Focus on Faculty
Holly Brown-Borg, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics
Brown-Borg has been selected to receive a five-year award of nearly $575,000 from the National Institutes of Health to support her continued research on the role of “growth hormone on thiol metabolism, stress resistance and aging.” Brown-Borg’s research uses one of only a few Ames dwarf mice colonies in the country to identify mechanisms of stress resistance associated with health and longevity. Her research has shown that dwarf mice exhibit youthful traits longer than normal mice because of dwarf mice’s lack of growth and thyroid hormones. Her lab is researching if there may be a link to human aging and longevity.
Sharon Wilsnack, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Clinical Neuroscience
Wilsnack has been named a Fellow by Division 35 (Psychology of Women) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Fellow status is based on evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions that have had national or international impact in the psychology of women. She is widely recognized as an international authority on alcoholism and other substance abuse issues among women.
Robert Beattie, clinical professor of family and community medicine
Beattie chairs the Family and Community Medicine Department in UND’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The department was recently awarded nearly $400,000 from the North Dakota Department of Health to continue the successful “Tobacco Prevention and Control Statewide Quitline.” Beattie’s colleague in the department, Eric Johnson, has been involved in the project from the beginning, developing it into an effective private-public collaboration that works for the good of North Dakota citizens. The program has the unique ability to engage North Dakotans one-on-one through a toll-free number (1-800-Quit Now) to help them successfully kick the habit.
Patricia Moulton, assistant professor of family and community medicine in Minot
Moulton has received a grant of nearly $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to purchase several high-fidelity human patient simulators that will provide innovative continuing education courses on-site to rural critical-access hospitals in the state. The simulators will be part of a program known as The
North Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC), for which Moulton is an associate director. ND AHEC’s mission is to enhance access to quality primary care and public health in rural and underserved areas by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community and academic collaborations.
Kathleen Gershman, professor and graduate program director in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research
UND continues to expand graduate degree offerings in the College of Education and Human Development. The college’s Department of Educational Foundations and Research is offering a new Ph.D. program to prepare students for professional positions that rely on excellent research skills and understanding of broad intellectual and scholarly themes. Faculty members in the department have a broad range of expertise in areas such as curriculum theory, research methods, and educational research. “This program is a natural choice for students who wish to discover career paths leading to educational or institutional research,” said Gershman.
Cindy Juntunen, professor of counseling psychology and community services, and associate dean of research and graduate education in the College of Education and Human Development
The UND Rural Psychology in Integrated Care (RPIC) program, led by Juntunen, has secured a three-year grant worth more than $500,000 that will be used to prepare new psychologists, substance abuse counselors, and nurses to address rural mental and behavioral health needs. The grant funding, from the Graduate Psychology Education Program: Workforce Training to Improve Access to Mental Health Services program, will be used to train UND students to serve as a part of integrated health care teams in rural communities. More than 3,480 U.S. communities have mental health care shortages, impacting about 84 million people nationwide, according to recent statistics. In North Dakota, nearly 90 percent of counties — home to 40 percent of state citizens — have shortages in mental health services.
Xiquan Dong and Baiki Xi, associate professors of atmospheric sciences
Dong and Xi recently received nearly $350,000 from NASA to improve satellite estimates of cloud properties over highly polluted areas of eastern Asia. The project also includes similar research over the Atlantic near the Azores. Cloud data are essential to the long-term study of climate, climate change, weather, and other atmospheric phenomena. Dong and Xi will be using the ground-based measurements from the U.S. Department of Energy/Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mobile Facility and NASA CloudSat/CALIPSO satellite observations to obtain “cloud-truth” data sets.