The Research Room

After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Assistant Professor Kathleen Griffith, PhD ’06, MPH, CRNP,  contemplated her next move. As she pondered job options, she figured a career in the liberal arts field wasn’t in the cards. Griffith’s first job was at the University of Tennessee’s School of Nursing, working in the office of Dean Michael A. Carter, DNSc, DNP, FAAN, FNP/GNP-BC. Carter was a progressive and original thinker in nursing education, as well as an advocate for improved nursing care for the underserved.  This experience inspired Griffith to apply to nursing school. Eventually, she found her way to the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and enrolled in its PhD program. In 2008, two years after completing her PhD, an opportunity arose to join UMSON’s faculty, in large part because she believed that the School’s research mission was intimately tied to improving patient care. She was also attracted to the oncology presence on the faculty, as cancer is her area of research and she had spent many years caring for cancer patients. Griffith’s current research focuses on reducing the late effects of treatment for cancer, which are symptoms that continue beyond cessation of active treatment and may persist for years.  Such problems include chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and weight gain. The populations she works with are primarily from underserved groups, including ethnic minorities and persons with low incomes.