Joanna Fanos, Ph.D.

Adjunct Affiliate Faculty


  • Ph.D. Human Development & Agin, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco
  • B.A. Art History, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York

Professional Background

Dr. Fanos is a research psychologist whose work has focused on the impact of serious pediatric genetic illness on the family, especially the well sibling. From 1987 to 1992 she was a member of the Department of Pulmonology and Medical Genetics at Children’s Hospital, Oakland. In 1991 she joined the Children’s Hospital Research Institute through a postdoctoral fellowship on the impact on pediatricians of caring for children with cancer. From 1992 to 2004 she was Senior Scientist in the Research Institute at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) and in the Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine and Psychiatry. In 1995 she was the only social scientist invited to spend a year at the National Human Genetics Research Institute(NIHGR)NIH.Her book, (Sibling Loss, 1996), was based on interviews with 75 adults who grew up with a sibling with cystic fibrosis. While at CPMC, she founded and directed the Sibling Centerfrom 2002-09, a preventive intervention program to help brothers and sisters of children and adolescents with serious medical conditions. From 2004 until 2014 she was Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Since 2008 until 2019she was Visiting Faculty and then Affiliate Faculty at Stanford University's Center for Biomedical Ethics.

Dr. Fanos' work as aresearch psychologist has focused on five main areas of concern: The impact on parents and siblings of serious, often fatal, pediatric genetic illness; ethical concerns of genetic testing of children; pre-symptomatic testing of individuals with a strong history of FamilialAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(FALS); psychological concerns related to newborn screening programs; and the impact of new genetic technologies.She has taught Qualitative Methods at NHGRI and to pediatric faculty at the Geisel School ofMedicine at Dartmouth, among others. She has been a member of the faculty in the Psychology Department at SJSU since 1991 and has mentored numerous students over the years as research assistants. She has received funding for more than 30 years, published widely in peer-reviewed medical journals, and given over 100 presentations throughout the U.S.


The NH and ME Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (NH-ME LEND) is a collaboration among Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, the College of Health and Human Services at the University of New Hampshire, and the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies/UCED at the University of Maine-Orono. The purpose of NH-ME LEND is to improve the health of children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities by preparing leaders to enter the field of maternal and child health.

Joanne Fanos headshot
10 West Edge Drive
Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824