UA faculty member selected as 2012 ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar' | Health
An assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing has been selected to win a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars.
Matthew J. Gallek, PhD, RN,CNRN was just one of 12 outstanding educators in nursing to be chosen for this honor. He will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote his academic career and support his research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as leaders of the future in academic nursing.
Gallek’s research focuses on aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), a devastating type of stroke. Patients who suffer strokes often may have numerous complications, one of which is cerebral vasospasm. Cerebral vasospasm is a clamping down of arteries in the brain which causes reduced blood flow to brain tissue leading to additional damage to brain tissue. What causes cerebral vasospasm is complex and not fully understood. In addition to cerebral vasospasm, these patients also suffer from cognitive and physical deficits that impact daily life.
Gallek’s research will look at genes involved in calcium regulation in the body and the influence of these genes on cerebral vasospasm and functional outcomes. This study will determine if there are relationships among these gene differences, calcium levels, cerebral vasospasm, and functional outcomes following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
The long term goal of Gallek’s research is to identify patients at high risk for developing cerebral vasospasm, in order to facilitate more aggressive treatment. Overall, this will improve functional outcomes in these patients.
“The generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will enable me to describe relationships between the parathyroid hormone gene and outcomes following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage,” Gallek said. “Understanding the biological pathways involved in cerebral vasospasm is the first step toward preventing the damage caused by cerebral vasospasm and improving functional outcomes.”
Gallek is the UA College of Nursing’s second Nurse Faculty Scholar recipient. Ruth Taylor-Piliae, PhD, RN, was selected in 2009 to support her research in developing a tai chi exercise program for stroke survivors.
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