Dr. Kelly Irwin is an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a faculty psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and MGH Schizophrenia Program. She is the founding director of the Collaborative Care and Community Engagement Program, a clinical and research program dedicated to improving cancer outcomes for individuals with serious mental illness at the Mass General Cancer Center and the medical director of the Clozapine Program. Dr. Irwin is also developing a consultation service to increase access to cancer care for individuals with serious mental illness in the community. Dr. Irwin graduated from Harvard University in 2001, Harvard Medical School in 2008, and the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in 2017.
Dr. Irwin investigates why people with severe mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are more likely to die from cancer and develops interventions to improve cancer outcomes throughout the continuum of cancer care. Dr. Irwin recently conducted a successful pilot of an interdisciplinary intervention incorporating proactive psychiatry consultation and case management at cancer diagnosis for patients with serious mental illness and is preparing to conduct a follow-up randomized trial. Her research has been funded by the American Cancer Society, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and featured in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine. In recognition of her innovation in clinical care, research, and advocacy, she was recently named one of the One Hundred leaders who are changing the face of cancer care delivery.