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

August 29, 2012                                                                                           
West Virginia University School of Nursing, Emergency Medicine and Prevention Research Center’s Barr Selected as a 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’
Barr is Chosen for Prestigious Program to Advance Careers of Promising
Junior Nurse Faculty, Plans to Study Cardiovascular Disease
Taura Barr, PhD, RN, an assistant professor in the West Virginia University School of Nursing, Emergency Medicine and Prevention Research Center, 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. Barr will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote her academic career and support her research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.
“This award from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides a wonderful opportunity for me to study the implications of genomic variability, immunity and cardiovascular disease on individual recovery from ischemic stroke. As a nurse researcher I seek to understand the integrated responses of biological and psychological systems within the context of the environment to change the way human brain injuries are studied and ultimately treated,” Barr said.
Barr’s research is centered on the use of genomic methodologies to identify biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, understand their relationship with post-stroke inflammation, and define the contributing environmental factors related to cardiovascular health disparities in underserved populations. 
Barr and her colleagues recently identified a gene expression profile in the blood of ischemic stroke patients that differentiates stroke from stroke mimic; identifies novel immune targets associated with stroke recovery; and is closely related to the inflammatory profile of atherosclerotic disease. In this study, she and her team propose to determine the relationship between the expression of this gene profile after stroke with the degree of atherosclerotic burden.
“Further understanding the relationship between cardiovascular disease and ischemic stroke will allow individualized treatment and secondary risk stratification, dramatically improving current clinical practice,” Barr said.  
Barr is a research scholar in the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
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. Barr is part of the fifth cohort.
The new Nurse Faculty Scholars 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 www.nursefacultyscholars.org.
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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 www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.