About Us > James Tulsky, MD

James Tulsky, MD


  • Chair of the department of psychosocial oncology and palliative care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Chief of the division of palliative medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Professor of medicine and co-director of the Center for Palliative Care at Harvard Medical School
  • Recipient of the 2002 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Dr. Tulsky is the recipient of the 2002 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (the highest national award given by the White House Office of Science and Technology for early career investigators), the 2006 Award for Research Excellence from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the 2013 George L. Engel Award from the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare for “outstanding research contributing to the theory, practice and teaching of effective healthcare communication and related skills,” and the 2014 American Cancer Society Pathfinder in Palliative Care award.

Dr. Tulsky has a longstanding interest in doctor-patient communication and quality of life in serious illness, and has published widely in these areas.  His research focuses on the evaluation and enhancement of communication between oncologists and patients with advanced cancer, identification of clinical, psychosocial, and spiritual trajectories of patients at the end of life, development of self-management interventions for patients with life-limiting illness, and evaluating the role of palliative care in congestive heart failure.  He is a Founding Director of VitalTalk a non-profit devoted to nurturing healthier connections between clinicians and patients through communication skills teaching.