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National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

NINR Communications Office

Dr. Mary E. Kerr Named NINR Deputy Director

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today the appointment of Mary E. Kerr, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., as its new Deputy Director. The NINR supports basic and clinical research to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals across the life span — from management of patients during illness and recovery to the reduction of risks for disease and disability and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

“We’re excited that Dr. Mary Kerr is NINR’s new Deputy Director,” said Patricia Grady, Ph.D., NINR Director. “Dr. Kerr brings to this position an extraordinary record of scientific achievement and leadership in studies of nursing science.”

As the NINR deputy director, Dr. Kerr will partner with Dr. Grady in planning, directing, and managing the programs and resources of the Institute.

Dr. Kerr comes to NINR from the University of Pittsburgh where she has served most recently as UPMC Health System Chair in Nursing Science in the School of Nursing. Her primary appointment is Professor in the Department of Acute & Tertiary Care Nursing in the School of Nursing and she has a secondary appointment of Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery in the School of Medicine. Dr. Kerr is also the Associate Director, Clinical Core, Brain Trauma Research Center at UPMC.

During her distinguished career, Dr. Kerr has focused her research on preventing cerebral ischemia and maximizing cerebral perfusion in the critically ill patient with a neurologic condition. She is particularly interested in identifying early biomarkers or parameters that help nurses identify individuals at risk for cerebral ischemia. This includes genetic -specific variation in an individual’s response to and recovery from an acute neurologic condition such as traumatic brain injury or a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.

A faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh since 1991, she served as the Director in the Center for Nursing Research where she mentored junior investigators, sponsored research activities and advised, taught and supervised research of undergraduate, graduate, masters and doctoral students. In recognition of her teaching skills Dr. Kerr was honored with the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1996. Dr. Kerr served as a member and chair of multiple University committees, primarily focused on issues related to research and technology.

She has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career. In 2004 she received the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Outstanding Alumni Award, in 2002 she received the Excellence in Nursing, Nightingale Award of Pennsylvania for Nursing Research and in 2001 she received the Distinguished Research Lectureship Award, from the Eastern Nursing Research Society. She is also a Fellow in both the American Academy of Nursing and in the American College of Critical Care Medicine.

In addition to authoring and coauthoring over 100 scholarly research papers and publications, Dr. Kerr currently serves as manuscript reviewer for multiple professional medical and nursing publications. She participated in a number of scholarly review activities for the National Institutes of Health, such as a Permanent Reviewer for the Adults and Older Adults Study Section of CSR, and an Ad Hoc Reviewer for several other divisions of CSR. Recently she participated in the Research Themes Meeting on Public Access, chaired by NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. and involving various NIH investigators.

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