Top Honor

Bauer-Wu named Academy of Nursing Fellow

Bauer-Wu named Academy of Nursing Fellow

Susan Bauer-Wu has had her share of life-changing moments. As a nursing student in New York, she learned that her mother had breast cancer. As she helped her mother cope with the emotional and physical stress of the disease, her studies took on an intense personal focus. Now a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar in the School of Nursing, she is regarded as a national leader in palliative medicine and integrative health.

For her accomplishments, Bauer-Wu was inducted last fall as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), one of the highest honors in the profession.

“Dr. Bauer-Wu’s scholarly achievements have resulted in significant improvements in the care and function of patients with cancer,” says Dean Linda McCauley, who is also an AAN fellow. “Her leadership and mentorship of other scientists in the School of Nursing and throughout the United States are recognized through this achievement, and her work is an inspiration to all of our nursing students.”

Bauer-Wu’s studies focus on the effects of meditation and other stress-relieving activities on cancer patients. She currently leads a large randomized clinical trial that looks at whether meditation affects subjective symptoms as well as laboratory findings such as stress hormones or how long a patient’s white blood cells take to recover after a bone marrow transplant. Funded by NIH, the study involves 241 patients at Emory and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where Bauer-Wu previously served as director of the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services. In a related study, she is using neuroimaging to see what parts of the brain respond to such interventions. Just recently, she received a $3.5 million NIH grant for studies to reduce heart disease risk and improve the health and well-being of family caregivers for patients experiencing dementia or heart failure (see "New Research Tops $14 Million").

For Bauer-Wu, becoming an AAN fellow reflects her desire to improve quality of life for cancer patients like her mother. “I have been fortunate to carry out important work that I love,” she says.

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winter 2010