Jennifer Hulett, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC
Research Focus: Exploration of spirituality and health outcomes in breast cancer survivorship based on a psychoneuroimmunological model of health
Dr. Hulett's dissertation research focused on the relationships between religious and spiritual beliefs, personality traits, neuroimmune salivary biomarkers (i.e., cortisol, alpha-amylase, and interleukin-6) and health outcomes in breast cancer survivors. Her next phase of research includes exploration and development of spiritually-based interventions for breast cancer post-treatment symptom management, including secondary lymphedema.
Faculty Advisor: Margaret Clayton, PhD, APRN, FNP
Jiayun Xu, PhD, RN
Research Focus: End of Life, Communication, Family
Dr. Xu’s research focus has been on chronic disease management and patient decision making using a mixed methods approach. She is building her expertise in end of life communications to promote and assist families in having productive discussions about the future.
Faculty Advisor: Lee Ellington, PhD
Meagan Whisenant, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC
Research Focus: Explaining variation in symptom experience during cancer treatment
Dr. Whisenant's dissertation research explored distinct subgroups of women with breast cancer receiving treatment who experienced similar trajectories of symptoms using Latent Growth Mixture Modeling. Building on symptom subgroup knowledge, her next step is to apply molecular epidemiological techniques to identify biomarkers of symptom expression phenotypes. She is developing expertise in exploring genetic variants and inflammatory biomarkers associated with patient-reported outcomes, including unique symptom trajectories experienced by patients undergoing treatment for cancer.
Faculty Advisor: Kathi Mooney, PhD, RN, FAAN
Lyndsey Miller, PhD, RN
Research Focus: Improving the care planning process for persons with dementia and their family caregivers through tailored dyadic interventions
Dr. Miller's ongoing research program, beginning with her dissertation study [F31NR015195] of hospitalized persons with dementia and their family caregivers, is to use dyadic methods and theory to examine and improve the way that persons with dementia plan for future care together with their family caregivers. Dr. Miller's postdoctoral fellowship research will include several analyses aimed at uncovering the heterogeneous patterns of decision making and care planning among families with dementia, which will lead to the design of a pilot intervention tailored to distinct subgroups of dementia care dyads. The ultimate goals of this line of research are to: 1) assist persons with dementia in participating in their own care planning to the fullest extent possible; 2) assist family caregivers in their transition to surrogate decision-making; 3) support the dementia care dyad as a unit so that they are able to find a new balance between their relationship and their individual needs as they plan together for future care.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Caserta, PhD