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Technology: Research in Chronic and Critical Illness (T32 NR008857)

Training Grant Goals and Objectives

The overarching goal of this training program remains to provide rigorous research training and interdisciplinary culturalization to build the nursing science aimed at promoting health, managing illness, reducing disability, and enhancing quality of life through the aid of technology. Based on the growing need for nurse researchers to lead interdisciplinary teams and contribute their unique domain expertise to this rapidly growing field, in this renewal we have expanded the specific aims to address two new areas: commercialization of health technologies and ‘big data’ science.  The specific aims of the program are to provide: 

  1. the theoretical and conceptual foundation to support the development of a program of research that  examines ways that technological applications may enable the prevention, detection, or resolution of health problems,  
  2. the methodological skills to support of the development of an academic research career, 
  3. an environment that promotes, supports, and sustains scholarly inquiry within an interdisciplinary context, and  
  4. opportunities to develop, evaluate, translate and consider commercialization of high-tech solutions in real-world settings,
  5. opportunities to lead projects that rely on big data science to evaluate and monitor the impact of high-tech solutions on bio-behavioral health

Training Faculty

  • Annette DeVito Dabbs,  (Program Director)
  • Salah Al-Zaiti (Co-Director)
  • Murat Akcakaya
  • Michael Becich
  • Lora E. Burke
  • Denise Charron-Prochownik
  • Eileen Chasens
  • Dan Ding
  • Heidi Donovan (and advisory committee)
  • Harry Hochheiser
  • Marilyn Hravnak (advisory committee)
  • Rebecca Hwa
  • HeeYoung Lee
  • YuRu Lin
  • Jennifer Lingler
  • Judith Tabolt Matthews (advisory committee)
  • Dianxu Ren
  • Margaret Rosenzweig
  • Elizabeth Schlenk, (and advisory committee)
  • Paul Scott
  • Ervin Sejedic
  • Susan Sereika

Program Advisors

  • Suzanne Bakken
  • Rory Cooper
  • Paula Davis
  • Mary Amanda Dew
  • Debbie Gilotti
  • Dawndra Jones
  • Julius Kitutu
  • Ashli Molinero
  • Doris Rubio

Junior faculty affiliates: 

  • Judy Callan,
  • Jacob Kariuki
  • Theresa Koleck
  • Young Ji Lee
  • Jennifer Seaman
  • Jamie Zelazny

Interdisciplinary training faculty are from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Medicine, Health and Rehabilitation Science, Computing and Information and Engineering

Training Program Includes

  1. Mentoring from successful nursing and interdisciplinary researchers
  2. Opportunity for research experience/training in the development, use, and evaluation of technology applications with training faculty
  3. Completion of a rigorous academic curriculum tailored to the needs of each individual trainee
  4. Exposure to a broad range of professional development experiences through participation in departmental and university seminars and through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute
  5. Participation in a bi-monthly Technology seminar series
  6. Training in the responsible conduct of research and reproducibility

Individuals selected as fellows in this training program receive a monthly stipend, tuition assistance, benefit assistance, assistance for professional travel, and modest funds to support research related expenses.


All applicants to this T32 pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training program are citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States and must submit official transcripts from previous and/or current institutions and 3 reference letters.

Pre-doctoral Applicants

Applicants to the pre-doctoral program must meet the admission criteria for the University of Pittsburgh PhD Program (BSN to PhD Track or MSN to PhD Track) and have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing and a professional nursing license. Pre-doctoral applicants must also submit GRE scores taken within the last 5 years and a brief proposal indicating their research interests related to technology research within either chronic or critical illness.

Post-Doctoral Applicants

Postdoctoral applicants must submit their curriculum vitae and a proposal for a training program and research related to technology research within either chronic or critical illness.
Pre-Doctoral and Post-Doctoral candidates interested in this innovative program may contact:

Annette DeVito Dabbs, PhD, RN, FAAN (Director)
Phone: 412-624-5314

Salah Al-Zaiti, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAHA (Co-Director) 
Phone: 412-624-4369