School of nursing

School Notes: School of Nursing
November/December 2010

Study tests drug treatment of hyperactivity in autism

YSN professor Lawrence Scahill ’89MSN, ’89MPH, ’97PhD, is the principal investigator for a trial of the drug guanfacine to treat hyperactivity in autism. NIH awarded $1.7 million for an eight-week trial at four sites around the country. The study includes 170 children, ages 5 to 13 years, with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) such as autism and Asperger’s. “Consensus is lacking on how to treat children with PDD accompanied by hyperactivity,” said Scahill. “Guanfacine is commonly used in this population, but poorly studied.” The study will also explore how genetics moderate response.

Research will investigate disparities in breast cancer

A new research initiative conducted by Tish Knobf ’82MSN, professor at YSN, and Lyndsay Harris, associate professor of medical oncology at the medical school, will examine disparities in breast cancer outcomes for African American women. “African American women with breast cancer have poorer clinical outcomes compared with white women,” Knobf stated. With funding by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, she added, the new study “offers an opportunity for students to be mentored in research aimed at understanding and reducing breast cancer disparities.” Knobf and Harris will recruit students from medicine, nursing, and public health for the two-year training program.

GEPN students volunteer time to help veterans

Three faculty and 31 first-year Graduate Entry students traveled to Stand Down on September 10, an annual event that provides services to 1,200 needy veterans from across Connecticut. YSN’s contingent, led by assistant professor Linda Pellico ’89MSN, joined volunteers from 50 government and private organizations to provide a range of support to the veterans, including medical screenings, social service assistance, legal help, job counseling, and VA benefits information. YSN students checked blood pressure, oxygen levels, and blood glucose and gave tetanus injections. The event was led by YSN alumna and state Veterans’ Affairs commissioner Linda S. Schwartz ’84MSN, ’98DrPH.

Redeker named president of ENRS

YSN professor and associate dean of scholarly affairs Nancy Redeker became president of Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS) in March, in conjunction with the organization’s scientific sessions. She will serve as president for a term of two years. Redeker has set out three major goals for the organization under her leadership. “First is to engage junior faculty in nursing by creating opportunities for them to dialogue about research and receive training about research topics,” Redeker stated. This is in line with a second goal, to increase opportunities for mentoring between junior and senior faculty. Her third aim is to better engage clinical researchers in hospital settings.

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