College of Nursing postdoc receives federal training award for research

Dr. Gee Su Yang

For the first time in its history, a University of Florida College of Nursing postdoctoral associate is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award.

Gee Su Yang, Ph.D, R.N., is the recipient of this three-year $180,778 fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to enhance the research training of a promising postdoctoral candidate who has the potential to become a productive, independent investigator in scientific health-related research fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers.

The proposed F32 training award aims to advance Yang’s clinical research knowledge and skills in symptoms science, specifically focused on Aromatase Inhibitor-associated Musculoskeletal Symptoms, or AIMSS, in breast cancer survivors. Aromatase inhibitors, or AIs, are a type of endocrine therapy widely used in postmenopausal women with breast cancer that causes joint pain and stiffness as a primary adverse effect in nearly half of all women who receive the therapy. These effects are poorly understood, and, consequently, many patients are unable to alleviate the symptoms.

Yang’s research, titled “Biopsychosocial Correlates of Aromatase Inhibitor-associated Musculoskeletal Symptoms in Breast Cancer,” will help determine potential influences of neurophysiological, psychological and genetic factors on development and severity of AIMSS in breast cancer patients. Results from this study will provide important feasibility data, addressing a significant and understudied health concern in women treated for breast cancer.

Yang received her B.S.N. and M.S.N. degrees from Seoul National University, South Korea, and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. For the past year, she has served as a postdoctoral associate at the College of Nursing, under her mentor Debra Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, the executive associate dean and Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Endowed Chair.