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Cizik School of Nursing researchers.

Research Highlights

COVID-19 and beyond

Hyochol “Brian” Ahn, PhD, RN, is conducting innovative research into brain stimulation for treating pain without medication. In 2020, he received a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to study transcranial direct current stimulation combined with mindfulness-based meditation for home-based self-management of pain related to knee osteoarthritis in older adults. A supplement to that grant focuses on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, RN, was awarded two supplements to her five-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) study assessing a nurse case management intervention for HIV prevention and care among youth experiencing homelessness. One supplement funds the assessment of the effects of COVID-19 on this population. The other takes a closer look at a sexual and gender minority subgroup, including the relationship between stress and risk behaviors. 

Daphne Hernandez, PhD, received a Dean’s Research Award to study health beliefs and stressors related to COVID-19 among Hispanic immigrant parents and their U.S.-born children. The project builds on her NIH study to assess chronic stress among adolescents concerned about their parents’ potential or actual forced deportation. 

Meagan Whisenant, PhD, APRN, is leading an interprofessional study investigating symptoms among patients with and without cancer who are experiencing COVID-19. Seed funding is provided by Cizik School of Nursing’s Elizabeth W. Quinn Oncology Research Award. Whisenant is collaborating with Loretta A. Williams, PhD, APRN, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as faculty from other UTHealth schools. 

Other currently funded projects include:

  • Come As You Are - Assessing the Efficacy of a Nurse Case Management HIV Prevention and Care Intervention Among Homeless Youth. PI: Santa Maria, DrPH, RN. R01 grant funded by National Institute of Nursing Research
  • The University of Texas System Health Biobank. PI: Jennifer Beauchamp, PhD, RN. Funded by a University of Texas System Award.
  • The Influence of Menstrual Cycle on Hippocampal Volume and Diffusivity. PI: Seema Agarwal, PhD, RN. Funded by intramural Dean’s Research Award.

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