[^] 2006 Award Winners - Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science

2006 Award Winners

2006 Council/AAN Outstanding Nursing Scientist Award 

Margaret M. Heitkemper, PhD, RN, FAAN

The American Academy of Nursing/Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science is pleased to announce that Dr. Margaret Heitkemper, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the 2006 recipient of the Outstanding Nursing Scientist Award. Dr. Heitkemper, Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, is the Chair of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems in the School of Nursing, an Adjunct Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, School of Medicine and holds the University of Washington Corbally Professor for Public Service. 

Dr. Heitkemper received her BSN in 1973 from Seattle University. The following year, she initiated her program of research as a Master’s student at the University of Washington. Her thesis focused on factors affecting gastric motility in normal human subjects. During her doctoral program in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Illinois at the Medical Center, Chicago, from which she graduated in 1981, she initiated a series of animal studies focused on modulation of gastrointestinal neurotransmitter enzymes. In 1983, she continued this line of inquiry, supported by her first NIH funding through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. She went on to systematically build on these studies in animal and basic science to develop clinical intervention research fundamental to understanding gastrointestinal function, neurotransmitter modulation and biobehavioral interactions in women. Her currently NIH/NINR-funded work is designed to examine gut functioning in menstruating women.

Dr. Heitkemper has an impressive record of publications and presentations, with over 75 data-based articles among her 100+ peer-reviewed publications. She has authored and co-authored books, book chapters, monographs and editorials. She has addressed clinical and research societies, the United States Congress and lay audiences worldwide regarding biobehavioral research, irritable bowel syndrome, and women’s health research. The NIH Advisory Council for the Office of Research in Women’s Health seeks her advice on health policy. She has served on innumerable scientific review bodies of clinical societies, foundations, and federal research agencies, recently as chair of the Nursing Science study section for NIH.

She is a well known leader in women’s health and serves as Director of the University of Washington Center for Women’s Health and Gender Research, which is now in its 13th year of federal funding. Her interdisciplinary research leadership was recognized in 2003 by the American Gastroenterological Association’s Janssen award for basic and clinical research in gastroenterology and her appointment to the NIH National Commission on Digestive Diseases. She also received the 2005 Pfizer/FNINR Award for Research in Women’s Health. For over 20 years she has been mentoring the next generation of nurse scientists and leaders through her Robert Wood Johnson Executive Fellowship, department and school leadership activities, sponsorship of international visiting scholars, and formal mentorship on NIH research training and career awards.

In the words of Dr. Margaret Grey, “Margaret Heitkemper has made outstanding contributions to nursing and health care science through a truly remarkable sustained program of research.” AAN/CANS is honored to recognize Dr. Heitkemper as the 2006 Outstanding Nursing Scientist. 


2006 Council/AAN “Investigator with a Brilliant Future” Award

Usha Menon, PhD, RN

Dr. Usha Menon is the recipient of the 2006 American Academy of Nursing/Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science’s Investigator with a Brilliant Future Award. An Associate Professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Dr. Menon’s program of research focuses on the reduction of disparity in cancer mortality among underserved and minority populations through the improved use of cancer screening. Her graduate education, including a doctoral degree awarded in 2000 followed by a post-doctoral fellowship, was completed at Indiana University School of Nursing. Her work has been supported by numerous funding agencies, with current major funding from NIH/NINR for her R01 entitled Increasing CRC Screening in Primary Care Settings. Her current total research funding exceeds $2.7 million.

The efforts of Dr. Menon in community-based cancer control have had a significant impact on public health initiatives and cancer control. Through her inter-disciplinary emphasis, she has also brought a strong nursing presence to the forefront in community-based cancer control. Her expertise in the area of cancer disparities and influence at both regional and national levels are evident from invited presentations at the National Cancer Institute and leadership in the Utah Cancer Action Network. During Dr. Menon’s tenure with the latter, Utah’s state-wide media campaign on colorectal cancer control was both innovative and achieved tremendous reach in the community as indicated through longitudinal evaluation data.

Dr. Menon’s unstinting commitment to working with underserved populations focusing on culturally appropriate education with attention to health literacy has influenced successful demonstration projects leading to important changes in awareness and behavior in diverse communities. Additionally, she is a skillful mentor for faculty and students from underrepresented backgrounds as evidenced by mentees receiving fundable federal grant scores, publications and scholarships.

In summary, with Dr. Menon’s ability to translate research findings to both teaching and service at the regional and national levels, she has made a significant impact on community-based cancer control with underserved populations. Dr. Menon fully exemplifies the essence of the AAN/CANS award, Investigator with a Brilliant Future.