UIC'S JANEAN HOLDEN: FIRST NURSE TO RECEIVE PRESIDENTIAL AWARD
Janean Holden, assistant professor in the UIC College of Nursing, will be given a presidential early career award at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, April 12. She is the first nurse to receive this prestigious award.
Created in 1996 to recognize young scientists with exceptional potential, the award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers at the outset of their independent research careers. Sixty researchers will receive the award this year.
"I am very pleased to be receiving this award," said Holden. "Nurse researchers have been doing good work for some time now, and it's gratifying that we are finally being recognized. In fact, I've been mentored and influenced by a number of strong researchers in nursing and pharmacology who should share this award."
Nominated by the National Institute for Nursing Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, which funds her research, Holden will receive a one-year extension of her current grant, bringing the total to about $900,000.
Holden's research focuses on pathways in the brain that communicate sensations of pain.
"Pain is a major health issue that concerns nurses, since they are the ones dealing with patients' pain on a daily basis," said Holden, explaining her interest in the subject. While most research done by nurses focuses on methods of measuring and ameliorating or eliminating pain, Holden is seeking to understand how the brain modifies and transmits incoming pain stimuli - information critical for targeting medication and alternative therapies.
Holden holds a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Michigan. She has published widely in research journals, including Neuroscience and Nursing Research.
"You are a shining example to future generations of researchers," wrote Neal Lane, assistant to the President for science and technology, in the award letter. "You represent the best of the group of scientists and engineers who will be responsible for America's 21st-century greatness."
The presidential early career awards were established by President Clinton to promote U.S. leadership in scientific research and to recognize the contributions of promising young scholars whose work reflects a commitment to broad social goals. Ten federal agencies nominate the awardees, who can receive up to $500,000 over a five-year period to support their research.
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