Chronic pain and LGBTQ researchers named VUSN visiting professors

A top expert in chronic pain and a renowned researcher in LGBTQ health have been named visiting professors at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. University of Maryland School of Nursing Professor Susan Dorsey, PhD, RN, FAAN, joined VUSN at the start of the spring 2020 semester. Columbia University School of Nursing Professor Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN, begins her professorship May 1.

Dorsey is the co-chair of the University of Maryland Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research and founder and chair of the Department of Pain and Translational Symptom Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her work focuses on chronic pain and how to provide relief to the more than 100 million people nationwide who suffer from chronic pain. Her research incorporates molecular, cellular and multiomics methods in the study of chronic pain, cancer treatment-related neuropathic pain and co-morbid symptoms associated with pain.

Headshot of Susan DorseyDorsey’s research training and program of research have been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1997. Currently, she is the principal investigator, a multiple principal investigator or co-PI on nine federal grants funded for more than $22 million.

She also holds appointments as professor in the Department of Anesthesiology in the University of Maryland School of Medicine and professor in the Department of Neural and Pain Sciences in the UM School of Dentistry. Dorsey is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

As visiting professor, Dorsey will mentor PhD students and post-doctoral fellows as well as advise VUSN leadership in expanding nursing science and funded research.

Headshot of Tonda Hughes in front of rainbow flagHughes is the Henrik H. Bendixen Professor of International Nursing and Associate Dean for Global Health Research at Columbia University. Her research addresses sexual minority women’s (lesbian and bisexual) mental health and substance use. Her pioneering studies on alcohol use among sexual minority women have received nearly continuous funding since 1999 from the National Institutes of Health. In addition, she has served as co-investigator on numerous other funded studies with multidisciplinary researchers from major U.S. and Australian institutions, including the University of Melbourne and Deakin University.

Hughes is also Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she was Collegiate Professor and associate dean for Global Health in the College of Nursing, and adjunct professor in the School of Public Health. She is a member of the American Academy of Nursing, International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame and University of Kentucky College of Nursing Hall of Fame.

Hughes developed the inaugural National Nursing LGBTQ Health Summit held at Columbia in 2019. As part of her visiting professorship, she will provide leadership for the second LGBTQ Health Summit, which will be presented by Vanderbilt School of Nursing in March 2021. The summits bring LGBTQ experts and nursing leaders in education, research and practice together to work on the nursing profession’s progress in addressing LGBTQ health issues and creating a national health action plan to improve LGBTQ health. Hughes will also serve as a mentor and resource for VUSN PhD students and post-doctoral fellows.