Victoria L. Champion, PhD, RN, FAAN

Victoria L. Champion, PhD, RN, FAAN

Community & Health Systems
The Office of Research Support
Distinguished Professor
Edward and Sarah Stam Cullipher Endowed Chair
Associate Director of Population Science, IU Simon Cancer Center

Contact Information

Phone: 317-274-4187
Nursing 318, Indianapolis


PhD, Indiana University
MSN, Indiana University
BSN, Indiana University


Dr. Champion's program of research has provided a significant knowledge base from which to develop interventions that encourage primary and secondary cancer prevention activities, thus leading to the discovery of cancer at earlier and more curable stages. Her NIH funded research spans 33 years, in which in which studies are focused on 2 primary areas: 1) increasing cancer screening to decrease cancer morbidity and mortality and 2) cancer survivorship. First, in her program of interdisciplinary research for cancer screening behaviors, she has developed valid and reliable instruments, tested theoretical constructs and models, led prospective randomized trials to test theoretically driven, interactive, technologically savvy, cost-effective, and tailored interventions for one or more cancers. She has purposefully built her program of research to be greater than the sum of its individual studies by including two cross-cutting threads of reaching underserved minorities and pushing the boundaries of technology-driven interventions. While completing two large studies testing interventions to increase breast cancer screening with low-income African American women, she expanded the theoretical understanding of the role emotion plays in predicting behavior. Dr. Champion's work in this first focal area of cancer screening has been prolifically disseminated in highly respected nursing and interdisciplinary professional journals, presented at a wide variety of international and national venues, and translated internationally to support increased cancer screening.

Her second research area focuses on symptom management in cancer patients. In 1995, she began collaborating to test interventions that alleviate cancer- and cancer treatment-related symptoms in patients with solid tumors targeted to patients and/or caregivers. With funding from the NCI and ACS, she provided interventions to national populations of survivors of ovarian germ cell tumors and breast cancer. These studies were the first externally funded grants to be conducted within the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG). The study within the ECOG compared breast cancer survivors diagnosed at 45 and under with those diagnosed at 55 to 70 and included an age-matched control group for the younger survivors. Over 1200 survivors were enrolled. She also recruited partners of each group of women. She found that younger survivors have significantly more depression and fear of recurrence than acquaintance controls and more depression than older survivors, thus challenging the belief that symptoms experienced by women diagnosed at an early age are a just a component of the normal aging process. Her work in this second focal area has also been widely disseminated through publications and presentations and its large number of citations is evidence of its impact on the field.

For the last 20 years, Dr. Champion has been a consummate mentor for future scientists in nursing and the other health sciences and has sponsored and nurtured many young scientists across disciplines. She was a pioneer in developing inter-professional training programs for fellows in behavioral oncology.   She is the director for the Training in Research for Behavioral Oncology and Cancer Control Program, an R25 training program that develops pre- and postdoctoral researchers in behavioral oncology. In 2014, she received a five-year senior mentoring award from the National Cancer Institute to train postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty.  Many of her past mentees have become scientists funded by NIH—a strong testament to her outstanding mentoring. Her leadership and vision have been the major forces in establishing the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. Dr. Champion's abilities to work collaboratively with others serves as a model for nursing scientists. She has articulated the critical role of nursing to key leaders from medicine, sociology, public health, psychology, and lay groups. She has consistently supported nursing research through her service on national review committees, including the Department of Defense, ACS, and the National Cancer Advisory Board. In summary, Dr. Champion's career achievements and mentorship and leadership efforts have  increased early detection of cancers and lowered symptom burden after diagnosis of cancer, exponentially impacted the growth of scientists and their subsequent impact on these issues, and  brought visibility to the importance of nursing science.

External Funding

R01 CA 136940-01A2 (2012-2015) Increasing Colorectal and Breast Cancer Screening in Women (PI).

Walther Cancer Foundation, Inc. (2011-2014). The BCOG Center for Symptom Management. (PI).

1R01 CA115983-01 (2006-2011) Promoting Colon Cancer Screening Among African Americans. (Co-investigator).

R25 CA117865 (2006-2011) Training in Research for Behavioral Oncology and Cancer Control Program. (PI).

Selected Publications

Fair, A. M., Monahan, P. O., Russell, K., Zhao, Q., & Champion, V. L. (2012). The interaction of perceived risk and benefits and the relationship to predicting mammography adherence in African American women. Oncology Nursing Forum, 39(1), 53-60.

Mitchell, K., Rawl, S. M., Champion, V. L., Jeffries, P., & Welch, J. L. (2012). Development and psychometric testing of the colonoscopy embarrassment scale. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 34(4), 548-564.

Ziner, K. W., Sledge, G. W., Bell, C. J., Johns, S., Miller, K. D., & Champion, V. L. (2012). Predicting fear of breast cancer recurrence and self-efficacy in survivors by age at diagnosis. Oncology Nursing Forum, 139(3), 287-95. PMID: 22543387 14.

Von Ah, D., Russell, K., Carpenter, J. S., Monahan, P. O., Zhao, Q., Tailman, E., Ziner, K. W., Storniolo, A. M., Miller, K. D., Giesler, R. B., Haase, J., Otte, J., & Champion, V. L. (e-pub 1/6/2012). Health-related quality of life of African American breast cancer survivors compared to healthy African American women. Cancer Nursing. doi:10.1097/NC.0b013182393de3

Skinner, C. S., Buchanan, A., Champion, V., Monahan, P., Rawl, S., Springston, J., Zhao, Q., Bourff, S. (2011). Process outcomes from a randomized controlled trial comparing tailored mammography interventions delivered via telephone vs. DVD. Patient Education and Counseling,85(2), 308-12. PMID: 21112173. PMCID: PMC3136570.

Smith-Howell, E. R., Rawl, S. M., Champion, V. L., Skinner, C. S., Springston, J., Krier, C., Russell, K. M., Perkins, S., Rhyant, B., Lloyd, F., Willis, D., Imperiale, T., & Myers, L. J. (2011). Exploring the role of cancer fatalism as a barrier to colorectal cancer screening. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 33(1), 140-141.

Burns, D. S., Bergeson, T. R., Perkins, S. M., McDonald, B. C., Saykin, A. J., Unverzagt, F. W., & Champion, V. L. (October, 2011). Music cognition in breast cancer survivors. Music and Medicine, 3(4), 258-263. doi: 10.1177/1943862111414434