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Biobehavioral Research Lab at School of Nursing
April 14, 2009, Volume 55, No. 29

Penn Nursing’s recently established Biobehavioral Research Center and the newly-created, state-of-the-art Biobehavioral Research Lab enables faculty members to conduct studies that encompass the interactions among biological, behavioral, and social factors and their effects on health outcomes. A grand opening ceremony for the Lab was held last week.

The need for nursing scholarship that integrates basic science research has been recognized as a major research priority in the current five-year strategic plan of the National Institute for Nursing Research. At Penn Nursing, such research ranges from examining developmental problems in pre-term babies to studying the effects of pesticides on farm workers. The physiological data obtained from biobehavioral scholarship is often as important as the psychological and sociological dimensions of nursing in obtaining research grants.

“If you don’t have state-of-the-art laboratories, or if you have to go outside to rent space, it becomes much more challenging to attract the best researchers and win NIH grants,” said Associate Dean for Nursing Research Dr. Linda McCauley. Although it is one of the smaller top-ranked schools of nursing, Penn Nursing rose to second place among all the schools receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2008.

The Biobehavioral Research Center is the largest research center in the School.


Penn Nursing faculty at the opening of the new biobehavioral lab (from left to right) Director of the Center for Biobehavioral Research Barbara Medoff-Cooper; Associate Professor Nancy Tkacs; Associate Professor Stella Volpe; Assistant Professor Joseph Libonati; Assistant Professor Karen Badellino; Associate Professor Joseph Boullata; Associate Professor Charlene Compher; Associate Dean for Nursing Research Linda McCauley; and Practice Associate Professor Mary Ann Lafferty. Photo by Michael Wakely.


Penn Nursing doctoral student, Sarah Sawah, in the biobehavioral research lab. Photo by Michael Wakely.



Almanac - April 14, 2009, Volume 55, No. 29