Current Predoctoral Fellows
Carol Brotherton, MSN, BSN, RN, is enrolled in the BSN to PhD program at the University of Virginia. She completed the Community and Public Health Leadership master's program in December of 2009. Her area of interest is the effect of diet on a variety of chronic disease. As part of her master's practicum, she completed two semesters as Visiting Scholar in the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Fher her PhD dissertation research she is investigating the effect of diet on gastrointestinal function in persons with Crohn's disease.
Candace C. Johnson, MA, RN, holds bachelor's degrees in anthropology and nursing and a master's in public health, with research interests in access and utilization of CAM in African American female childbearing communities. Having recently practiced as an oncology nurse at Massey Cancer Center, she brings a multicultural, multidisciplined approach to exploring the body of knowledge on CAM as these relate to Black women. Candace is currently a full-time student in the PhD program and a predoctoral trainee in CSCAT.
Patricia Kinser, MSN, RN, WHNP, is a doctoral student in the School of Nursing and holds a predoctoral fellowship in the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies. She is a registered nurse, has a master's degree in nursing, and is licensed as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. In addition, she is a certified yoga instructor who teaches a variety of styles of yoga, including "gentle" hatha yoga and prenatal yoga. Her interest is in yoga as an effective mind-body CAM modality. In particular, she plans to conduct research about the psychological and physiological effects of yoga for women.
Shannon L. Riedel, MSN, RN, entered the PhD program at the University of Virginia in Fall 2007 with a plan of study focused on guided imagery (GI) skill development and its application as a complementary therapy in a chronic pain population by expanding knowledge of theory, research design, and analyses of fibromyalgia (FM), GI, and the psychoneuroimmunology model. Ms. Riedel has worked as a pre-doctoral trainee at the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CSCAT) since August 2007, and her responsibilities have included performing data analyses for an R21 grant, assisting with the preparation of a research grant for DoD; and being a research study coordinator for a study of cranial electrical stimulation for those with FM. Ms. Riedel has submitted an NRSA grant proposal as well as completed a professional poster presentation regarding GI's effect on the physical, functional, and psychological aspects of FM to favorable feedback and scoring. Ms. Riedel is the recent recipient of the Saraswati Fund of the Joni Boon Memorial Award, which provided monies to further her research goals. She has a GI certification and provides workshops in her community.
Her long-term goals include pursing research concentrating on the use of GI and other complementary therapies in ethnically diverse and rural populations diagnosed with chronic pain and rheumatologic disorders as well as a nursing faculty position and continued clinical experience in the area of mental health nursing.
Former Predoctoral Fellows
Tara A. Albrecht, PhD, MSN, RN, conducted her dissertation research focused on improving symptom management and quality of life in the oncology population. Her dissertation research investigated the effects of the combination of flaxseed oil, fasting, caffeine, and exercise in women diagnosed with stage III or IV recurrent or multi-drug resistant ovarian cancer. She has a bachelor of science degree in both biology and nursing and completed her master of science degree in the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Virginia in 2009. Her experience working as an oncology nurse is what inspired her to enter the PhD program.
Gina K. Alexander, PhD, MSN, MPH, conducted her dissertation research on "Maintaining Yoga Practice for Diabetes Control and Prevention," a longitudinal comparative study exploring the factors influencing maintenance of yoga practice among individuals with or at risk for type 2 diabetes who had completed an 8-week yoga-based intervention. Throughout her training, Dr. Alexander participated in studies exploring the effect of yoga on multiple physiologic and clinical markers for diabetes and cardiovascular risk, and testing a culturally-tailored approach to diabetes self-management education among rural African American adults with type 2 diabetes. She is currently Assistant Professor of Nursing at Texas Christian University.
Kathleen Boyden, PhD, RN, completed her CSCAT fellowship in May 2003, successfully defending her dissertation "Impact of Personality Characteristics on Pain and Functional Status in Fibromyalgia." The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which personality characteristics, including affect, absorption, and social desirability, mediate pain relief and functional improvement as a result of static magnetic therapy to treat fibromyalgia.
David W. Brock, PhD, holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology. Dr. Brock is currently an Assistant Professor of exercise physiology at the University of Vermont, with a specialization in clinical trials, chronic disease prevention, and public health. He is the director of the Physical Activity Laboratory with an overarching goal of investigating novel ways to increase physical activity participation in adult and adolescent populations that are at risk for chronic pathologies such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. Although not exhaustive, current research interests of the physical activity lab are physical activity/exercise adherence, incentivizing behavior modification, obesity/chronic disease prevention, and elite endurance performance.
Frances Garrett, PhD, MA, was a doctoral student in the University of Virginia's Tibetan studies program, part of the Department of Religious Studies. Her dissertation investigated the origins of the human body in Tibetan literature of the eleventh through fifteenth centuries. Using literary representations of the body during embryonic development to emphasize the ready exchange of scholarly discourse across Tibetan literary genres, her research demonstrated the complex intertwining of religious and philosophical scholasticism with medical theoretical structures. For several years, Frances was instrumental in both planning and implementing large-scale interdisciplinary projects focused on developing new pedagogical strategies that use technology. A previous project developed through CSCAT was aimed at creating a multimedia research and teaching tool for Tibetan medicine that placed medical systems in the context of religious, historical, environmental and other settings. This project involved four consecutive summers of fieldwork in Tibet working with an international, interdisciplinary team of historians, medical scholars, and health care professionals in the U.S. and in Tibet. (See http://iris.lib.virginia.edu/tibet/collections/medicine/index.html).
Her book, Religion, Medicine and the Human Embryo in Tibet (Routledge, 2008), links aspects of Tibetan medicine to expressions of culture, religion, art and literature through a study of embryology in Tibetan literature. Her current research considers the intersections between tantric practice, ritual and occult knowledge and medical theory, and what these tell us about the processes of institutional and ideological change in Tibet. Dr. Garrett has been Assistant Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto since 2003. She is currently Co-chair of the American Academy of Religion's Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group. Her articles have addressed the implications of controversies over human development in Tibetan scholasticism, how Tibetans reconcile medical physiology with Buddhist descriptions of the body, and the formation of intellectual and literary disciplinarity.
In 2009-10 she is on a sabbatical leave, living in Amdo Tibetan regions of China.
Virginia (Ginger) Hunkin, PhD, AP, LAc, MSOM, has a background in Oriental Medicine which includes training in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Japanese Medicine, having completed post graduate certification in Japanese Toyohari. In addition to a private practice, she was the Assistant Dean of Academics at one of the top three Oriental Medical colleges in the United States, the Texas College of Traditional Medicine in Austin, Texas. Her research interests include: Oriental Medical research methodologies, using high frequency with TCM/ TJM and the nature of Qi.
Brian Irving, PhD, is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. His present research direction is aimed at understanding the short- and long-term metabolic, cardiovascular, and proteomic adaptations to exercise. In particular, Dr. Irving is interested in the metabolic and cardiovascular adaptations to exercise that provide i) cardiometabolic protection and ii) prevent and/or delay the deleterious impact that aging, physical inactivity, and obesity have on skeletal muscle function and metabolism. After completing one year of postdoctoral training, he received a NIH Mentored-Career Development Grant to examine the independent and combined effects of resistance and endurance exercise training on protein synthesis rates of individual mitochondrial and contractile proteins in young and older participants.
Nancy Jallo, PhD, RNC, FN-P-BC, CNS, is currently an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing in the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing.
Randy A. Jones, PhD, MSN, RN, is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Virginia and a recent recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar Award to further test a decision aid for patients with advanced-stage prostate cancer to facilitate informed, shared decisions about treatments that affect their quality of life. He holds a master's degree in psychiatric mental health nursing. He is active in the African American community and has research interests in healthcare disparities among minority populations, particularly African American males who have prostate cancer.
Susan Kennel, PhD, RN, ARNP, is currently Assistant Professor and Director of Child Health at the University of South Florida College of Nursing.
Yu-Shen Lin, PhD, RN, completed her fellowship with the CSCAT in 1998. Her dissertation was titled "Effects of Therapeutic Touch in Reducing Pain and Anxiety in an Elderly Population." Yu-Shin is currently a clinical research analyst for DynCorp Healthcare Information and Tehnology Services in Rockville, Maryland.
Eric McVey, PhD, research interests are the neuromuscular consequences of joint injury, specifically, arthrogenic muscle inhibition in muscles of the lower extremity. Further research has been conducted to examine the possibility of using cryotherapy to enhance muscle activation in subjects with arthrogenic muscle inhibition using the Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) and the superimposed burst technique.
Victoria Menzies, PhD, EdM, MSN, has worked with Dr. Ann Gill Taylor and CSCAT as a research and teaching assistant. Victoria has been active in the Beta Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International , serving as president of the chapter. Additionally, she has served as a research assistant for the American Pain Society in the development of new Fibromyalgia Pain Guidelines and the updating of current Cancer Pain Guidelines. Victoria continues her contributions to nursing scholarship through teaching, research and service as a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research focuses on exploring the effects of mind/body modalities, including guided imagery and music, for pain and other symptom management in the chronically ill.
Audrey Snyder, PhD, RN, ACNP-CS, FAANP, CMT, earned her doctoral degree in Nursing at the University of Virginia in 2007. She is currently a Robert's Scholar at UVA School of Nursing. She teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Her nursing background expands critical care, emergency and flight nursing. Dr. Snyder brings over 25 years of nursing experience in the acute care environment and 13 years as a massage therapist to her research role. Dr. Snyder's current research interest lie in the use of complementary therapies, especially massage, as a supportive care therapy in patients with hematological cancers with the goal of reducing disease-and treatment-related symptoms and improving the health related quality of life for patients and their caregivers while undergoing chemotherapy. She is interested in massage as a touch therapy in the acute care environment.
She is also the Nurse Advisor for the University of Virginia Health System's Community Outreach Program, coordinating the nursing care for the Medical Clinic at the largest mobile health clinic-Remote Area Medical (RAM) each summer. In 2009, Massage Therapy was offered for the first time to patients at this rural health clinic.
Diana M. Taibi, PhD, MSN, RN, worked for several years with Cheryl Bourguignon investigating symptom patterns in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is currently a faculty member at the University of Washington School of Nursing. She is interested in the potential use of CAM modalities for reducing pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances in persons with RA, including the effects of valerian root on improving the sleep of persons with RA.
MAJ Terri L. Yost, PhD, MSN, FNP-BC, was a government-sponsored full time PhD student at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. She received her Masters degree at the University of Pennsylvania and had been practicing as a family nurse practitioner in Tripler Amry Medical Center in Hawaii prior to starting the PhD program in 2008. Her dissertation examined the effects of qigong in soldiers who endured a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion during their deployments to either Iraq or Afghanistan. Upon completion of her PhD, Terri resumed her career in the United States Army and continuing deployment-related health research.