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Diane Marie Von Ah, Ph.D., R.N., Selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar


For more information, contact:
Sally Krause, IU School of Nursing
Phone: (317) 278-2048
                                                                                    Nurse Faculty Scholars National Program Office
Phone: (877) 738-0737
Diane Marie Von Ah, Ph.D., R.N., Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Nurse Faculty Scholar
New national program seeks to advance careers of talented junior nursing faculty
Indianapolis, IN (August 25, 2008) ─ Diane M. Von Ah, Ph.D., R.N., an assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing  (IUSON), was one of 15 junior faculty nationwide to receive an inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar award. The three-year, $350,000 grant will begin September 1.
The award will support her research to help breast cancer survivors improve their memory.Women commonly experience forgetfulness, memory lapses and difficulty remembering information after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Health care providers know very little about how to help breast cancer survivors with memory problems. Although memory training can help improve memory in older healthy people, it is not known whether it can also help breast cancer survivors. Von Ah’s research will test whether breast cancer survivors find memory training to be useful and helpful in improving their memory and quality of life.
The award will also support her participation in a training program that will help prepare her for academic leadership and translating evidence into policy and practice initiatives.
“I hope to use this generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to further develop my leadership abilities in academic nursing and to increase the body of knowledge concerning memory problems in breast cancer patients so that health care providers can better care for their patients and improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors,” said Von Ah.
Her faculty mentors for this research are Rose Mays, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., professor and associate dean for community affairs at IUSON, and Andrew Saykin, Psy.D., Raymond C. Beeler Professor of Radiology and director of Indiana University Center for Neuroimaging.
“I believe Diane Von Ah is an exceptional young nurse scientist. I know she will maximize the tremendous resources this three year fellowship provides to further develop the complex skill set necessary for leaders to make a difference in the profession and in the lives of women with cancer,” said Marion E. Broome, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., dean and distinguished professor, IU School of Nursing.
Von Ah’s research in cancer symptom management has been funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation Birmingham Affiliate, Sigma Theta Tau International Nu Chapter, Oncology Nursing Society Foundation, and the Indiana University General Clinical Research Center.  This innovative work represents one of the first studies to evaluate the impact of cognitive dysfunction on quality of life outcomes in breast cancer survivors, the first study to evaluate the role of serotonin in cognitive dysfunction in persons affected by cancer, and one of a limited set of nursing studies that incorporate genetic predictors of outcomes. In recognition of her research accomplishments, Von Ah received the first prize poster award in the Cancer Symptom Experience at the 2007 9th National Conference on Cancer Nursing Research and was recently named the 2008 Midwest Nursing Research Society Women’s Health Research Section New Investigator.
The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program is to develop the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing through career development awards for outstanding junior nursing faculty. The program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by providing mentorship, leadership training, salary and research support to young faculty.
Despite a rise in applicants, U.S. nursing schools turn away thousands of prospective students from baccalaureate and masters programs because of an acute shortage of faculty and clinical preceptors, training sites, space and funding constraints. Since the stature of nursing schools and the promotion of nursing faculty are dependent on the quality of the nursing faculty’s scholarly and/or research pursuits, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program seeks to strengthen the link between institutional reputation and faculty success by providing career development and other opportunities to junior faculty.
With a large number of faculty nurses set to retire soon, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program also aims to encourage junior nurse faculty to continue on in their roles as educators.
The program is run out of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Anna D. Wolf chair and professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing directs the program. For more information, go to:
The Indiana University School of Nursing is one of the largest nursing schools in the nation. Ranked 8th by the National Institutes of Health, the school boasts a robust program of research focused on quality of life in chronic illness. A full 40% of Indiana’s nurses are IU School of Nursing alumni. Programs range from three undergraduate options, nine majors in the master’s program, post-master’s options, a Ph.D. in nursing science and continuing education opportunities. U.S. News & World report ranked the graduate programs 15th in its 2008 issue, with psychiatric mental health and adult clinical nurse specialist in the top ten. For more information on the IU School of Nursing, please visit
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit