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Areas of Research

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

 

Research and Clinical Expertise of UCLA School of Nursing Faculty Who Can Direct Dissertations

Dong Sung An, PhD, MD
Research: Translational science aimed at HIV cure by developing hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) based anti-HIV gene therapy. The current limitation in HIV therapy is that anti-HIV drugs cannot provide cure. My research team investigates a permanent introduction of anti-HIV genes into HSC that has a potential to offer a lifelong protection against HIV. I identified a small interfering RNA (siRNA) expressed from a lentiviral vector to inhibit the expression of a major HIV co-receptor CCR5 to protect cells from HIV infection. The CCR5 directed siRNA is currently investigated in a phase I/I clinical trial (Safety Study of a Dual Anti-HIV Gene Transfer Construct to Treat HIV-1 Infection. http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01734850). 

Significance: The requirement for life long daily drug administration due to the viral persistence has intensified efforts to develop novel therapeutics to achieve cure. Dr An's research team investigates a permanent introduction of anti-HIV genes into HSC that has a potential to offer a lifelong protection against HIV.

Clinical: N/A

dan@sonnet.ucla.edu

Barbara Bates-Jensen, PhD, RN, CWOCN
Research: Chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and leg ulcers are a worldwide silent epidemic with limited public awareness about the financial costs of care for these wounds and the poor outcomes associated with inadequate care including suffering, loss of function, amputation, and death. My research is focused on pressure ulcers & chronic wound care (screening & detection methods, prevention, assessment & management) in vulnerable populations. I work with nursing home residents, elders, persons with spinal cord injury, and critically ill patients. I also evaluate and use new technology in wound care such as a medical device that measures skin and tissue damage before it is visible on the skin surface that I helped invent with UCLA professors in computer science and bioengineering. The research methods that I use include: methodological research, behavioral observation studies, direct primary data collection, clinical trials and cohort observational studies. The research my team conducts has the potential to improve care of persons with wounds here in the U.S. and around the world.

Significance: Dr Bates Jensen is interested in examining quality of care, and implementation science (translating research evidence into practice) as they relate to wound care in health care organizations.

Clinical: Gerontology nursing, chronic care, and wound care. I am actively involved in global wound care, providing education and training to build sustainable capacity in wound care in communities around the world.

bbatesjensen@sonnet.ucla.edu

Lynn Doering, DNSc, RN, FAAN 
Research: Care of patients with cardiac disease and heart transplantation and care of critically ill patients, focusing on the interface of behavior and biological outcomes, particularly inflammatory biomarkers; depression and immune dysfunction after coronary artery bypass surgery; identification of depression in cardiac patients; nurse-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for populations with or at risk for depression. Currently, Dr. Doering is exploring the use of an ECG biomarker to detect allograft rejection in heart transplant patients and is collecting psychosocial measures (depression, quality of life, anxiety) during the first 6 months after transplantation. The benefit of early detection of allograft rejection may allow more timely initiation of medical therapy and reduce mortality from acute rejection.

Significance: Dr Doering's research is significant for identifying clinical outcomes associated with depression and anxiety in cardiac patients, and her use of nurses to deliver CBT in depressed patients is unique and innovative

Clinical: Critical care and cardiopulmonary nursing

loering@sonnet.ucla.edu

Jo-Ann Eastwood, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN 
Research: Despite the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of women, research on young women and cardiovascular disease is scarce, particularly research on prevention efforts. My previous research focused on psychobiological correlates of ischemic heart disease in women. I further built upon this foundation by focusing on IHD prevention through the promotion of self-management. My current funded study combines clinical and mobile "m-Health" approaches to cardiovascular risk reduction in young, minority women in the Los Angeles area. In a mutually beneficial collaboration with the UCLA Wireless Health Institute, I have combined a community-based participatory research model with mobile health technology during the last two years. Significance: Consistent with UCLA's mission and the Institute of Medicine's report on reducing health disparities through prevention, I use an innovative approach that focuses on early recognition of risk factors, individualized goal setting and the development of self-management skills designed to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors to reduce IHD risk in young Black women in the Los Angeles area. It enables me to conduct cross-cultural research in the community. Through education on self-management skills, my research promotes sustainability and diffusion of heart healthy behaviors to the individual participant and into the family. jeastwoo@sonnet.ucla.edu

Clinical: Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult Critical Care and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Cardiovascular

Leah Fitzgerald, PhD, C-FNP 
Research: Assess impact of stress on responsiveness to human disease. Dr. FitzGerald's research focuses on biobehavioral relationships related to psychological and physiological stressors, as reflected in neuroendocrine, hormonal, and inflammatory markers to better understand the basis for changes in body composition, health risk factors and various health outcomes.  lfitzger@sonnet.ucla.edu

Dr. FitzGerald's program of research assesses stress and physiological links in the areas of exercise as a stressor and the physiological impact of oral health prevention in vulnerable and underserved populations.  Significance: Understanding the relationships between various behavior and stressors can help us to better understand the biological changes and the clinical relevance and implications for health and health promotion and protection.

Clinical: Family Nurse Practitioner

Karen Gylys, PhD, RN
Research: Understanding early changes in Alzheimer's disease brain, specifically the mechanisms by which synapses degenerate.  We study postmortem Alzheimer's tissue and transgenic mouse models of this disease, and focus on the synapse region through use of a synaptosome preparation (resealed nerve terminals).  Synaptic changes are detected with flow cytometry analysis of synaptosomes using novel protocols that we have developed.  We also use conventional biochemical assays including ELISA and Westerns, and image synaptic regions using confocal and electron microscopy.  Collaborative projects with the Easton Center for Alzheimer's Research are directed at measuring CSF and plasma biomarkers in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with the goal of finding a blood test that will identify Alzheimer's patients early in the disease and track patient response to therapies.

Significance: The focus of the Gylys lab is on understanding the earliest changes Alzheimer's disease synapses through study of postmortem human tissue and mouse models of AD.  A second major focus is the study of early AD-related changes that show up in blood; the goal is finding blood tests to help us detect AD earlier, and to monitor subject's response to therapeutics in clinical trials.

Clinical: Cardiac and critical care nursing

kgylys@sonnet.ucla.edu

Nalo Hamilton, PhD, APRN, BC
Research: Research is focused on the development of breast cancer and the health disparity associated with this disease.  Investigating the regulatory affects of the insulin like growth factor-II (IGF-2) on estrogen receptor mediated pathways will assess the clinical utility of IGF2 as a breast cancer biomarker. 

Significance: Understanding the cascade of events in breast cancer development and associated ethnic differences will improve our ability to develop therapeutic agents that target cellular/molecular events in aggressive breast cancer.

Clinical:  OB and Primary Care; Certified women's health and adult health nurse practitioner

nhamilton@sonnet.ucla.edu

MarySue V. Heilemann, PhD, RN
Research: Dr. Heilemann's research focuses on depression among Latinas in relation to strengths (mastery, resilience, and other protective factors), motivation, and readiness to change, in the context of intergenerational cultural expectations, gender issues, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Her expertise is in qualitative research methodology (Grounded Theory and Interpretive Phenomenology). Dr. Heilemann has also initiated and moderated symposiums to focus on Media and Nursing.

Significance: This work is important for creating strategies to successfully engage and treat symptomatic women. Her focus on media is valuable to nurses seeking to engage in new communication strategies in the 21st century.

Clinical: Community-based mental health, community health nursing, and public health nursing

mheilema@ucla.edu

Felicia Schanche Hodge, DrPH
Research: Dr. Hodge's research focuses on chronic health conditions and health beliefs and behaviors among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Indigenous populations. Her work includes smoking cessation and control, diabetes and cancer screening and control, obesity, adverse childhood events, self-management of pain, and cultural constructs of illness and disease. Dr. Hodge holds a joint faculty position in Public Health (Health Services Department), is the Director of the Center for American Indian/Indigenous Research and Education (CAIIRE), and is the Director of an NINR-funded T32 Predoctoral-Postdoctoral Vulnerable Populations Training Program. fhodge@sonnet.ucla.edu

Significance: Studies document that AI/ANs have had the poorest health with cancer leading as the number one cause of death followed by heart disease and suicide. Cultural interventions are low overdue and play an important role in community wellness.

Clinical: NA

Angela Hudson, PhD, RN, FNP-C
Research: Dr. Hudson's research focuses on health promotion and risk reduction behaviors among at-risk youth. Her current research pertains to youth currently and formerly in foster care, homeless youth, and LGBT youth and their respective health-related issues. Another aspect of Dr. Hudson's research concerns HIV/AIDS awareness and interventions to increase HIV testing rates in all persons, irrespective of risk status. She is currently exploring primary care providers' perspectives on facilitators and barriers to HIV testing as part of standard practice in ambulatory care settings. 

Clinical: Maternity-Newborn nursing, Certified family nurse practitioner

ahudson@sonnet.ucla.edu

Boyoung Hwang, RN, PhD
Research: Dr. Boyoung Hwang's program of research focuses on the impact of caregiving on physical and psychological health of family caregivers who care for their loved one with heart disease.
bhwang@sonnet.ucla.edu

Significance: She has developed and implemented a cognitive behavioral intervention designed to reduce stress among these caregivers, which will ultimately contribute to improvement in the lives of both patients and their family caregivers.

Clinical: Cardiovascular nursing, mental health nursing

Eufemia Jacob, PhD, RN
Research: Dr. Eufemia Jacob developed the"Wireless Intervention Program" (WIP)" that uses handheld electronic devices for self-monitoring pain and symptoms at home in children with chronic illness (cancer, sickle cell disease, persistent chronic pain).  The WIP allows remote monitoring of pain and symptoms by health care providers, and facilitates communication between pediatric patients and health care providers.  The effectiveness of the WIP will be evaluated to determine whether it will reduce the frequency and severity of daily pain and symptoms, minimize hospitalizations for pain and symptoms, and thereby, improve sleep, and increase overall quality of life in children with chronic illness (cancer, sickle cell disease, and persistent chronic pain).  Dr. Jacob is also investigating abnormal sensory processing in children with persistent chronic pain that may lead to testing of individualized intervention strategies based on abnormal sensory processing profiles (i.e., hypoesthesia, hyperesthesia, hypoalgesia, hyperalgesia, allodynia). 

Significance: The WIP is important because children with chronic illness require ongoing medical care and the WIP allows children to learn self-management behaviors and promote communications with health care providers.  This enhanced communication would then empower them to be more involved in decisions regarding their own care, rather than heavily relying on their parents or caregivers as they transition into young adults. Her work on sensory pain may help clinicians provide optimal and medically-justifiable pain treatments.  The findings may change the way we teach children with sickle cell disease and parents about pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain management strategies, particularly for children with persistent chronic pain.

Clinical: pediatric nursing, hematology/oncology nursing

ejacob@sonnet.ucla.edu

Deborah Koniak-Griffin, EdD, RN, WHCNP, FAAN 
Research: Testing of nursing interventions to reduce risk behaviors and promote the health of pregnant and parenting adolescents and their children has led to the development of three evidence-based models.  These focus on home visitation by public health nurses and prevention of HIV/AIDS/. Home visitation by public health nurses was shown to decrease infant morbidity, improve maternal health outcomes and reduce repeat pregnancy rates. Young parents in two HIV preventions programs demonstrated decreased sexual risk-taking behaviors, thereby reducing risk for repeat, unplanned pregnancy. In a recent study, overweight/obese Latino women in a lifestyle behavior intervention reported improved dietary habits and had favorable changes in waist circumference and physical activity. Ongoing works involves promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors (physical activity) in middle school students and involvement with the UCLA CTSI. Dr. Koniak-Griffin is Chair of the Health Promotion Science Section and Director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations Research.dkoniak@sonnet.ucla.edu

Significance: Dr Koniak Griffin's program in the area of adolescent health promotion has led to the development of three intervention programs that are evidence-based models of care being promoted by the federal government for dissemination and replication across the United States. These interventions have been shown to reduce risk-taking behaviors associated with unplanned repeat pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS as well as improve the infant health in pregnant and parenting adolescents and their children.

Clinical: Maternity nursing, women's health nurse practitioner

 

Linda Searle Leach, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNL
Research: My research is centered on transforming care delivery processes to improve quality of care and patient safety at the organizational systems macro-level and care delivery processes at the micro-level. The focus is the practice environment of nurses and physicians in acute care hospitals, multidisciplinary teams including rapid response team and surgical teams, factors/processes that influence safety, adverse, and quality outcomes, and nurse executive and manager leadership. Methods include network studies, quantitative designs particularly survey research and instrument evaluation and qualitative research using grounded theory, interview, focus groups, and observation.lleach@sonnet.ucla.edu

Significance: This research contributes to the science of improvement which is concerned with, for example,  how improvements are made in hospitals and complex adaptive systems. The Institute of Medicine has declared transforming care delivery processes to improve quality of care a priority focus necessary to minimize the variation in quality identified as a serious threat to our nation's health (IOM, 2001). The aim of my research is to improve quality and safety (patient outcomes), enhance the work environment (frontline engagement), and support transformative change through leadership and better systems. The purpose is to leverage the tacit knowledge of frontline staff into interprofessional organizational learning that will improve both quality and efficiency.

Clinical: Nursing Administration of health care services

 

Eunice Lee, PhD, GNP
Research: Nursing Interventions to improve breast/cervical/colorectal cancer screening among immigrants; care of vulnerable and minority elder adults with dementia and their caregivers; depression; cross-cultural methodology. Dr. Lee's program of research has been focusing on the development and testing of culturally targeted, community-based interventions to increase breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer screening behavior among minority women, especially Korean American women. A major emphasis in her work has been on increasing early detection among aging and vulnerable populations and the reduction of health disparities in cancer prevention. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Cancer Institute. Her expertise is in behavior change theory and testing theory-based interventions that incorporate culture to optimize cancer screening.eclee@sonnet.ucla.edu

Significance: Dr. Lee's program of research has been focusing on the development and testing of culturally targeted, community-based interventions to increase breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer screening behavior among minority women, especially Korean American women. A major emphasis in her work has been on increasing early detection among aging and vulnerable populations and the reduction of health disparities in cancer prevention. Research methods of interests - descriptive, experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods

Clinical: Gerontological nurse practitioner, geriatric-psychiatric nursing

 

Mary Ann Lewis, DrPH, RN, FAAN
Research: Health Services Research which in the past has tested the effectiveness of intra-disciplinary interventions to improve the quality and outcomes of care for adults with developmental disabilities, the frail elderly, and children with asthma and epilepsy. The Affordable Care Act offers the opportunity to study the quality and outcomes of care provided to persons across the life span with chronic diseases by health care teams in populations with social and health disparities. These vulnerable populations lack the social determinants that promote health and are the most costly to the health care system.mlewis@sonnet.ucla.edu

Clinical: Family health

 

Courtney H. Lyder, ND, ScD(Hon), FAAN (on leave 2014-2015)
Research: Care of vulnerable and minority elder adults. Particular emphasis on chronic care issues -- pressure ulcer prevention and management, perineal dermatitis, urinary incontinence, medication adherence, elder safety. Research methods of interests - descriptive, experimental and health services research.

Clinical: Gerontological nursing

clyder@sonnet.ucla.edu

Paul M. Macey, PhD, Assistant Professor in Residence, Associate Dean for Information Technology and Innovations, Chief Innovation Officer
Research: I study the brain in people with sleep-disordered breathing, to understand pathology and find new interventions. My focus is the neural regulation of body functions such breathing and cardiovascular control, and of psychological factors such as depression and anxiety, in people with obstructive sleep apnea. My group uses MRI scanning to look at brain structure and function, and we relate changes on MRI scans to performance on physiologic tests of blood pressure and breathing, as well as measurements of mood and stress. Such physical and psychological measures are performed in the MRI scanner, in laboratories, and in people's homes using mobile health technology. I also collaborate with teams in other UCLA departments and universities across the World on a variety of brain imaging projects.

Significance: I study the relationship between the brain and physical and psychological stresses in people with obstructive sleep apnea. Building on this knowledge, I test the effectiveness of physical and psychological interventions in sleep apnea, such the standard "CPAP" treatment, and blood pressure reduction using drugs or mindfulness. The goal is to help treat the full range of symptoms experienced by people with sleep apnea.

pmacey@ucla.edu

424-234-3244 phone/voicemail/text

Sally Maliski, PhD, RN 
Research: Our team's research focuses on symptom experience and management among minority and high-risk populations of men with prostate cancer and their partners.  Most currently we are developing and testing patient-driven interventions to minimize elevated cardiovascular risk associated with androgen deprivation therapy for treatment of prostate cancer and family focused interventions for communicating about prostate cancer to first degree relatives among Latinos. This work will decrease the burden of treatment-related side effects and promote diagnosis at earlier stage disease for these men and their families. We are also beginning to explore treatment decision-making among African American men as an aspect of documented treatment disparities related to prostate cancer treatment.  I am also exploring decision-making among altruistic and bridge kidney donors in effort to provide better counseling, education, and follow-up for individuals considering kidney donation. My research uses primarily qualitative methods (grounded theory) and mixed methods designs.

Significance: Our team's research focuses on symptom experience and management among minority and high-risk populations of men with prostate cancer and their partners.  Most currently we are developing and testing patient-driven interventions to minimize elevated cardiovascular risk associated with androgen deprivation therapy for treatment of prostate cancer and family focused interventions for communicating about prostate cancer to first degree relatives among Latinos.

Clinical: Oncology

smaliski@sonnet.ucla.edu

Janet Mentes, PhD, APRN, BC
Research: Improving the care of older adults, primarily in areas of oral hydration, oral care, and delirium detection and management.  Current research emphasis is on early detection and management of dehydration in older adults in community and institutional settings, through the use of various biomarkers, such as urine and salivary parameters along with hydration habits.

Significance: Dehydration is a complicating condition that increases the likelihood of hospitalization of many common diseases of older adults including congestive heart failure, cancer treatments, and diabetes to name a few.  Validation of early methods of detecting dehydration have the potential to decrease these un-needed costly hospitalizations and improve quality of life for older adults.

An additional research focus is evaluation of a mentorship program for promoting under-represented minority students' success in gerontological nursing PhD programs.

Significance: Increasing the number of nurses with PhDs from diverse backgrounds will accelerate the science required to decrease health disparities among underrepresented minority groups.

Co-Director of the Center for Advancement of Gerontological Nursing Research (AGNS)
Clinical: Geropsychiatric advanced practice nurse
jmentes@sonnet.ucla.edu

Adey Nyamathi, PhD, ANP, FAAN
Research: Coping and adjustments to illness, health promotion and risk reduction with vulnerable homeless and drug-addicted adults and adolescents at risk for HIV/AIDS, TB, HBV and HCV. In Dr. Nyamathi's 29-year history of continuous RO1 NIH funding as a Principal Investigator, her randomized controlled trials with homeless adults and youth at risk for HIV/AIDS has resulted in significant behavioral change, namely, a decrease in drug use and unprotected sex with multiple partners, and improvement in psychosocial resources. Her Nurse Case-Managed program with homeless persons infected with TB and Hepatitis have demonstrated significantly greater completion with TB chemoprophylaxis and the HAV/HBV vaccine series as compared with Traditional approaches. Her research activities in India focused on women living with AIDS has resulted in significant improvements in behavioral and biologic indices and her work with parolees has resulted in significant reduction in ongoing drug use and reincarceration. She is the Co-Director of an NINR-funded Predoctoral-Postdoctoral Training Center on Health Disparities with Vulnerable Populations.

Significance: Dr Nyamathi has conducted descriptive and randomized trials during the last three decades among vulnerable populations including homeless and drug addicted persons, gay/bisexual youth and men at risk for HIV/AIDS and rural women living with AIDS in India. Her work utilizes community-based participatory methods and fully engages community health workers.

Clinical Expertise: Community Health
anyamath@sonnet.ucla.edu

Carol Pavlish, PhD, RN
Research: Clinical ethics at the patient, family, provider, and healthcare system levels; ethical conflicts in oncology and ICU care; end-of-life decision making; team-based ethical advocacy; moral distress. I also research gender-based violence in post-conflict settings; refugee and immigrant women's health; transcultural nursing care; social justice and social advocacy; health and human rights. Research approaches include narrative, ethnographic, and community-based collaborative action research.

Significance: The primary aims of my ethics research are to develop and test effectiveness of proactive, team-based interventions to prevent ethical conflicts and moral distress in oncology and ICU settings.
The primary aims of my social justice research are to develop and test effectiveness of health and human rights education to protect women against gender-based violence in post-conflict settings.

Clinical: Community health nursing and acute oncology nursing care

cpavlish@sonnet.ucla.edu

Linda Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN
Research: Family caregiving for frail elders; Care of frail elder in institutions including assisted living facilities; Strategies for improving transitional care of elders from emergency department and hospital to home; Nursing interventions to promoted functional behavior among elders with dementia; Elder abuse in homes and in institutions; Late-life domestic violence; Cross-cultural research on aging and caregiving; Community-based research; End-of-life caregiving.
Clinical: Gerontology, long term care, community health nursing
lrphillips@sonnet.ucla.edu

Huibrie C. Pieters, PhD, D.Phil, RN
Research: Healthcare decision-making is the focus of my research program and my international and domestic experiences in nursing, clinical psychology, and neuropsychology inform this work. Specifically, my work is concentrated on decision-making across different understudied populations: older women with early stage breast cancer, low-income, decision making about surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy, second generation Latinas seeking treatment for depression, and screening for cervical cancer among homeless women. Treatment-related decision making is a complex, multifaceted process within the patient-clinician interaction. Since it is the patient who ultimately makes decisions, I study decision making from the patient's perspective. The unique contribution of my body of work is describing complex issues that pose a serious threat to both survival and quality of life. Clinical: Psychiatric/Mental health nursing; gero-oncology
hpieters@ucla.edu

Significance: Improve care by exploring ways to improve access to care and increase adherence, both for disease prevention and active treatments.

Nancy A. Pike PhD, RN, FNP-C, CPNP-AC
Research: Biobehavioral and health outcomes in infants, children, and adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD) and their families. This includes quality of life, health status, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, body-image, clinical symptoms, feeding / growth, neurodevelopment and cognitive outcomes, acquired medical conditions with aging and self-care with transitioning to adulthood. I serve as Principal Investigator (PI) on an NIH-funded R01 grant to look at the biological interface between the clinical symptom of cognition / memory loss and brain structural injury (MRI) in adolescents with single ventricle heart disease after surgical palliation.

Significance: To evaluate the structural status of brain regions which control memory and their relationship the clinical symptom of memory loss in adolescents with single ventricle congenital heart disease after surgical correction.   This study has the potential to dramatically impact clinical practice, as information from this study can guide clinicians toward improved patient education/self-care strategies and test innovative interventions to improve memory in this growing population.  
Clinical: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Congenital Heart Disease, Cardiothoracic Surgery
npike@sonnet.ucla.edu

Wendie Robbins, PhD, RN, FAAN
Research: Biomarkers; reproductive toxicology; male reproductive health; occupational, environmental, and reproductive epidemiology.

Significance: The US Centers for Disease Control has identified infertility as a public health concern and has developed a national public health action plan to address this issue that affects ~1 in 7 couples. Our research focuses on promotion of healthy behaviors to maintain and preserve male fertility as well as identifying exposures that threaten optimal male reproductive health.

Clinical: Occupational and environmental health nursing
wrobbins@sonnet.ucla.edu

Linda Sarna, PhD, RN, FAAN
Research: Her current work involves testing distance learning methods directed at nurses to expand capacity to treat tobacco dependence. She has current projects focused on nurses and tobacco control in the Czech Republic and Poland, on behalf or the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, and in the U.S. (Kentucky and Louisianna). She is the lead author on a monograph that will be published by the World Health Organization on the nurses' role in reducing non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases). She also has conducted secondary analysis of smoking among healthcare providers using the Current Population Surveys. Prior work has focused on symptom recovery after lung cancer surgery and quality of life, and the impact of tobacco use on patients with cancer. She is part of work groups at the National Cancer Institute and the Joint Commission regarding documentation of clinical interventions for tobacco dependenceIn 2012-2013, she was the Chair of the Academic Senate at UCLA.
Clinical: Oncology
lsarna@sonnet.ucla.edu

Mary Ann Shinnick, PhD, MN, ACNP-BC 
Research: Investigates the efficacy of human patient simulation as a teaching methodology in nursing (knowledge gains, critical thinking, impact of learning styles and self-efficacy as related to knowledge after simulation). Currently using simulation to test eye-tracking technology such that they can be used for better education of nurses and in the development of new patient education strategies in the clinical areas, specifically in heart failure. Methods: Quantitative
mshinnic@sonnet.ucla.edu

Significance: This work is important for public safety as the development of valid assessment strategies ensures safe practitioners

Clinical: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist; Cardiac Surgery ICU and Heart Failure Clinic

Sophie Sokolow, PhD, MPharm
Research: Molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease with a special emphasis on calcium signaling pathways. Other research projects focus on the identification of new biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease and the role of pharmacogenomics in Alzheimer's disease progression and response to pharmacotherapy.
Significance: Dr. Sokolow studies the molecular mechanisms by which Alzheimer's disease develops in the brain. She also examines biomarkers and genetic factors associated with Alzheimer's disease progression and response to the current medications.Clinical: Pharmacist, pharmacovigilance and pharmacosurveillance.
Sokolow lab website: http://ssokolow.bol.ucla.edu/ | email: ssokolow@sonnet.ucla.edu

Elizabeth Thomas, RN, PhD, ANP-BC, COHN-S, CNL
Research: Dr. Thomas's research focuses on type 2 diabetes in older working adults. She has conducted grounded-theory qualitative studies on diabetes self-management at work and quantitative work on type 2 diabetes, hearing loss and work-related exposures (noise and chemicals) in older Mexican Americans as well as a pilot workplace-based musculoskeletal injury prevention program. Current studies include an extension of grounded-theory qualitative studies on diabetes self-management at work, a quantitative study of self-efficacy for diabetes self-management, self-management behaviors, and work productivity in older adults and a larger cohort of the workplace-based musculoskeletal injury prevention program. Dr. Thomas has 20+ years of experience as an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner working in high technology industries meeting the health, safety, and ergonomic needs of employees. She has designed, implemented, and managed numerous occupational health programs, including award winning workers' compensation and ergonomics programs. She has extensive experience as a team member and team leader in Total Quality Management initiatives.

ethomas@sonnet.ucla.edu

Dorothy J. Wiley, PhD, RN
Research: Interests relate to HPV infection across the lifespan: in children (juvenile laryngeal papillomatosis), adolescents and young adults (HPV infections, genital warts, neoplasia) and middle- to older-adults (cancers and neoplasia). Additionally, our group focuses on developing effective screening strategies for detecting precancers and cancers, and we examine associations between HPV infection characteristics, neoplasia and molecular biomarkers across the lifespan are important to understanding the natural history of HPV-related cancers (HPV methylation. Sexual health, sexuality and sexually transmitted infections that influence the natural history of HPV-infections and -related neoplasia are our concern.  Vaccine prevention strategies and uptake of vaccine campaigns in the community are key interests (HPV-16 monovalent, 4-valent and 9-valent HPV vaccines).  Our research also characterizes the intersection of HPV and HIV infections, including high-risk and population surveillance for cervical, oropharyngeal and anal cancer and screening activities.  The Wiley group evaluates risk factors for HPV-disease progression; especially related to HIV in human populations Dr. Wiley uses epidemiological methods to identify health- and disease- patterns in human populations.

Significance: Nearly 500,000 women, worldwide, are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and nearly 250,000 will die from disease annually.  A major aim of our work centers on developing and testing screening interventions and early treatments to prevent invasive cancers caused by HPV.  These include improved clinical specimen collection techniques, and identifying biological markers that are associated with higher risk for precancers.

Clinical: Community-based and public health practice; adolescent females and adult women, adult men, older adults and high-risk populations; prevention strategies to decrease morbidity and mortality in diverse communities.
dwiley@ucla.edu

Ann B. Williams, RNC, EdD, FAAN 
Research: For over 3 decades, Williams has worked as a nurse practitioner caring for persons with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and abroad. Her program of research is a direct outgrowth of that clinical work. She designed and conducted some of the earliest studies of AIDS among drug users. Her work tested interventions to decrease HIV transmission, improve gynecologic care of women living with HIV, and increase patient adherence to antiretroviral medication. The work has been funded by sources such as NIH, AMFAR and World AIDS Foundation.  Her work in China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Poland supports the international effort to limit the spread of HIV and improve the care of those already infected. Currently, she leads a collaborative study of HIV/AIDS medication adherence in China. awilliams@sonnet.ucla.edu

Significance: Knowledge gained from Ai Sheng Nuo will contribute to successful treatment of HIV disease around the world through increased understanding of factors associated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, interventions to improve adherence, and factors associated with resistance to ART.

Clinical: Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 30 years of experience in primary care with a special focus on people with substance abuse issues and those living with HIV/AIDS. 

Mary Woo, DNSc, RN, FAAN, FAHA
Research: Brain-heart interactions and their impact on sudden death and cognition, with an emphasis on heart failure and sleep apnea. Current studies are designed to identify areas of brain damage and interventions to protect or re-grow regions of brain injury. Research methods include brain magnetic resonance imaging, sleep studies (overnight polysomnography), heart rate variability, autonomic testing, and cognitive evaluation.

Significance: The primary aims of my research are to identify and develop interventions to protect high risk patients (heart failure, persons with obstructive sleep apnea) from brain injury.
Clinical: Critical Care
mwoo@sonnet.ucla.edu

Emeriti Faculty

Nancy Anderson, PhD, RN, C-ANP, FAAN
Research: Adolescent health beliefs and decision-making, adolescent perceptions of risk including HIV, substance abuse and violence, qualitative methods. Dr. Anderson has identified perceptions of risk among teens in juvenile detention. Current work as Director of the Social Policy and Dissemination Core for the Center for Vulnerable Populations Research centers on employing participatory research and ethnographic methods in community based research.
nanderso@sonnet.ucla.edu

Betty Chang, DNSc, RN, C-FNP, FAAN
Research: Functional status and self-care in the elderly, and their caregivers, health services research on outcomes of nursing care, telehealth and distance learning in integrative east-west medicine. Dr. Chang studies intervention to reduce the burden of family members who care for persons with chronic illnesses in the home. Growth in the older population makes this issue critical in maintaining the health of our middle-aged adult "children" and their parents in the comfort of their homes. She is also looking at the role of self-care (non-physician prescribed), and the use of technology in the improvement of health in adults in their middle and older years.

Clinical: Gerontological nursing, integrative East-West medicine
bchang@sonnet.ucla.edu

Jacquelyn Flaskerud, C-FNP, RN, FAAN
Research: AIDS prevention in vulnerable populations; Culture, ethnicity and mental illness. Dr. Flaskerud's research emphasizes the influence of cultural beliefs and practices on the prevention and treatment of AIDS and mental illness as well as the utilization of health services by ethnic and vulnerable populations.
Clinical: Neuropsychiatric nursing; community mental health nursing.

Donna McNeese-Smith, EdD, RN
Research: Organizational factors affecting quality of care processes and outcomes. Specifically, Dr. McNeese-Smith is studying the effect of managed care on substance abuse treatment processes, including methods, intensity, and duration; and patient outcomes such as substance use and employment, and organizational outcomes including costs of care. Another area of research is nurse and manager factors (i.e., leadership, power motivation, development and career stage) that influence staff job satisfaction, productivity, organizational commitment, and patient satisfaction.
Clinical: Administration of health care services
dmcneese@sonnet.ucla.edu

Joyce Newman Giger, EdD, APRN, BC, FAAN
Research: Focuses on genetic indices and other physiological predictors of coronary heart disease among pre-menopausal African-American women (18-45) as they relate to designing culturally competent interventions to stop the phenotypical expression of risk indices for the development of coronary heart disease among this vulnerable population.  Dr. Giger's research specifically takes into account gene-environmental interactions, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, the metabolic syndrome in relations to the development of coronary heart disease in this vulnerable population.
Clinical: Transcultural nursing
jgiger@sonnet.ucla.edu

Linda Phillips, RN, PhD, FAAN
Research:  Family caregiving for frail elders; Strategies for improving transitional care of elders from emergency department and hospital to home; Care of frail elder in institutions; Elder abuse in homes and in institutions; Late-life domestic violence; End-of-life caregiving; Ethno-gerontological nursing studying the intersect of aging and transcultural nursing.  Significance:  The US has a rapidly growing older population, particularly among those in ethnically unique groups.  Developing and testing nursing interventions to reduce frailty and functional decline and enhance care at home has significant cost and quality of life implications.

Factors that influence students in pre-licensure nursing programs to choose research careers in nursing.  Significance:  Most nurse researchers, particularly those in ethnically unique groups, have very short research careers because they tend to pursue doctoral education after age 40.  National nursing leaders and nursing organizations have set a goal to increase the length of research careers in nursing by promoting early-entry into scientific careers.  The goal of lengthening research careers has the potential to significantly increase the impact nurses can make in the health of the nation.  This research is designed to gain the knowledge needed to design interventions to entice nurses into science early in their nursing careers.

Clinical:  Gerontology, long term care, community health nursing

lrphillips@sonnet.ucla.edu

Donna Ver Steeg, PhD, MSN, MA, RN, FAAN
Research: Health work force planning, delegation of decision-making, behaviors of professions in organizations, past, present, and future.
dverstee@sonnet.ucla.edu

Research and Clinical Expertise of Other Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

Mary-Lynn Brecht, PhD
Research: Current projects focus on patterns and correlates of methamphetamine (meth) use; treatment outcomes and HIV risk behaviors for meth users; and the application of longitudinal statistical methods to substance abuse and health research. Past projects have included needs assessment (for substance abuse treatment, for training among service providers related to problem gambling), evaluation of treatment for drug abuse, substance use prevalence estimation, community indicators of drug abuse problems.
Statistical expertise: multivariate statistical methods, especially for longitudinal studies 
lbrecht@mednet.ucla.edu

Mary Cadogan, DrPH, RN, C-GNP
Research: Improving quality of care across settings for older adults.
Clinical: Advanced Practice Gerontology Nursing; Community based health promotion and disease prevention for diverse populations

mcadogan@sonnet.ucla.edu

Catherine Carpenter, PhD, MPH
Research: Malnutrition, represented by over and under nutrition, has a global impact on human health and disease.  I have a dual research interest in both obesity and malnutrition.  My current research areas include: the effect of protein on muscle mass gain among women living with HIV in rural India; the influence of malnutrition on recovery from surgery among kids living in Kolkata, India; diet and exercise intervention studies for breast cancer prevention; and candidate genes associated with appetite and food craving in development of obesity. Future research directions include studies of protein intake in relationship to reduction of food craving and addictive behavior in alcoholics, and healthy nutrition and prevention of cervical cancer among women living with HIV in rural India.Clinical Research:  Design and analysis of randomized nutritional intervention trials. 
ccarpenter@mednet.ucla.edu

Significance: The impact of nutrition in improving the health of vulnerable populations is critically important and vastly understudied.

Pamela L. Davidson, MSHS, PhD
Research: Dr. Pamela Davidson is the CTSI-Evaluation program area leader, director of the UCLA Health System Patient Safety Institute, and associate professor in the Schools of Nursing and Public Health. Her expertise is in evaluation design and methods, strategic planning, systems and organizational change, and health services research. Over the past two decades Dr. Davidson has directed large-scale multisite research and evaluation studies and taught Health Services Evaluation, Organization and Management Processes, and Health Systems and Organizations. Dr. Davidson participated on the leadership team that developed and launched the UCLA CTSI. As the Program Area Leader for CTSI-Evaluation, she is leading the team on several major initiatives in 2013: (1) CTSI Executive Dashboard of performance measures that align with the national CTSA Consortium and our regional CTSA network, the UC BRAID; (2) Partnership with the F5LA Dental/Medical Home Project to improve oral health care for Los Angeles children (0-5 years) and to build a sustainable infrastructure for conducting research in a provider/community network (Crall, PI); (3) Strategic alliance with the UCLA Health System Patient Safety Institute (PSI)to build an infrastructure and interface for conducting multisite research for accelerating patient safety innovation, and (4) Co-PI on the Josiah Macy Foundation-funded project, Innovative Tools for Evaluating Interprofessional Competencies. Prior to the CTSI-Evaluation Program, Dr. Davidson helped launch the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) and consulted with the organization for a decade as a lead evaluator and research advisor. Dr. Davidson is a member of the National CTSA Consortium Evaluation KFC and the American Evaluation Association. CTSI web site: http://www.ctsi.ucla.edu/
PDavidson@sonnet.ucla.edu

Anna Gawlinski, DNSc, RN, CS-ACNP, FAAN
Research: Research is focused on testing interventions aimed at improving outcomes in acute and critically ill patients in areas such as hemodynamic monitoring, animal assisted therapy, patient communication, and the nurses' role in patient safety and the recovery of errors. Dr. Gawlinski has expertise in the implementation of infrastructures that supports research and evidence-based practice in the micro and macro-system hospital setting.

Significance: Dr. Gawlinski's program of research brings new innovations to patient care that helps patients and their families; and her work facilitates nurses practicing with the best evidence to improve patient care and patient outcomes of care.
Clinical: Cardiovascular Acute and Critical Care
agawlins@sonnet.ucla.edu

Colleen Keenan, PhD, RN
Research: Reduction of high-risk behaviors and strategies to promote physical and mental health adapted for use in homeless adolescents, adults and families.
Clinical: Primary Care, Women's Health, Family Planning, Homeless Health Care
ckeenan@sonnet.ucla.edu

Mary Marfisee, MD, MPH
mmarfisee@sonnet.ucla.edu

Kris A. McLoughlin, DNP, APRN, FAAN

Research: Recovery-Oriented Practices in Mental Health Nursing

Clinical Expertise: Serious Mental Illness; Co-Occurring Mental Illness and Substance Disorders; Forensic Psychiatric Nursing; Recovery Practices in Mental Health; Interdisciplinary psychiatric treatment teams and treatment planning; Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice; healthcare systems and system change; designing, implementing and evaluating mental health systems of care; The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act; and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Olmstead decision.

kmcloughlin@sonnet.ucla.edu

Mary Baron Nelson, PhD RN CPNP

Research: long-term effects of childhood cancer and its treatment on the central nervous system, using magnetic resonance imaging techniques to define areas of injury, related to neurocognitive outcomes and quality of life. My long-term goal is to identify predictive biomarkers and develop interventions to improve outcomes.

Clinical: pediatric nurse practitioner specializing in the care of children with cancer, specifically brain tumors, the long-term effects of cancer and its treatment, and pre-anesthesia assessment and evaluation.

mbnelson@sonnet.ucla.edu.

Maria Elena Ruiz, PhD, RN
Research: Racial/ethnic minority health and aging, with an intergenerational family focus.  Particular emphasis on Latinos, health disparities, social epidemiology, and the intersection of place, culture, and language in urban and rural areas.  Special focus on mixed qualitative and quantitative methods and community based participatory designs.  Research projects include studies on familismo, chronic illness and caregiving, homelessness, farmworkers and workplace violence, as well as underrepresented Hispanic/Latino nurses. mruiz@sonnet.ucla.edu

Leadership: Recognized national nurse leader, Latina Spanish language/culture leader, and community advocate for underrepresented nurses and underserved communities; cross cultural expertise.  Faculty Affiliate with the Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA (Associate Director, 2020-2012); and the Latin America Institute.

International Health Programs: Coordinator for the Latin America-Cuba Project (international health experiences for nursing students in Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries).

Significance: In the US, as worldwide, we are facing serious health, aging, culture/language, and environmental health issues.  My clinical, teaching, research and service allows me to integrate these areas, with an international perspective, in order that we may share resources and strategies to decrease health disparities and to improve health outcomes.

Clinical: Clinical focus: Primary Care in underserved communities with interdisciplinary teams, Advanced Practice, and Community/Public Health in underserved urban/rural communities.

Benissa Salem, PhD, RN, MSN

Research: Utilizing community based participatory methods (CBPR) to address needs of middle age and older homeless and otherwise vulnerable populations; characterizing frailty among middle age and older homeless men and women; development of health promotion interventions to address health needs among middle age and older homeless women; reduction of drug use and risky behaviors among older homeless adults at risk for HIV and other infectious diseases.

Significance: Primary goals include developing multidisciplinary interventions to address frailty, drug use and dependency and HIV risk behaviors at the individual - level and structural level.

Clinical: Community and public health nursing, Gerontology, Health disparities/vulnerable populations

bsalem@sonnet.ucla.edu

Karabi Sinha

Research:

ksinha@sonnet.ucla.edu

 

Lecturers

Jody Adams-Renteria, RN, FNP
Family Practice and Occupational Health

Clinical: Family NP
jadams@sonnet.ucla.edu

Kay Baker
kbaker@sonnet.ucla.edu

Theresa Brown

Acute Care

Clinical: Cardiology
tbrown@sonnet.ucla.edu

Nancy Jo Bush, MN, MA, RN, AOCN, ONP
Clinical: Oncology; psychiatric mental health; depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress in the oncology population, compassion fatigue and nurse grief; oncology family caregiving.
njbush@sonnet.ucla.edu

Mary Canobbio, MN, RN, FAAN
Research: Adolescent and adult congenital heart disease (ACHD); reproductive issues in women w/ ACHD, specifically she examines pregnancy outcomes of females with complex congenital heart disease.

Significance: The number of  women born with serious heart defects surviving to adulthood in steadily increasing.    The risk of pregnancy to mother and fetus  with complex defects remains  unclear.   My research for selected complex defects examines short and long term impact/ survival after pregnancy.

Clinical: Acute Care; Cardiovascular  nursing; Adult congenital heart disease including transitional care for adolescents with congenital heart disease; pregnancy management and pre-pregnancy and contraceptive counseling

mcanobbi@sonnet.ucla.edu

Barbara Demman, RN, MSN, ACNP, CNS
Clinical: Acute care nurse practitioner, emergency medicine residency at LA County Hospital Clinical Nurse Specialist, acute care
bdemman@sonnet.ucla.edu

Elizabeth Dixon, PhD, MSN/MPH, RN
Lecturer:  Health Promotion and Community Health (BS and MECN)

Clinical: Community/Public health nursing Research interests:  Community-based participatory research with vulnerable populations, social determinants of health, and health disparities

edixon@sonnet.ucla.edu

Jan Fredrickson, RN, MN, C-PNP
Clinical: Pediatric ambulatory care, pediatric emergency care, pediatric critical care and child maltreatment
jfrederic@sonnet.ucla.edu

Stacey D. Green, MSN, GNP-BC, AOCNP
Nurse Practitioner,
UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program
Phone: 310.825.5321
Fax:     310.825.0644
Page:   310.825.6301 # 26278
sdgreen@mednet.ucla.edu

Charles Griffis
Research: Neuroimmune physiology; effect of acute pain on immune inflammatory responses with implications to patient populations with pain syndromes. Just completed post-doctoral study, analyzing data, preparing to publish. Currently involved in investigation as Co-Investigator with Dr. Peggy Compton (PI) : "Pain, Opioids and Inflammatory Responses".
Clinical: Nurse anesthesia
cgriffis55@gmail.com

M. Jill Jordan, RNC, MSN,(Ed), CNL
Skills Lab Manager, Lecturer, Simulation learning, and Fundamentals Lab Contributor, Clinical Faculty
Clinical: Neonatal Intensive Care, Pediatrics including newborns
mjjordan@sonnet.ucla.edu

Kellie T. Kell, MSN, RN, C-FNP
Lecturer: women's health, family practice
Clinical: FNP program
kkell@sonnet.ucla.edu

Amy S. Lohmann, MSN, RN, CPNP, CNS
Lecturer: Pediatric Primary Care
Clinical: Pediatric Primary Care
alohmann@sonnet.ucla.edu

Laurie Love, MSN, RN, FNP
Clinical: Family Practice and Neuro-psych subspecialty
llove@sonnet.ucla.edu

Youngkee Markham, MN, RN, GNP-C
Clinical: Gerontology
ymarkham@sonnet.ucla.edu

Nancy McGrath, MN, RN, C-PNP, CEN
Research: Pediatric Readiness, EmergencyCare, Prehospital Care, Pediatric Injury Prevention
Clinical: Pediatric ambulatory and pediatric emergency care
nmcgrath@sonnet.ucla.edu

Deborah Rice, MN, RN, C-FNP, CCRN
Clinical: Family Medicine, Urgent/Emergency Medicine, Children Physical/Sexual Abuse Forensic Examiner

drice@sonnet.ucla.edu

Joan Schleper, MS, RN, GNP
Oncology and Gerontology

Clinical: Oncology
jschleper@sonnet.ucla.edu

Jane Tokunow
Lecturer: System Based Healthcare
Clinical: Prelicensure
jtokunow@sonnet.ucla.edu

Inese Verzemnieks, PhD, RN
Lecturer: Pediatric and Community Health (BS and MECN); Advanced Practice: Growth and Development (PNP, CNS) and Patient education.
Research interests: Adolescent mothers, child discipline, parenting; home-visiting; community-based participatory research with vulnerable populations; patient education and health literacy.
iverzemn@sonnet.ucla.edu

 

 

 

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