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School of Nursing Faculty Expertise

Research Strengths

Research and scholarship among faculty are centered on expanding the scientific body of knowledge for clinical practice and conducting research that promotes the health of individuals and families across the lifespan. Many of our faculty engage in research and scholarship in more than one area.

Our research significantly impacts our ability to provide cutting edge education to our students and remain acknowledged experts in our areas of study.

Nursing Faculty Areas of Research


  • Abdallah, Lisa - Outcomes of geriatric nurse practitioners; DRINC Project (Dehydration Reduction in Nursing Home Residents by Caregivers); BDN project (Bring Diversity to Nursing).
  • Futrell, May, Professor Emerita - Health behaviors among older adults including physical activity; cultural differences in health behaviors of older adults (phenomenological method); Alzheimer's research; dementia and wandering; nursing historical research including the Lowell Nursing Archives; DRINC project.
  • Gautam, Ramraj - Social gerontology, more specifically late life intergenerational relationships, intergenerational programs, social support, caregiving, and mental health of older adults; Long-term care; Global aging and health.
  • Melillo, Karen Devereaux - Investigating alternative primary care models for the aged from Medicare data; development and pilot testing of a transitional care dedicated education unit; DNPs caring for the underserved in Massachusetts after health care reform; physical activity and exercise among older adults; gerontological nurse practitioner intervention outcomes research.


  • Dowling, Jacqueline, Professor Emerita - Child health, stress and coping, and humor; Bring Diversity to Nursing (BDN) Pre-entry recruitment, retention, and mentor-mentee relationships; Human simulation technology integration in nursing education.
  • Quinn, Morse - Evaluation of pain for hospitalized children with severe-profound intellectual disability, school nurse approaches to pain assessment for students with intellectual disability, special education teacher approaches to identifying pain in the classroom setting.

Nursing Workplace and Workforce

  • El Ghaziri, Mazen - Occupational health and wellness, workplace violence, healthcare workforce, correctional workforce.
  • Simons, Shellie- Horizontal (lateral) violence, workplace bullying, workplace retention; enteral feeding; critical thinking in nursing education; pre-entry recruitment and retention of minority and economically disadvantaged students.
  • Zhang, Yuan - Occupational health, shift work and sleep health, health care workforce.

Reproductive and Sexual Health

  • Fantasia, Heidi - Reproductive and sexual health, sexual decision making, negotiation of sexual consent, impact of partner violence on contraception use, reproductive coercion, personal and partner-mediated sexual risk behaviors, sexual safety, and screening for physical and sexual violence.
  • Koren, Ainat - Family planning, men's reproductive health; Health and safety of health care workers; Integration of technology into clinical practice; childhood obesity.


  • King, Valerie - International service learning experiences and nursing students, qualitative research.
  • Mote, Sandra - Teaching Undergraduate and Graduate students to design and lead therapeutic groups. Mental health care promotion.

Mental Health

  • Knight, Peggy - Negative effects of psychotropic medication; nursing interventions for acute psychiatric inpatients; mental health problems in older adults (anxiety, dementia, delirium, depression); impact of mental health problems on functional outcomes (IADL's, ADL's); influence of depressive symptoms, low mood and anxiety on health outcomes (pain, respiratory status, illness or surgical recovery etc.).

Health Promotion

  • Mawn, Barbara - Health promotion behavior across the lifespan; health disparities; occupational health and safety adaptation to chronic illness; pediatric HIV infection; epidemiology; qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
  • Soroken, Laurie - Role of DNR in ICU settings, health promotion.
  • Wilber, Jennifer - Health Promotion


  • Peters, Anya - Cardiovascular/Cardiothoracic Nursing

NOTE: Additional research interests of specific faculty can be found on the Nursing faculty web page.