Kelly receives NINR grant to study Hematopoietic Cell Transplant

Debra Kelly

University of Florida College of Nursing Assistant Professor Debra Lynch Kelly, Ph.D., R.N. O.C.N., and her interdisciplinary team received a $419,375 award over two years from the National Institute of Nursing Research to fund the R21 study titled “Developing the Biobehavioral Foundation for Self-Management of Psychoneurological Symptoms in Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Survivors.”

Hematopoietic Cell Transplant, or HCT, is a potentially life-saving procedure involving the intravenous infusion of blood stem cells, from bone marrow, peripheral blood or umbilical cord, designed to establish marrow and immune function in patients with a variety of life-threatening hematologic disorders.

Using an integrative model, Kelly’s research will examine biobehavioral factors associated with co-occurring psychoneurologic symptoms, including neurocognitive dysfunction, fatigue, anxiety, depression and pain. The purpose is to gain knowledge needed to provide the foundation for the development of a targeted dietary self-management intervention to mitigate these symptoms to achieve optimal quality of life for HCT recipients.

The research team has expertise in nursing, medicine, psychology, microbiology, food and nutrition and statistics. In addition to Kelly, investigators include Debra E. Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, executive associate dean and the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Endowed Chair in the College of Nursing; John R. Wingard, M.D., a professor in the College of Medicine within the division of hematology and oncology, serving as Price Eminent Scholar, deputy director of research for the UF Health Cancer Center and director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program; Nosha Farhadfar, M.D., an assistant professor in the College of Medicine; Ronald A. Cohen, Ph.D., professor in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and director of UF’s Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory and Evelyn F. McKnight Chair for Clinical Translational Research in Cognitive Aging and Memory; Gary P. Wang, Ph.D., M.D., a professor in the College of Medicine; Wendy J. Dahl, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; and Michael T. Weaver, Ph.D, R.N., FAAN, the associate dean for research and scholarship in the College of Nursing.