Our Team

Lauren Lux, LCSW

Lauren Lux, LCSW

Program Director

Lauren Lux, LCSW, directs the AYA Oncology Program at UNC. Her work as Program Director focuses on patient care, psychosocial research, programming, provider education, quality improvement, and advocacy. Along with her fabulous partners, she leads efforts to improve care for AYAs around the state of North Carolina and is involved in the advancement of the AYA oncology field in the United States. She has worked as a clinical social worker in the field of oncology throughout her career and her clinical practice and program work is inspired and informed by the incredible young people she meets every day.

Andrew Smitherman, MD MSc

Andrew Smitherman, MD MSc

Medical Director

Andrew “Smitty” Smitherman focuses his research and clinical effort on improving cancer care for adolescents and young adults as well as survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer. His work to date has examined the patterns of health care usage among survivors to characterize emerging chronic treatment-related morbidities. Building on this experience, he is currently studying the use biomarkers of aging for the early identification of the treatment-related morbidities as well as factors associated with clinical trial enrollment among AYAs.

Catherine Swift, LCSWA

Catherine Swift, LCSWA

Clinical Social Worker

Catherine Swift, LCSWA, provides direct patient care for the AYA population, acting as a counselor, advocate, and support services coordinator for teens and young adults. She also works with young parents facing advanced cancer as a research study interventionist. With a background in narrative medicine, religious studies, and palliative care, she is passionate about helping AYAs navigate the complex roles and identities they inhabit as young people, cancer patients, and so much more.

Melissa Matson, MSN, RN

Melissa Matson, MSN, RN

Nurse Practitioner

As the AYA Nurse Practitioner, Melissa brings years of experience caring for folks with cancer in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, first as a staff nurse, then nurse navigator, and for the past five years, nurse practitioner. During that time, she has developed a passion for helping meet the unique needs of young adults whose lives have been interrupted by cancer. In her role as AYA Nurse Practitioner, Melissa focuses on: enrollment of AYAs onto clinical trials, AYA Survivorship Care, and running the AYA multidisciplinary consult service.