Skip Navigation Links

NINR Acting Director and DIR Scientific Director: Dr. Ann Cashion

Ann Cashion, PhD, RN, FAAN

Ann CashionNINR Acting Director
Scientific Director
Principal Investigator
Genomic and Clinical Biomarkers Unit
Symptom Management Branch
Division of Intramural Research


Topic: Genetic markers that predict clinical outcomes, in particular the genetic/genomic and environmental components associated with outcomes of organ transplantation

Issue: At any given time, more than 100,000 Americans await an organ transplant that will potentially save their life. Some of those fortunate enough to receive an organ, however, face another struggle: weight gain, a significant risk factor for diminished long-term outcomes. It is a pervasive problem in this population; up to 90% of kidney transplant patients gain an unhealthy amount of weight following their surgeries.

Impact: Dr. Ann Cashion’s research seeks to better understand the factors leading to post-transplant weight gain. She has combined omic technologies and behavioral questionnaires to investigate the gene-environment interactions leading to obesity in recipients of kidney transplantations during the first year after transplant. She expands her work as the lead investigator of NINR’s Genomic and Clinical Biomarkers Lab, where she uses the NIH-Symptom Science Model to identify biomarkers to predict "at-risk" populations and guide therapeutic management for multiple health outcomes.


  • Named NINR Acting Director in August 2018
  • Named NINR Acting Deputy Director in January 2018
  • Appointed Scientific Director in November 2013
  • Served as the Senior Advisor to the Office of the Director and Acting Scientific Director from 2011–2013
  • Participated in the inaugural NINR Summer Genetics Institute (SGI) in 2000
  • Served as professor and chair of the Department of Acute and Chronic Care in the College of Nursing, University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC)
    • Researched early biomarkers of acute rejection in recipients of pancreas transplantations
    • Mentored doctoral students on incorporating genomics into programs of research
    • Chaired an NIH Integrated Review Group Study Section for training applications
  • Practiced as a critical care nurse and clinical nurse specialist for nearly two decades in Little Rock, Arkansas


  • Served as Past-President of International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG)
  • Selected as one of 20 nurses into the 2005 Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow program
  • Selected as one of 10 featured nurse scientists on the Johnson and Johnson Nurse Scientists’ video
  • Presented and published research findings related to transplantation and genetics


  • PhD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • MNSc, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • BSN, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health
  • Served on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows program
  • Served as co-chair of Genetics Expert Panel for American Academy of Nursing
  • Served as Communication Chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-sponsored GAPPNet (Genetic Applications in Practice and Prevention Network)
  • ISONG Founder’s Award for outstanding genetics research and scholarship

Selected Publications

  1. The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Seeks Community Input on Future Neuroscience Investments.
    Mott MC, Austin CP, Bianchi DW, Cashion AK, Gordon JA, Heemskerk JE, Hodes RJ, Koob GF, Riley WT, Sieving PA, Shurtleff D, Somerman MJ, Volkow ND, Anderson KC, Owens DF, Koroshetz WJ.
    J Neurosci. 2019 Jan 30;39(5):774-775. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2742-18.2018.
    No abstract available. PMID: 30700523
  2. The impact of plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentration and weight gain after kidney transplantation.
    Lai C, Stanfill AG, Zhang X, Cashion AK.
    Res Nurs Health. 2019 Feb;42(1):82-86. doi: 10.1002/nur.21921. Epub 2018 Dec 4. PMID: 30512217
  3. Considerations in initiating genomic screening programs in health care systems.
    Williams JK, Feero WG, Veenstra DL, Starkweather A, Cashion AK.
    Nurs Outlook. 2018 Nov;66(6):570-575. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2018.06.008. Epub 2018 Jul 11. No abstract available. PMID: 30093136
  4. Moderate blast exposure alters gene expression and levels of amyloid precursor protein.
    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.
    Neurol Genet. 2017 Sep 27;3(5):e186. doi: 10.1212/NXG.0000000000000186. eCollection 2017 Oct. PMID: 28975156
  5. Characterization of Body Composition and Fat Mass Distribution 1 Year After Kidney Transplantation.
    Pantik C, Cho YE, Hathaway D, Tolley E, Cashion A. Prog Transplant. 2017 Mar;27(1):10-15. doi: 10.1177/1526924816681007. Epub 2016 Nov 30. PMID: 27903767
  6. Oxidative stress is associated with weight gain in recipients at 12-months following kidney transplantation.
    Cho YE, Kim HS, Lai C, Stanfill A, Cashion A.
    Clin Biochem. 2016 Feb; 49(3):237-42. PMID: 26545907.
  7. 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.
    Cashion AK, Grady PA.
    Nurs Outlook. 2015 Jul-Aug; 63(4):484-7. PMID: 26187087.
  8. Pre-transplant predictors of one year weight gain after kidney transplantation.
    Cashion AK, Hathaway DK, Stanfill A, Thomas F, Ziebarth JD, Cui Y, Cowan PA, Eason J.
    Clin Transplant. 2014 Nov; 28(11):1271-8. PMID: 25159302.
  9. Expression levels of obesity-related genes are associated with weight change in kidney transplant recipients.
    Cashion A, Stanfill A, Thomas F, Xu L, Sutter T, Eason J, Ensell M, Homayouni R.
    PLoS One. 2013; 8(3):e59962. PMID: 23544116.
  10. A blueprint for genomic nursing science.
    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.
    J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013 Mar; 45(1):96-104. PMID: 23368636.

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

Arrow Up Back to Top