Dr. Carolyn Phillips is an assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. She received her BSN from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2001, her MSN from the University of New Mexico in 2011, and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin where she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in 2019. Before joining the faculty at UT Austin, she spent two years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Phillips has been an oncology nurse for over 20 years and has practiced as a bedside nurse, nurse practitioner, educator, and leader. Her clinical and research expertise is in oncology and end-of-life care and she is interested in the psychoneuroimmunological mechanisms of grief and trauma and the development of expressive arts-based interventions to improve communication about and coping with complex emotions. In her current research, she examines the impact of storytelling through music with family and professional caregivers, and is specifically interested in its effect on brain connectivity, the alignment between neuro-affective and cognitive states, and the long-term effect on prolonged grief, post-traumatic growth, and psychosocial well-being.
In addition to her nursing career, Dr. Phillips is a performing musician. Her background in music and nursing uniquely situates her to be able to design and implement innovative interventions that combine the use of narrative writing, storytelling, and music to improve psychosocial well-being in patients and caregivers.