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NINR Welcomes Director Dr. Shannon Zenk

On September 14, 2020, Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, joined NIH as the director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). Dr. Zenk is a registered nurse and leading nurse researcher, whose research focuses on social inequities and health with a goal of identifying effective, multilevel approaches to improve health and eliminate racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities. Her research portfolio includes work into urban food environments, community health solutions, and veterans’ health. 

In her new role, Dr. Zenk will oversee the institute’s research and training programs in support of NINR’s mission to:

  • Improve the lives of individuals and families living with illness.
  • Develop personalized strategies to maximize health and well-being at all stages of life, across diverse populations and settings.
  • Support training and career development to foster the next generation of nurse scientists.

About Dr. Zenk

Dr. Zenk was previously a Nursing Collegiate Professor in the Department of Population Health Nursing Science at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing, and a fellow at the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy.

Dr. Zenk was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2013, received the President’s Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research in 2018, and was inducted into the International Nurse Researchers Hall of Fame in 2019. She has spent time as a visiting scholar in Rwanda and Australia. She earned her bachelor’s in nursing, magna cum laude, from Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington; her master’s degrees in public health nursing and community health sciences from UIC; and her doctorate in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

To learn more about Dr. Zenk’s research, please view her NINR profile.