“Being a Hopkins Nurse has allowed me to reach toward my dreams of using nursing research to improve the lives of the patients who have touched my life.”
Dr. Jessica Gill, recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumna Award, has devoted her career to studying and improving psychological therapy for people who have endured a traumatic experience. Dr. Gill is the first nurse to receive the Lasker Clinical Research Scholar Award, considered the most prestigious research grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Through this grant, she is developing a nationwide research program examining the biological and neurological factors linked to the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) onset, and the influence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) on this risk. Her line of inquiry employs a cutting-edge type of biomarker harvesting technology and will follow patients, both civilian and military personnel, during their immediate recoveries and for years afterward to better understand the risk and resiliency factors related to these outcomes.
“It was my time as a doctoral student at Hopkins that forged my love of data and its potential to impact policy development.”
As a nurse, I am privileged to be a member of a professional community with a noble mission. But as a graduate of Johns Hopkins I also feel a responsibility to positively impact the lives of as many as possible, with emphasis on those in greatest need. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet this responsibility through a career in public service, working in the research and policy arena. Perhaps most gratifying is knowing that this work has afforded me an opportunity to focus on improving population health and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care. As I reflect on my career, and look to the work ahead, I know that my doctoral education has been and will continue to be the foundation for my contributions to public health.