Featured Alumni

Irene Yang, PhD, RN

Dr. Irene Yang is a postdoctoral research fellow at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Her research interests have been shaped by her clinical experience as a maternal/newborn nurse. Her research thus far has included a pilot survey study examining smoking cessation and relapse challenges reported by postpartum women. Her dissertation examined psychosocial mediators of prenatal smoking status in low SES women and she is currently exploring biological determinants that influence pregnancy outcomes focusing on the endocannabinoid system and the microbiome. In addition, her postdoctoral fellowship has included hands-on experience working with a team of researchers looking at the biobehavioral determinants of the microbiome and preterm birth in black women. It is her hope that her clinical and research experiences thus far position her to conduct research that has an impact on the health behaviors of perinatal women and the improvement of pregnancy outcomes.

Pamela A. McCullough, PhD, APRN

Dr. McCullough practices Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, and is a Sub-Investigator and Director of Clinical Research for Kentucky Research Group in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. McCullough earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Louisville in 1991, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Louisville in 1997, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Louisville, School of Nursing in 2011. She was integral in establishing Kentucky Research Group as an independent clinical research site in 2005, and has been involved over 100 pharmaceutical and medical device trials in multiple therapeutic areas.

Dr. McCullough is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Kentucky Sleep Society, Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives, and the Academy of Clinical Research Professionals. She has been a speaker for industry sponsors and has co-authored sleep-related publications in the journal SLEEP. In addition, Dr. McCullough has presented research findings at professional sleep, obesity, and nurse practitioner conferences.

Valerie L. McCarthy, PhD, RN

Dr. McCarthy earned an Associate Degree in Nursing in 1971 and a Bachelor’s Degree in 1999. In 2005 Dr. McCarthy joined the University of Louisville School of Nursing’s first PhD cohort in the BSN-to-PhD Program. She graduated in August 2009 and accepted a position as an Assistant Professor. In 2015 she was approved for tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. McCarthy teaches Community Health Nursing in the undergraduate program. Her research is focused on increasing well-being, life satisfaction and health-related quality of life in older adults. Sigma Theta Tau International and the American Nurses Foundation have funded Dr. McCarthy’s research and she is currently seeking support from the National Institute of Nursing Research. Her research results have been published in Geriatric Nursing, Nursing Research, the Journal of Holistic Nursing, Journal of Transcultural Nursing, and the International Journal of Aging & Human Development. In 2011 Dr. McCarthy was selected in the Hartford Institute on Aging Geriatric Nursing Research Program and she recently received the D. Jean Wood Nursing Scholarship Award from Southern Nursing Research Society.

Jiying Ling, PhD

Jiying Ling (PhD, Nursing; MS, Biostatistics, University of Louisville) is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing, Michigan State University. She received a one-year postdoctoral training in 2014. Her research focuses on preventing overweight and obesity in preschool, elementary, and middle school children through theory-driven, multi-component healthy lifestyle interventions. Her recent pilot work indicates that the traditional intervention targeting only children in the area of either physical activity or nutrition is inadequate for preventing excessive weight gain in children. As a result, she has directed her efforts toward involving parents and teachers in the interventions. Having a master’s degree in biostatistics, Dr. Ling is also interested in scale development and evaluation, as well as the application of statistics in behavioral research. With extensive training and education in both Nursing and Biostatistics, she is the author of 21 research manuscripts and 48 local, regional, and international presentations.

Jean Edward, PhD

Jean Edward is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Edward earned her BSN from Bellarmine University and her PhD in Nursing and Certificate in Health Professions Education from the University of Louisville. Her program of research is focused on developing interventions to reduce disparities in healthcare access related to social determinants of health and promote health equity among underserved immigrant and minority populations. The foundation to her program of research is a critical analysis of the social determinants of healthcare access from the perspective of Hispanic/Latino immigrants in Louisville, Kentucky, funded by the Kentucky Nurses Association and presented at the American Academy of Nursing’s 40th annual conference. Dr. Edward’s current research uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine health literacy and its impact on access and utilization of health insurance and health care services for Hispanics and Latinos in Massachusetts.