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Acting Director's Page

Welcome to NINR

Welcome to the National Institute of Nursing Research. We are dedicated to improving the health and health care of Americans through the funding of nursing research and research training. Our mission is to promote and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. This mission is accomplished through support of research in a number of science areas.  Among those areas of research are chronic and acute diseases, health promotion and maintenance, symptom management, health disparities, caregiving, self-management, and the end of life. NINR also supports the training of new investigators who bring new ideas and help to further expand research programs. The ultimate goal of our research is its dissemination into clinical practice and into the daily lives of individuals and families.

About the Acting Director

dr-cashion-bio-photo.pngAnn Cashion, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Acting Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and Scientific Director of the NINR Division of Intramural Research. She is a well-known scientist and leader in the field of nursing science with expertise in genetic markers that predict clinical outcomes.

From 2011-2013, Dr. Cashion served as the Senior Advisor to the Office of the Director and Acting Scientific Director before being appointed Scientific Director in November 2013. Dr. Cashion was named NINR Acting Deputy Director in January 2018 and NINR Acting Director in September 2018.

As lead investigator of NINR’s Genomic and Clinical Biomarkers Lab, she uses the NIH Symptom Science Model to identify biomarkers to predict “at-risk” populations and guide therapeutic management for multiple health outcomes.

Prior to her appointment at NINR, Dr. Cashion was professor and chair of the Department of Acute and Chronic Care in the College of Nursing, University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). She joined the faculty in 2000, shortly after earning her doctorate at UTHSC. Also, in 2000 Dr. Cashion participated in the inaugural NINR Summer Genetics Institute (SGI). Drawn by the idea of incorporating genetics and genomics into her research, she credits the SGI with changing the trajectory of her career.

During her tenure at UTHSC, Dr. Cashion researched early biomarkers of acute rejection in recipients of pancreas transplantations. She also shared her expertise, mentoring numerous doctoral students on how to incorporate genomics into their programs of research and chairing an NIH Integrated Review Group Study Section for training applications.

Prior to her work as a nurse scientist, Dr. Cashion practiced as a critical care nurse and clinical nurse specialist for nearly two decades in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Currently, Dr. Cashion serves as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health. She was previously on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows program, served as co-chair of the Genetics Expert Panel for the American Academy of Nursing, and served as Communication Chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-sponsored GAPPNet (Genetic Applications in Practice and Prevention Network).

Dr. Cashion has served as President of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) and received the ISONG Founder’s Award in recognition of outstanding genetics research and scholarship. She was one of 20 nurses selected for the 2005 Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow program, and one of 10 featured nurse scientists on the Johnson and Johnson Nurse Scientists’ video. She has presented and published numerous times on her research findings related to transplantation and genetics.

Dr. Cashion received her BSN from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her MNSc from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences campus, and her PhD from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

A Message from the NINR Acting Director, Dr. Ann Cashion

Selected Publications

  1. Martin C, Cho YE, Kim H, Yun S, Kanefsky R, Lee H, Mysliwiec V, Cashion A, Gill J. Altered DNA Methylation Patterns Associated With Clinically Relevant Increases in PTSD Symptoms and PTSD Symptom Profiles in Military Personnel. Biol Res Nurs. 2018 May;20(3):352-358. doi: 10.1177/1099800418758951. Epub 2018 Mar 7. PMID: 29514460
  2. Cashion AK, Grady PA. Response to the Commentary: Precision Health: Using Omics to Optimize Self-Management of Chronic Pain in Aging: From the Perspective of the NINR Intramural Research Program. Res Gerontol Nurs. 2018 Jan 1;11(1):14-15. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20171220-02.  PMID: 29370442
  3. Gill J, Cashion A, Osier N, Arcurio L, Motamedi V, Dell KC, Carr W, Kim HS, Yun S, Walker P, Ahlers S, LoPresti M, Yarnell A. Moderate blast exposure alters gene expression and levels of amyloid precursor protein. Neurol Genet. 2017 Sep 27;3(5):e186. doi: 10.1212/NXG.0000000000000186. eCollection 2017 Oct. PMID: 28975156
  4. Pantik C, Cho Young-Eun, Hathaway D, Tolley E, Cashion AK. Characterization of Body Composition and Fat Mass Distribution 1 Year After Kidney Transplantation. Prog Transplant. 2017 Mar;27(1):10-15. doi: 10.1177/1526924816681007. Epub 2016 Nov 30.  PMID: 27903767
  5. Cho YE, Latour LL, Kim H, Turtzo LC, Olivera A, Livingston WS, Wang D, Martin C, Lai C, Cashion A, Gill J. Older Age Results in Differential Gene Expression after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Is Linked to Imaging Differences at Acute Follow-up. Front Aging Neurosci. 2016 Jul 13;8:168. PMID: 27468266
  6. Cashion AK, Gill J, Hawes R, Henderson WA, Saligan L. National Institutes of Health Symptom Science Model sheds light on patient symptoms. Nurs Outlook. 2016 Sep-Oct;64(5):499-506. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2016.05.008. Epub 2016 May 29. PMID: 27349632
  7. Williams JK, Cashion AK, Shekar S, Ginsburg GS. Genomics, clinical research, and learning health care systems: Strategies to improve patient care. Nurs Outlook. 2016 May-Jun;64(3):225-8. PMID: 26821732
  8. Cho YE, Kim HS, Lai C, Stanfill A, Cashion A. Oxidative stress is associated with weight gain in recipients at 12-months following kidney transplantation. Clin Biochem. 2016 Feb;49(3):237-42. PMID: 26545907
  9. Cashion AK, Grady PA. The National Institutes of Health/National Institutes of Nursing Research intramural research program and the development of the National Institutes of Health Symptom Science Model. Nurs Outlook. 2015 Jul-Aug;63(4):484-7. PMID: 26187087
  10. Cashion AK, Hathaway DK, Stanfill A, Thomas F, Ziebarth JD, Cui Y, Cowan PA, Eason J. Pre-transplant predictors of one year weight gain after kidney transplantation. Clin Transplant. 2014 Nov;28(11):1271-8. PMID: 25159302
  11. Bloodworth RF, Ward KD, Relyea GE, Cashion AK. Food availability as a determinant of weight gain among renal transplant recipients. Res Nurs Health. 2014 Jun;37(3):253-9. PMID: 24805885
  12. Cashion A, Stanfill A, Thomas F, Xu L, Sutter T, Eason J, Ensell M, Homayouni R. Expression levels of obesity-related genes are associated with weight change in kidney transplant recipients. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59962. PMID: 23544116
  13. Taylor JY, Kraja AT, de Las Fuentes L, Stanfill AG, Clark A, Cashion A. An overview of the genomics of metabolic syndrome. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013 Mar;45(1):52-9. PMID: 23368731
  14. Genomic Nursing State of the Science Advisory Panel, Calzone KA, Jenkins J, Bakos AD, Cashion AK, Donaldson N, Feero WG, Feetham S, Grady PA, Hinshaw AS, Knebel AR, Robinson N, Ropka ME, Seibert D, Stevens KR, Tully LA, Webb JA. A blueprint for genomic nursing science. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013 Mar;45(1):96-104. PMID: 23368636
  15. Cashion AK, Umberger RA, Goodwin SB, Sutter TR. Collection and storage of human blood and adipose for genomic analysis of clinical samples.> Res Nurs Health. 2011 Oct;34(5):408-18. PMID: 21812005
  16. Cashion AK, Sabek O, Driscoll C, Gaber L, Tolley E, Gaber AO. Serial analysis of biomarkers of acute pancreas allograft rejection. Clin Transplant. 2010 Nov-Dec;24(6):E214-22. PMID: 20497195
  17. Williams SH, Cashion A. Negative affectivity and cardiovascular disease in African American single mothers. ABNF J. 2008 Spring;19(2):64-7. PMID: 18494404
  18. Cashion A, Sabek O, Driscoll C, Gaber L, Kotb M, Gaber O. Correlation of genetic markers of rejection with biopsy findings following human pancreas transplant.  Clin Transplant. 2006 Jan-Feb;20(1):106-12. PMID: 16556164
  19. Cashion AK, Hathaway DK, Milstead EJ, Reed L, Gaber AO. Changes in patterns of 24-hr heart rate variability after kidney and kidney-pancreas transplant. Transplantation. 1999 Dec 27;68(12):1846-50. PMID: 10628762

For Dr. Cashion's full bibliography, please visit PubMed.

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