Robert Knoerl, Ph.D., RN

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 2350 NURS1

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: 734-764-8617

In the news


  • Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Integrative Oncology
  • Symptom Management
  • Clinical trials

Robert Knoerl’s program of research aims to identify and develop integrative oncology approaches to improve the assessment and management of cancer treatment-related toxicities, such as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. To date, Dr. Knoerl has tested interventions such as cognitive behavioral pain management, yoga, and music therapy in prospective clinical trials for the management of a variety of cancer treatment-related symptoms. He most recently received a K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research. The purpose of the K23 study is to determine mechanisms and measures of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in adolescents and young adults receiving neurotoxic chemotherapy. Robert received postdoctoral training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (2017-2019) and is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s BSN (2014) and PhD (2017) nursing programs. 

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award; National Institute of Nursing Research (1K23NR018689-01A1); Determining Mechanisms and Measures for the Design of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy Clinical Trials in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer. Role: PI.
  • Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation: Hillman Alumni Advancing Early Research Opportunities; Identifying Modifiable Clinical Trial Factors to Increase Participation in Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropthy Prevention Clinical Trials: A Choice-Based Conjoint Analysis. Role: PI.


As an instructor, I hope to preserve the dignity of all students, help students master specific nursing or research skills, and to subsequently facilitate the learned skills in varying situations so that the learned content may be directly translated to their chosen careers. For students, I hope to create a welcoming learning environment and to promote the transmission of ideas during (e.g., group discussions, case-studies, writing) and outside of class (e.g., open communication with instructors) to facilitate the mastery of the content. Most importantly, I want to get to know each student in my class and be available as needed to help each student learn the class material to the best of their ability.

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, Oncology Nursing Society, 2015 – Present
  • Member, Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 2020 – Present

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Victoria Mock New Investigator Award, Oncology Nursing Society, 2020
  • The Excellence in Dissemination Award: Peer-Reviewed Publication – Educator/Leader, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Department of Nurisng and Patient Care Services, 2019


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2017
  • BSN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2014

Publication Highlights

  • Knoerl, Robert, Phillips, C. S., Berfield, J., Woods, H., Acosta, M., Tanasijevic, A., & Ligibel, J. (2021). Lessons learned from the delivery of virtual integrative oncology interventions in clinical practice and research during the COVID-19 pandemic. Supportive Care in Cancer.

  • Knoerl, Robert. (2021). CE: Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy. The American Journal of Nursing, 121(4), 26–30.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Mazzola, E., Hong, F., Salehi, E., McCleary, N., Ligibel, J., Reyes, K., & Berry, D. L. (2021). Exploring the impact of a decision support algorithm to improve clinicians’ chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy assessment and management practices: a two-phase, longitudinal study. BMC Cancer, 21(1), 236.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Gilchrist, L., Kanzawa-Lee, G. A., Donohoe, C., Bridges, C., & Lavoie Smith, E. M. (2020). Proactive Rehabilitation for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy. In Seminars in Oncology Nursing (Vol. 36, Issue 1, p. 150983). Elsevier Inc.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Hong, F., Blonquist, T., & Berry, D. (2019). Impact of Electronic Self-Assessment and Self-Care Technology on Adherence to Clinician Recommendations and Self-Management Activity for Cancer Treatment–Related Symptoms: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Cancer, 5(1), e11395.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Smith, E. M. L., Han, A., Doe, A., Scott, K., & Berry, D. L. (2019). Characterizing patient-clinician chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy assessment and management communication approaches. Patient Education and Counseling, 102(9), 1636–1643.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Weller, E., Halpenny, B., & Berry, D. (2018). Exploring the efficacy of an electronic symptom assessment and self-care intervention to preserve physical function in individuals receiving neurotoxic chemotherapy. BMC Cancer, 18(1), 1203.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Smith, E. M. L., Barton, D. L., Williams, D. A., Holden, J. E., Krauss, J. C., & LaVasseur, B. (2018). Self-Guided Online Cognitive Behavioral Strategies for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: A Multicenter, Pilot, Randomized, Wait-List Controlled Trial. The Journal of Pain : Official Journal of the American Pain Society, 19(4), 382–394.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Chornoby, Z., & Smith, E. M. L. (2018). Estimating the Frequency, Severity, and Clustering of SPADE Symptoms in Chronic Painful Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy. Pain Management Nursing : Official Journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses, 19(4), 354–365.

  • Knoerl, R., Lee, D., Yang, J., Bridges, C., Kanzawa-Lee, G., Lita Smith, G., & Lavoie Smith, E. M. (2018). Examining the Impact of a Web-Based Intervention to Promote Patient Activation in Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy Assessment and Management. Journal of Cancer Education, 33(5).

  • Knoerl, Robert, Barton, D. L., Holden, J. E., Krauss, J. C., LaVasseur, B., & Smith, E. M. L. (2018). Potential mediators of improvement in painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy via a web-based cognitive behavioural intervention. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal / Revue Canadienne de Soins Infirmiers En Oncologie, 28(3), 178–183.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Bridges, C., Smith, G., Yang, J., Kanzawa-Lee, G., & Smith, E. (2018). Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: Use of an Electronic Care Planning System to Improve Adherence to Recommended Assessment and Management Practices. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 22(5), E134–E140.

  • Knoerl, R., Dudley, W. N., Smith, G., Bridges, C., Kanzawa-Lee, G., & Smith, E. M. L. (2017). Pilot testing a web-based system for the assessment and management of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. CIN - Computers Informatics Nursing, 35(4).

  • Knoerl, Robert, Gray, E., Stricker, C., Mitchell, S. A., Kippe, K., Smith, G., Dudley, W. N., & Lavoie Smith, E. M. (2017). Electronic versus paper-pencil methods for assessing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Supportive Care in Cancer, 25(11), 3437–3446.

  • Knoerl, Robert, Lavoie Smith, E. M., & Weisberg, J. (2016). Chronic Pain and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: An Integrative Review. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 38(5), 596–628.

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