International Society
of Nurses in Genetics

Dedicated to fostering the scientific and professional growth of nurses in human genetics and genomics worldwide.
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meet our members 

Maura McCall, PhD(c), MSN, RN

Maura K. McCall, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing doctoral candidate, received a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) for her proposal, “A Multi-Omics Approach to Examine Symptoms and Medication Adherence in Women with Breast Cancer.” This award supports outstanding doctoral students for two years of predoctoral and up to 4 years of postdoctoral training. Twenty-four graduate students were awarded this fellowship in 2020.

Maura’s program of research explores patterns of symptoms and aromatase inhibitor medication adherence in women with breast cancer and will contribute a greater understanding of the temporal variability and interplay between symptoms and treatment adherence. Her project aims to investigate potential biological mechanisms by describing molecular characteristics associated with symptoms and adherence.

With support from her mentors and co-sponsors Dr. Catherine Bender and Dr. Yvette Conley, Maura is the second student from Pitt Nursing to receive this fellowship.


Cheryl Hersperger, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC

Congratulations to ISONG member Cheryl Hersperger, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Worcester State University, who was published in the July 2020 Oncology Nursing Forum Journal.  Read the article about individuals with the CDH1 marker here.

Cheedy Jaja, PhD, MPH, MN, MSN, PMHNP-BC, RN

Cheedy Jaja, Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina, is the subject of two recent articles related to the coronavirus pandemic.  Dr. Jaja discusses the support needed for nurses during a pandemic due to the toll such an event can take on them. He gained first-hand experience through his role as a nurse on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014. Read the published stories here and here.

Katherine Maki, MS, APN-BC

Congratulations to Katherine Maki for her recent ISONG Research Grant Award and for being selected for the 2017 National Institute of Nursing Research's Summer Genetic Institute, from which she received a scholarship to attend the 2018 Summer Institutes in Statistical Genetics. Click here for the full story.

ISONG/ASHG Collaboration at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference.  ISONG members Beth Pestka, Virginia Conley, Nicole Osier, and an ASHG representative prepared the presentation, which was presented by Beth Peska and Virginia ConleyClick here for the full story.

Karlene Coleman, RN, MN, CGC

Karlene created educational videos that highlight the stories of two patients.  Click below to watch their incredible journeys unfold. Click here for the full story. 

Cystic Fibrosis: Sam's Story                           Hemophilia & the Fencer: Luke's Story

Nicole Osier, PhD, RN

"How to Move into an Omics Lab" - watch the process unfold as Dr. Osier and her team of busy bees set-up her omics lab at UT Austin!    
Sandra Daack-Hirsch, PhD, RN
Becky Kronk, PhD, MSN, CRNP Jennifer Sanner Beauchamp, PhD, RN

Congratulations to Sandra Daack-Hirsch, Becky Kronk and Jennifer Sanner Beauchamp on their recent award of an honorary fellowship by the American Academy of Nursing. Each year, by awarding honorary fellowship, the Academy recognizes individuals in honor of their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health.  Click here for the full story.

Laurie Connors, DNP, APNG, FNP-BC, AGN-BC, AOCNP

Congratulations to ISONG Member Dr. Laurie Connors from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing who along with a colleague prepared a guest editorial on "Genetics and Genomics Content in Nursing Education: A National Imperative." Though genetic competencies have been embedded in AACN's Essentials documents, many nursing programs lack foundational content in the curricula. The authors call for academic nursing leaders to strengthen student preparation in the genetic and molecular basis of disease to better meet population health needs.

Eugenia Millender, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, CDE

As one of the few indigenous Afro-Caribbean Latina doctorally prepared nurse scientist fluent in Spanish, Dr. Eugenia Millender’s career in health has been dedicated to increasing access to quality care, decreasing health and mental disparities, and providing a culturally humble environment for patients, staff, faculty, and students. Click here for the full story.

Bobbi Laing, PhD, RN

Dr. Laing is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Nursing at the University of Auckland in New Zealand (NZ) and is an emerging expert in nutrigenomics and health promotion. Dr. Laing recently completed her PhD thesis entitled ‘Key genotypes and the response to nutrient supplementation in Chron’s disease' and is the project manager for two collaborative research projects at the University of Auckland.  Click here for the full story.

Jessica Anderson, APRN, WHNP, AGN-BC

My story begins in 1986. My mother was 31 years old. She was married with two small girls, 8 and 4 years old. She found a lump in her breast….but 31 year olds don’t get cancer. It must be benign. She was told to watch it for a few months to see if it “goes away.” Two months later she returned to her doctor and pressed for further evaluation. A mammogram lead her to biopsy where she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31. She was treated with a radical left breast mastectomy and removal of 19 lymph nodes. All nodes were negative. She came home to her young family with a scar and staples where her left breast had been. Click here for the full story.

Masakazu Nishigaki, RN, CGC, PhD

Dr. Nishigaki is an Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at Kyoto University in Japan and is a registered nurse and certified genetic counselor. Dr. Nishigaki is interested in behavioral change and genetic risk information of common disease, as well as genomic health literacy. 

Dr. Nishigaki has been a primary investigator and co-investigator on several grants examining genetic information in clinical practice. He is also a member of the Japanese Society for Nurses in Genetics and is very active on their education committee. Dr. Nishigaki is working to build a model of curriculum for genetic nursing education for undergraduates in Japan. Thank you, Dr. Nishigaki for your hard work and commitment to ISONG. 

Andrew Dwyer, PhD, FNP-BC

Dr. Dwyer supervises masters and doctoral students and teaches courses in advanced clinical assessment, family systems, and is a guest lecturer in genetic disorders of sexual development.  With over 16 years of clinical and research experience, Dr. Dwyer's work focuses on patients with chronic endocrine conditions and genetic disorders. His interests include genetic literacy, transitional care for adolescents with chronic health problems, and using technology to facilitate and extend the reach of nursing care. 

Dr Dwyer has recently joined the faculty of the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College and is repatriating to the United States this summer. Thank you Dr. Dwyer for your hard work and commitment to ISONG.  

Carolyn Allen, DNP, CRNP-F, MS-Genetics 

I graduated from GWU in 2010 from the Family Nurse Practitioner program. This is my third career change, or should I say transition. I was a genetic counselor for a few years before going to nursing school. After completing my BSN, I worked in hospital settings for medical/surgical, psychiatrics, and pulmonary for a few years. As soon as an opportunity availed itself, I finally came back to maternal child health. The bulk of my nursing career (15 years) was in-patient obstetrics. My long term vision had been to combine the advanced practice nursing career with the genetics component and be a nurse educator in a university hospital setting. Click here for the full story.

Sylvia S. Estrada, DNP, MSN, MSHCM, WHNP-BC, CBCN 

Ms. Estrada is the Clinical Program Coordinator at the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She is nationally certified as a: Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner; Certified Breast Care Nurse; and Certified Clinical Research Professional. Her current clinical care and research interests involve the screening of women who are at high risk for breast cancer and providing genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.   Click here for the full story.

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