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Sandra Founds, CNM, FNP, PhD

Associate Professor
Health Promotion and Development

    School of Nursing
440 Victoria Building
3500 Victoria St
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: 412-624-3822
Fax: 412- 624-8521


I conduct research in women’s health and pregnancy. I have led multidisciplinary teams to identify and develop a novel set of candidate genes that may elucidate the origins of preeclampsia, a leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Genomic, epigenetic, and proteomic studies have been conducted, and pilot studies to characterize phenotype are in progress. Prevention and early detection are key goals of my research, as well as tailored nursing interventions, to reduce the burden of preeclampsia and its lifelong risk of cardiovascular disease in surviving mothers and offspring.


I teach across programs in the School of Nursing, primarily in the graduate program, including Women’s Health Management, Adult, Acute and Chronic Clinical, and Role Practicum. I am a Clinical Preceptor for Nurse Practitioner Students and Family Practice Medical Residents. I participate in Dissertation and Capstone projects. I teach undergraduate Mothers, Newborns, and Families Clinical and participate as an Undergraduate Research Mentor.


I serve on several international, national, local and School committees. I have been active with the International Society of Nurses in Genetics, currently as Secretary, and was prior Co-Chair of Research and Conference Planning. I am a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives Divisions of Research and Global Health. In addition to providing peer review for many multidisciplinary journals, I am serving a second term on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. I recently acted as Guest Editor for In Focus section on Genomics and Pregnancy.

In the community, I participated with the Allegheny County Health Department to submit collaborative grants for Maternal-Child Health, and am conducting collaborative research on Intimate Partner Violence. I serve on a Community Task Force on Intimate Partner Violence.

Within the School of Nursing, I serve on the Planning and Budget Committee, PhD Council Curriculum Committee, and the Global Health Task Force.


I am actively engaged in the direct care of patients. As a Family Nurse Practitioner with national certification as a Certified Nurse Midwife, I provide primary care at Carnegie Mellon University Student Health Services and provide women’s health at Magee-Womens Hospital Outpatient Clinics. I had practiced until recently at Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania (2009 – 2013).


PhDUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst-Worcester, MA
Clinical Research and Teaching, Nursing
MSNCase Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH
Nursing, Midwifery
Postgraduate NIH/NINR and Georgetown University, Bethesda, MD
Molecular Genetics
Postdoctorate University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Research for Vulnerable Women, Children and Families

Professional Experience

2007-present Assistant Investigator, Magee-Womens Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
2005-present Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA
1996-2003 Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, School of Nursing, Amherst, MA
2010 – present Faculty, University Center for International Studies (UCIS), African Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


This page was last modified on Mon Aug 29 13:39:46 EDT 2011.