RisingRowan Forbes Shepherd, and Emily Pearce. Former fellows include: Chloe Huelsnitz, Ashley Thomspon, Jennifer Young, Patrick Boyd, Alix Sleight, Marena Niewisch, Catherine Wilsnack.