Matthew Gallek, Ph.D., R.N. Selected as a 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar

NEWS RELEASE                                                       
August 30, 2012  
Contact: Gretchen Wright   
University of Arizona’s Gallek Selected as a 2012
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’
Gallek is Chosen for Prestigious Program to Advance Careers of Promising
Junior Nurse Faculty, Plans to Study Patients at High Risk for a Devastating Type of Stroke
Matthew J. Gallek, PhD, RN, CNRN, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, is one of just 12 outstanding nursing educators to win a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program this year. Gallek will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote his academic career and support his research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.
Gallek’s research focuses on aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), a devastating type of stroke. An aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs when a cerebral aneurysm ruptures and causes bleeding in and around the brain. These patients may have numerous complications, one of which is cerebral vasospasm. Cerebral vasospasm is a clamping down of arteries in the brain which causes reduced blood flow to brain tissue leading to additional damage to brain tissue. What causes cerebral vasospasm is complex and not fully understood.   In addition to cerebral vasospasm, these patients also suffer from cognitive and physical deficits that impact daily life. 
Gallek’s research will look at genes involved in calcium regulation in the body and the influence of these genes on cerebral vasospasm and functional outcomes. He plans to collect samples to measure calcium levels in the blood, as well as DNA samples to look at differences in the parathyroid hormone gene. This study will determine if there are relationships among these gene differences, calcium levels, cerebral vasospasm, and functional outcomes following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The long term goal of Gallek’s research is to identify patients at high risk for developing cerebral vasospasm, in order to facilitate more aggressive treatment. Overall, this will improve functional outcomes in these patients.
“The generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will enable me to describe relationships between the parathyroid hormone gene and outcomes following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage,” Gallek said. “Understanding the biological pathways involved in cerebral vasospasm is the first step toward preventing the damage caused by cerebral vasospasm and improving functional outcomes.” 
The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is strengthening the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. It is providing $28 million to five cohorts of outstanding junior nursing faculty. Gallek is part of the fifth cohort.
The new Nurse Faculty Scholars also will support the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is engaging nurses and others in a nationwide effort to implement recommendations from the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.
Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will vastly increase the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses as well as faculty to educate them. Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they do not have the faculty to teach them. The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
To learn more about the program, visit
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About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter or Facebook