Our team

Our team

Theresa Swift-Scanlan, Ph.D., RN

Associate Professor
Ellen Fontaine Winston Distinguished Professor
Department of Adult Health and Nursing Systems

Theresa Swift-Scanlan

1100 East Leigh Street, Room 3059

Phone: (804) 828-3681
Email: tswiftscanlan@vcu.edu

TEACHING:
I am passionate about teaching and have taught at all levels of the curriculum: undergraduate, masters, and doctoral courses. My overall goals for teaching are to serve as a conduit to promote knowledge acquisition, critical thinking, and the creative application of learning to clinical practice. I currently teach Foundations of Biobehavioral Research and advise students in the PhD program.  

RESEARCH:
My program of research is focused on the epigenetics of chronic illness; specifically, the study of variables that mediate or moderate interactions between environmental influences, biology, and behavior. I am particularly motivated to identify molecular biomarkers that can be utilized to improve risk assessment, early detection, and or targeted interventions for cancer and neurodegenerative disorders that share overlapping molecular pathways and clinical management challenges.

 

SERVICE:

I am a member of the American Association of Cancer Research, Sigma Theta Tau, and the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG). In addition to serving on various programmatic and administrative committees at the School and local University level, I serve on the ISONG Research Committee.

 

EDUCATION

  • BS – Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
    Biology
  • BSN – Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
    Nursing
  • MS - University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
    Marine Molecular Biology
  • PhD - Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
    Nursing/Cancer Epigenetics

 

AWARDS/HONORS

 

  • Inventor. Patent US8062849 B2. QM-MSP: A Novel Method for Quantitatively Analyzing Methylation in Biological Samples. Licensed by Cepheid, Inc. 2015.
  • UNC Faculty Research Award. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • UNC Star Heels Award.  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Grant supplementation ($50,000) award by Charlotte, NC Susan G. Komen Affiliate.
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Doctoral Scholarship.
  • Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society, Nu Beta Chapter, Johns Hopkins University.
  • Grant-in-aid Award from Bermuda Biological Station. University of Maryland.
  • Full Graduate Research Scholarship, Office of Naval Research, University of Maryland.

 

RESEARCH FUNDING

 

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. Identifying biomarkers of breast cancer outcomes in African American women. VCU School of Nursing Research Award. Project Period: 8/1/2016-7/31/2018. Total: $50,000.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Co-Investigator. Novel targeted therapies for recalcitrant breast cancer. Principal Investigator: Pilar Blancafort. National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia Novel Concept Award. Project Period: 7/1/2014-6/30/2016. Total: $200,000.

Role: Co-Developer of an epigenetic therapy for basal-like breast cancer viadesign and conduct of in vitro and in vivo methylation and gene expression assays in pre-clinical models of targeted SOX2 oncogene silencing.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. Differential methylation of key genes identified between former and current smokers with breast cancer. Barbara Senich Genomics Innovation Endowment Fund. The UNC School of Nursing. Project Period: 1/1/2015-12/31/2015. Total: $10,000.

Role: Quantify and characterize DNA methylation using in vitro studies with candidate genes identified between former and current smokers with a breast cancer diagnosis.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. DNA methylation phenotypes in basal-like breast cancer. Barbara Senich Genomics Innovation Endowment Fund. The UNC School of Nursing. Project Period: 1/1/2014-12/31/2014. Total: $7,500.

Role: Quantify and characterize gene specific “methylation phenotypes” in women with basal-like breast cancer in a hospital-based cohort.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Fellow, Project PI. Career Development Program. Principal Investigator: Shelley Earp. Breast Specialized Programs in Research Excellence (S.P.O.R.E.) Award, NIH/NCI, U54CA156733, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer. Project Period: 2008-2012; 2013-2016 (competitive renewal). Total: $3,691,744. 

Role: Design, assay, and analyze candidate and genome wide DNA methylation as a biomarker of survival by breast cancer subtype.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. Breast Cancer in African American Women: DNA Methylation Studies in Basal-like, HER2+, and Luminal A and B Subtypes. The Susan G. Komen Foundation, KG090180, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.  Project Period: 2009-2012. Total: $450,000.

Role: Identification and validation of differentially methylated genes in breast cancer in association with race, age, and tumor subtype.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. Comprehensive interrogation of  COMT gene methylation. NC TraCS Pilot Grant, NIH/NCRR, 1KL2RR025746-04. Project Period: 2011. Total: $4,000.

Role: Assay design and comprehensive interrogation of DNA Methylation throughout the COMT gene.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Project Principal Investigator. DNA Methylation in matched normal breast tissues. Institutional Principal Investigator: Etta Pisano. NC TraCS Supplemental Grant, NIH/NCRR, 1KL2RR025746-03. Project Period: 2010. Total: $10,000.

Role: Quantification of DNA Methylation in matched normal breast tissue as a baseline comparison to tumor tissues to guide correlative analyses.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Funded Scholar. Mentored Translational Scientist Award. Institutional Principal Investigator: Etta Pisano. NIH NCRR, 1KL2RR025746-01. Project Period: 2008-2011. Total: 2,090,864. 

Role: Development of a translational research program with a focus on discovery of epigenetic markers of cancer risk.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Investigator. The Carolina Breast Cancer Study. Principal Investigator: Robert Millikan. NIH/NCI 5P50CA058223. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer. Project Period: 2008-2012. Total: $3,500,000.

Role: Assay design and analysis of candidate gene DNA methylation by estrogen receptor status and clinical history. During the funding cycle, I received breast tumor tissues and clinical and environmental exposure data for over 300 study participants.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. Epigenetic Modifiers of Breast Risk. Predoctoral National Research Service Award (NRSA), NIH NINR, 1 F31 NR008311, The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Project Period: 2003-2007.  Total: $207,000. 

Role: Dissertation research supplies and support for “Quantification of candidate gene methylation in a high risk breast cancer cohort: Implications for risk assessment.”

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. DNA methylation study of 12 candidate genes in archival breast tumor and matched normal tissues. Doctoral Scholarship in Cancer Nursing, American Cancer Society, DSCN-04-162-01, The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Project Period: 2004-2006. Total: $30,000.

Role: Analysis of candidate gene methylation in a retrospective archival breast cancer study.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. DNA methylation in Breast Cancer. Department of Defense (DOD) Predoctoral Traineeship Award, BCO32196, The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Proposed Project Period: 2003. Funded: $90,000. *Obligated to decline this award due to prior acceptance of the NRSA listed above.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Research Nurse. Mitigating Cancer Treatment Related Fatigue by Exercise. Principal Investigator, Victoria MockNIH NINR and NCI 5R01NR004991. The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. 2001-2004. Total: $1,932,732. 

Role:  Consenting participants, collecting physiological measures pre- and post- intervention, conducting follow-up interviews, managing data, and assisting in data analysis.

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (of n=35)

(Theresa Swift-Scanlan, formerly Theresa Swift Breschel)
* represents senior/corresponding authorship; db denotes publications based on original data)
Journal impact factors listed by year from 2000 to present

  • Garcia-Bloj, B., Moses, C., Sgro, A., Plani-Lam, J., Arooj, Duffy, C., Thiruvengadam, S., Sorolla, A., Rashwan., R., Mancera, R.L., Leisewitz, A., Swift-Scanlan, T., Corvalan, A.H., & Blancafort, P. (2016). Waking up dormant tumor suppressor genes with Zinc Fingers, TALEs and the CRISPR/dCas9 system. Oncotarget. In Press. (2016).  db Impact Factor 6.36
  • Stolzenburg, S., Beltran, A.S., Swift-Scanlan, T., Rivenbark, A.G., & Blancafort, P.  Stable inherited oncogenic silencing in vivo by programmable and targeted de novo DNA Methylation in Breast Cancer. (2015). Oncogene.  34(43):5427-35.PMID: 25684141db Impact Factor 8.56
  • Conway, K., Edmiston, S.N., Tse, C-K., Bryant, C., Kuan, P.F., Hair, B.Y., Parrish, E.A., May, R., Swift-Scanlan, T., & Millikan, R.C. (2015). Racial variation in breast tumor promoter methylation  in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study. Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. 24(6):921-30. PMID: 25287138  db Impact Factor 4.32
  • Hair, B.Y., Troester, M.A., Edmiston, S.N., Parrish, E.A., Robinson,  W.R., Wu, M.C., Olshan, A.F., Swift-Scanlan, T., & Conway, K. (2015). Body Mass Index is Associated with Gene Methylation in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Tumors. Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. 24(3):580-586, 2015.PMID: 25583948 db Impact Factor 4.32
  • Rattani N.S. and *T. Swift-Scanlan (2014). Deconstructing Breast Cancer Heterogeneity: Clinical Implications for Women with Basal-like Tumors. Oncology Nursing Forum. 41(6):639-646. PMID: 25355019 Impact Factor 2.83
  • Conway, K., Edmiston, S.N., May, R., Kuan, P.F., Chu, H., Bryant, C., Swift-Scanlan, T., Troester, M.A., Geradts, J., & Millikan, R.C. (2014). DNA methylation profiling in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study defines cancer subclasses differing in clinicopathologic characteristics and survival. Breast Cancer Research. 16(5):450-456. PMID: 25287138db Impact Factor 5.88
  • *Swift-Scanlan, T., Smith, C.T., Bardowell, S.A., & Boettiger, C.A. (2014). Comprehensive interrogation of CpG islands in the gene encoding COMT, a key estrogen and catecholamine regulator. BMC Medical Genomics. 7(1):5 PMID: 24460628 db Impact Factor 3.91
  • Smith, C.T., Swift-Scanlan, T., & Boettiger, C.A. (2014). Genetic polymorphisms regulating dopamine signaling in the frontal cortex interact to affect target detection under high working memory load. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 26(2):395-407. PMID: 24144248 db Impact Factor 4.69
  • Bardowell, S.A., Parker, J.S., Fan, C., Crandell, J., Perou, C.M., & *Swift-Scanlan, T. (2013). Differential methylation relative to breast cancer subtype and matched normal tissue reveals distinct patterns. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 142(2):365-80. PMID: 2421271 db Impact Factor 4.19
  • Ulirsch, J., Fan, C., Knafl, G., Wu, M.J., Coleman, B., Perou, C.M., & *Swift-Scanlan, T. (2013).Vimentin DNA methylation predicts survival in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 137: 2, 383-96. PMID:23239149 db Impact Factor 4.46
  • *Swift-Scanlan, T., Vang, R., Blackford, A., Fackler, M. J., & Sukumar, S. (2011). Methylated genes in breast cancer: Associations with clinical and histopathological features in a familial breast cancer cohort. Cancer Biology and Therapy. 11:10, 853-865. PMID: 21383541 db Impact Factor 2.64
  • Troester, M.A., & Swift-Scanlan, T. (2009). Challenges in studying the etiology of breast cancer subtypes. Breast Cancer Research, 11, 104-105. Impact Factor 5.88
  • Fackler, M. J., Malone, K., Zhang, Z., Schilling, E., Garrett-Mayer, E., Swift-Scanlan, T., et al. (2006). Quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR analysis doubles detection of tumor cells in breast ductal fluid. Clinical Cancer Research, 12, 3306-3310. db Impact Factor 6.96
  • *Swift-Scanlan, T., Blackford, A., Argani, P., Sukumar, S., & Fackler, M. J. (2006). Two-color quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR. Biotechniques, 40, 210-219. db Impact Factor 2.75
  • *Swift-Scanlan, T., Coughlin, J. M., Lan, T. H., Potash, J. B., Ingersoll, R. G., Depaulo, J. R., Jr., et al. (2005). Characterization of CTG/CAG repeats on chromosome 18: A study of bipolar disorder. Psychiatric Genetics, 15, 91-99. db Impact Factor 3.95
  • *Swift-Scanlan, T., Lan, T. H., Fallin, M. D., Coughlin, J. M., Potash, J. B., DePaulo, J. R. et al. (2002). Genetic analysis of the (CTG) n NOTCH4 polymorphism in 65 multiplex bipolar pedigrees. Psychiatric Genetics, 12, 43-47. db Impact Factor 1.88
  • McInnis, M. G., Swift-Scanlan, T., Mahoney, A. T., Vincent, J., Verheyen, G., Lan, T. H. et al. (2000). Allelic distribution of CTG18.1 in Caucasian populations: Association studies in bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ataxia. Molecular Psychiatry, 5, 439-442. db Impact Factor 5.82
  • McInnis, M. G., Breschel, T. S., Margolis, R. L., Chellis, J., MacKinnon, D. F., McMahon, F. J. et al. (1999). Family-based association analysis of the hSKCa3 potassium channel gene in bipolar disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 4, 217-219. db
  • McMahon, F. J., Thomas, C. J., Koskela, R. J., Breschel, T. S., Hightower, T. C., Rohrer, N. et al. (1998). Integrating clinical and laboratory data in genetic studies of complex phenotypes: A network-based data management system. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 81, 248-256. db
  • *Breschel, T. S., McInnis, M. G., Margolis, R. L., Sirugo, G., Corneliussen, B., Simpson, S. G. et al. (1997). A novel, heritable, expanding CTG repeat in an intron of the SEF2-1 gene on chromosome 18q21.1. Human Molecular Genetics, 6, 1855-1863. db
  • Tsiouris, S. J., Breschel, T. S., Xu, J., McInnis, M. G., & McMahon, F. J. (1996). Linkage disequilibrium analysis of G-olf alpha (GNAL) in bipolar affective disorder. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 67, 491-494. db
  • Margolis, R. L., Breschel, T. S., Li, S. H., Kidwai, A. S., Antonarakis, S. E., McInnis, M. G. et al. (1995). Characterization of cDNA clones containing CCA trinucleotide repeats derived from human brain. Somatic Cell Molecular Genetics, 21, 279-284. db

 

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

 

  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (November, 2016). Differentially Methylated Gene Loci as Biomarkers of Breast Cancer Outcomes. The VCU School of Medicine, Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Molecular Genetics Group. Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond, VA.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (January, 2015). Envisioning new Programs and Initiatives in Biobehavioral Science: Integrating Knowledge Development and Innovation on a Grander Scale. The UNC School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (October, 2014). The Research Support Center Focus on Team Science. Epigenetics: Bridging the Gap Between Biology and Behavior to Improve Clinical Outcomes. The UNC School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (November, 2014). Understanding Breast Cancer Heterogeneity: Clinical Implications For Women With Basal-like Tumors.International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) World Congress on Nursing and Genomics. Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (November, 2014). Associations of DNA Methylation With Genetic and Clinical Features in Two Breast Cancer Cohorts. International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) World Congress on Nursing and Genomics. Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (June, 2014). Findings from Correlative DNA Methylation Studies Hinge Upon Exquisitely Locus Specific Patterns. NCI SPORE EAB Meeting. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (June, 2014). Understanding DNA Methylation Patterns within a Genomic and Epigenomic Context.  Carolina Chromatin Consortium, University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Bardowell, S.A., Parker, J.S., Fan, C., Perou, C.M., & *Swift-Scanlan, T. (October, 2013). Distinct DNA Methylation Patterns in Breast Tumor Subtypes. Epigenomics: A Roadmap to the Living Genome: The NIH Roadmap. Boston, MA. db
  • Stolzenburg, S., Ford, E., Wang, A., Beltran, A., Swift-Scanlan, T., Rivenbark, A., Huang, L., Swaminatha, I., Grimmer, M., Farnham, P., Lister, R., & Blancafort, P. (October, 2013). Re-wiring the cancer epigenome: De novo DNA methylation established by Zinc Finger-DNMT3a fusions promotes stable and mitotically inherited oncogenic silencing in animal models of breast cancer.Epigenomics: A Roadmap to the Living Genome: The NIH Roadmap. Boston, MA. db
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (April, 2011). Clinical applications of DNA Methylation Changes in Breast Cancer.  Nursing in the Genomic Era Conference. University of North Carolina School of Nursing. Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (February, 2011). KL2 Scholars Panel. The UNC TraCS Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T., DNA methylation in breast cancer subtypes. Proceedings of the Clinical and Translational Research and Education Meeting. April, 2010. db
  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Vang, R., Blackford, A., Fackler, M.J., Mock, V., & Sukumar, S. (2008). Methylated genes in breast cancer: Associations with clinical and histopathological features in a high risk cohort. Proceedings of the American Association of Cancer Research, 49, 2650. db
  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Vang, R., Blackford, A., Fackler, M.J., Mock, V., & Sukumar, S. (2008). Methylated genes in breast cancer: DNA methylation and breast cancer: Associations with clinical and hormonal factors. Proceedings of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science 2008 State of the Science Congress, ID, 465837. db
VCU School of Nursing
Virginia Commonwealth University | VCU School of Nursing|
Box 980567 | 1100 East Leigh Street | Richmond, Virginia 23298-0567
Phone: (804) 828-0724 | Fax: (804) 828-7743 | Email: vcu_nurse@vcu.edu

Updated: Edit Created by VCU University Relations

Branding slogan