Division of Intramural Research “alumna” Jessica Gill, PhD, CRPNP, has returned to NINR as one of the first Lasker Clinical Research Scholars. The new Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program, a joint initiative of the National Institutes of Health and the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, is the premier clinical intramural research training program at NIH.
Through this prestigious and competitive program, NIH and the Lasker Foundation seek to nurture the next generation of great clinical scientists. Lasker Scholars can take advantage of a unique combination of NIH funding for clinical research for upwards of 12 years. The program combines a period of independent research as a Principal Investigator in the NIH Intramural Research Program for 5 to 7 years, with the opportunity for additional years of independent financial support either at the NIH or at an extramural research institution.
Gill’s research program will examine the biological and neurological factors linked to the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) onset, and the influence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) on this risk. It will follow patients during their immediate recoveries and for years afterwards to better understand the risk and resiliency factors related to these outcomes.
Gill’s foundational studies include her dissertation research (F31 NR009166), which reported high rates of PTSD in urban health-care seeking women. This research also showed that a PTSD diagnosis was associated with perceived health declines, as well as with higher concentrations of inflammatory markers and dysregulation of endocrine functioning.
Gill was previously an assistant professor at the George Mason University School of Nursing. Prior to that, she completed a post-doctorate fellowship at NINR in conjunction with the National Institute of Mental Health, where she further examined the biological mechanisms of PTSD and depression, finding central and peripheral alterations in the in-vivo functioning of both immune and endocrine systems.
She later became a clinical investigator at NIH and was involved in the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM), where her program of research and clinical practice expanded to better understand the biological mechanisms of PTSD in service members. Gill received her bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) degree from Linfield College in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Gill was also recently featured in the NIH Catalyst article, NIH-Lasker Scholars: Exploring Inflammation, Cardiometabolic Diseases, and PTSD.