Deborah Watkins Bruner RN, PhD, FAAN


Associate Director of Outcomes Research, Winship Cancer Institute

Phone: 404.712.9695


Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Emory University

1520 Clifton Road, NE

Atlanta, GA 30322-4027

Room: 232


Dr. Deborah Watkins Bruner completed her doctoral degree in nursing research, with a focus on outcomes research, at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bruner's teaching focuses on quantitative research methods, randomized clinical trials, health disparities and the acute and late effects of cancer along with symptom management.

She is the first and currently only nurse to serve as Principal Investigator of one of the National Cancer Institute sponsored Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOP) and is the Vice Chair for Outcomes of one of the national clinical trials cooperative groups, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). Dr. Bruner has worked for over two decades with the RTOG and the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG). She is current Chair of the RTOG Health Services Research and Outcomes (HSRO) Committee and a founding member of the RTOG and GOG quality of life committees. She conducted RTOG's first clinical trial incorporating quality of life. As RTOG Chair for the HSRO Committee she published the first conceptual framework which has changed the paradigm for incorporation of patient-reported outcomes into national clinical trials.

Dr. Bruner has been appointed to the NCI Clinical Trials Advisory Committee (CTAC) which helps set the national cancer clinical trials research agenda. Further, she is serving a second term as co-chair of the NCI Symptom Management and Quality of Life Steering Committee which has the purpose of reviewing and prioritizing NCI-funded symptom management and quality of life research and helping direct the future of these areas of science.

Dr. Bruner's research has focused on quality of life, patient reported outcomes, and symptom management across cancer sites, as well as decision-making, preferences and utilities for cancer therapies. Dr. Bruner is also internationally recognized for her research in sexuality after cancer therapy. In the area of recruitment and health disparities, Dr. Bruner has successfully employed the scientific evaluation of social marketing, a method novel to cancer research, and leads multifaceted studies of the behavioral aspects of human subjects recruitment to research trials.