Our team

Our team

Theresa Swift-Scanlan, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Professor, Ellen Fontaine Winston Distinguished Professor
Director, Biobehavioral Laboratory Services
Department of Adult Health and Nursing Systems

Theresa Swift-Scanlan

1100 East Leigh Street, Room 3055
PO Box 980567
Richmond, VA 23298-0567

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

  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
  • VCU Board of Visitors Outstanding Faculty, VCU School of Nursing
  • 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., Co-Investigator. (PI Sheppard) UG3 NIH/NCI Advancing Science to Promote survIvor Equity (ASPIRE). Project Period: 3/1/2021-2/28/2026.
    Total: $2,267,304.

Role: to carry out global genotyping and Nanostring miRNA studies in the above described cancer cohorts.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Co-Investigator. (PI Winn) P20 NIH/NCI Translational Research Center in Lung Cancer Disparities (TRACER). Project Period: 7/1/2021-6/30/2024.
    Total: $2,400,200. Submitted October, 2020.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Sponsor/Mentor. (PI Buxhoeveden) F31 NIH/NINR. Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral National Research Service Award (NRSA). Exploring Epigenetic and Genetic Drivers of Sex-based Differences in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. Project
    Period: 7/1/2021-6/30/2024. Total: $287,000.

Role: to mentor Ms. Buxhoeveden in all aspects of her dissertation research

 

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Co-Investigator. (PI: Lathika Mohanraj) The VCU School of Medicine Tina L. Bachas Award. “Role of microRNAs in Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Outcomes.” Submitted December, 2020. Project Period: 4/1/2021- 3/31/2022.
    Total: $25,000. The major goals of this project are to identify epigenetic biomarkers as predictors of HSCT outcomes.

Roleto carry out miRNA profiling of participants before and after transplant using Nanostring technology .

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Co-Investigator (PI, Lapato). Longitudinal microRNA study of recurrent early onset major depression.”  VETAR (Value and Efficiency Teaching and Research).
    Project Period: 7/1/2020-6/30/2021. Total: $44,706.00.

Roleto carry out Nanostring miRNA studies in a cohort of individuals with Major Depression

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Sponsor/Mentor. (PI Buxhoeveden) Sigma Theta Tau, Gamma Omega Chapter Nursing Science and Practice Grant. Exploring Epigenetic and Genetic Drivers of Sex-based Differences in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. Project Period: 1/1/2021-12/31/2022. Total: $1,5000

Role: to mentor Ms. Buxhoeveden in all aspects of blood sample procurement and processing.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Co-Investigator. (PI Sheppard) R01 NIH/NCI. Predictors of Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy Adherence in Women with Breast Cancer. $2,499,000.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of COMT, a Key Moderator of Cognitive Decline. NIH/NINR 1 R01 NR017221-01A1 Project Period: 5/31/2018-6/1/2023. Total: $2,290,150.

Role: to carry out genetic, epigenetic and metabolomics studies of the COMT gene in endometrial, breast and neuronal cell lines.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator (MPI Sheppard). Exploring Bio-behavioral Components of Racial Disparities in Medication Symptoms and Adherence to Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy (AET). Ancillary Studies to Advance Knowledge on Biological and/or Behavioral Factors Relevant to Cancer (ABBC) Award. VCU Massey Cancer Center. Project Period: 12/31/2019-12/30/2020. Total: $25,000.00

Role: to carry out whole genome SNP genotyping and Nanostring miRNA interrogation of saliva samples from N=48 black women with varying symptom burden and adherence to AET.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Other Significant Contributor. Functional analysis of genetic variants in African Americans with Breast Cancer. Principal Investigators: Luisel Ricks-Santi and John McDonald. NIH/NCI R15 CA239100-01. Project Period: 1/1/2019-12/31/2021. Total: $446,000.

Role: to characterize variants of unknown significance in a cohort of African American women with breast cancer.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Co-Investigator. Stress and Feeding (SAFE): A Pilot Intervention for Mother and their Preterm Infants. Principal Investigators: Brown & Jallo. VCU IGP Project Period: 7/1/2018-6/30/2020. Total: $20,000..

Role: The goal of the one group repeated measure study is to determine the feasibility of SAFE’s research design and explore the preliminary results of the intervention on mother and infant outcomes, including salivary cortisol levels, over the infant’s first 4-months corrected age..

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. Ancestry Markers as Predictors of Clinical Outcomes in Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Biological Basis of Cancer Health Disparities Award. VCU Massey Cancer Center Multi-institutional Award. Project Period: 05/01/2018-12/30/2020. Total: $200,000.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Principal Investigator. Identifying biomarkers of breast cancer outcomes in African American women. VCU School of Nursing Research Award. Project Period: 8/1/2016-7/31/2020. Total: $50,000.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Co-Investigator. Giving voice to those who are silent: A pilot study examining the use of biomarkers for assessing pain in the ICU. Principal Investigators: Shelly Orr and Brian Cassel.  VCU Johnson Center for Pulmonary and Critical Care Research (VJC). Project Period: 1/1/2019-6/30/2020. Total: $49,219.00.

Role: to characterize 14 SNP variants as potential biomarkers of pain in a population ICU patients.

  • Swift-Scanlan, T., Other Significant Contributor. Accelerated Epigenetic Age and Frailty: A Predictor of HSCT Outcomes. Principal Investigators: Mohanraj. VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund. Project Period: 7/1/2018-7/31/2020. Total: $50,000.00.

Role: To assist in the design and analysis of differentially methylated gene loci in a population of patients undergoing HSCT.

  • 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.

 

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

  • Mohanraj, L., Sargent, L., Brown, R., & Swift-Scanlan, T., (2020). Assessing Frailty in the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Population: A Scoping Review. Oncology Nursing Forum. In review. S
    Impact Factor 1.79
  • Sargent, L., Nalls, M., Amella, E.J., Slattum, P.W., Mueller, M., Bandinelli, S., Tian, Q., Swift-Scanlan, T., Lageman, S.K., & Singleton, A. Shared Mechanisms for Cognitive Impairment and Physical Frailty: A Model for Complex Systems (2020). Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions.  6(1): 1-11. PMID: 32685657; PMCID: PMC7362211. db, S
    Impact Factor 4.35
  • Lack, S., Schechter, M.S., Everhart, R.S, Thacker, L.R., Swift-Scanlan, T., & Kinser, P.A. (2020). A mindful yoga intervention for children with severe asthma: A pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 40: 1-9. PMID: 32891288. db, S
    Impact Factor 1.71
  • Menzies, V., Starkweather, A., Yao, Y., Kelly, D.L., Garrett, T.J., Yang, G.S., Booker, S., Swift-Scanlan, T., Patel, P., & Lyon, D.E. (2020). Exploring associations between metabolites and symptoms of fatigue, depression and pain in women with fibromyalgia. Biological Research for Nursing. 23(1): 119-126. PMID: 32677448. db
    Impact Factor 1.51
  • Robinson, J.D., Swift-Scanlan, T., Salyer, J., & Jones, T. (2020). The Obesity Paradox in Sepsis: A Theoretical Framework. Biological Research for Nursing 22(2):287-294. PMID: 32064902. S
    Impact Factor 1.51
  • C.R. Trankle, Pucket, L., Swift-Scanlan, T., DeWilde, C., Priday A., Sculthorpe, R., Ellenbogen, K.A., Fowler, A., & Koneru, J.N. (2020). Vitamin C Intravenous TReatment In the Setting of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation: Results from the Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled CITRIS-AF Pilot Study. Journal of the American Heart Association. 9(30): 1-5. PMID: 32013700; PMCID: PMC7033876. db
    Impact Factor 4.66
  • Menzies, V., Starkweather, A., Yao, Y., Kelly, D.L., Garrett, T.J., Yang, G.S., Booker, S., Swift-
    Scanlan, T., Patel, P., & Lyon, D.E. (2020). Exploring associations between metabolites and symptoms of fatigue, depression and pain in women with fibromyalgia. Biological Research for Nursing. In revision. db
    Impact Factor 1.51

  • Robinson, J.D., Swift-Scanlan, T., Salyer, J., & Jones, T. (2020). The Obesity Paradox in Sepsis: A Theoretical Framework. Biological Research for Nursing 22(2):287-294. PMID: 32064902.
    Impact Factor 1.51

  • C.R. Trankle, Pucket, L., Swift-Scanlan, T., DeWilde, C., Priday A., Sculthorpe, R., Ellenbogen, K.A., Fowler, A., & Koneru, J.N. (2020). Vitamin C Intravenous TReatment In the Setting of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation: Results from the Randomized, Double- Blinded, Placebo-Controlled CITRIS-AF Pilot Study (2019) Journal of the American Heart Association. 9(30): 1-5. PMID:32013700; PMCID:PMC7033876. db
    Impact Factor 4.66

  • Robinson, J.D., Swift-Scanlan, T., & Salyer, J. (2019). Obesity and one-year mortality in adults
    after sepsis: A systematic review. Biological Research for Nursing. 22 (1):103-113. Epub
    2019 Sep 18. PMID: 31533460
    Impact Factor 1.51

  • Menzies, V., Starkweather, A., Yao, Y., Thacker, L.R., Garrett, T.J., Swift-Scanlan, T., Kelly, D.L., Patel, P., & Lyon, D.E. (2019) Metabolomic Differentials in Women with and without Fibromyalgia. Clinical Translational Science. 13(1):67-77. Epub 2019 Sep 5. PMID: 31411365; PMCID: PMC6951461. db
    Impact Factor 3.99

  • Sargent, L., Nalls, M., Amella, E.J., Slattum, P.W., Mueller, M., Bandinelli, S., Tian, Q., Swift Scanlan, T., Lageman, S.K., & Singleton, A. Shared Mechanisms for Cognitive Impairment and Physical Frailty: A Model for Complex Systems (2020). Alzheimer & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. In Press. db
    Impact Factor 4.35
  • Conway, K., Edmiston, S.N., Parrish, E.A., Bryant, C., Tse, C-K., Swift-Scanlan, T., McCullough, L.E., & Kuan, P.F. (2017). Breast tumor DNA methylation patterns associated with smoking in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. In press.  db
    Impact Factor 4.08

  • 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 

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (2020). “NanoString Technology and GeoMx Spatial Profiling.” Department of Anatomic Pathology: The VCU School of Medicine. Richmond, VA. February 12, 2020.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (2019). Expert Lecture: A Roadmap For Integrating And Validating Candidate Gene Studies With Omics Data In Association With Health Outcomes. “Transforming Health Through Genomic Nursing.” The 2019 International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) World Congress. November, 2019. San Antonio, TX 
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (2019). Podium presentation: Epigenetic Regulation of The COMT Gene: A Key Moderator Of Cognitive Decline. (2019). “Transforming Health Through Genomic Nursing.” The 2019 International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) World Congress. November, 2019. San Antonio, TX 
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (2019). “Biomarker Discovery in Translational Epigenetics Research.” The Cancer Prevention and Control T32 Seminar Series. The VCU School of Medicine. Richmond, VA. October 7, 2019.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (2019). “Unraveling the Mystery of Biomarkers.” VCU Office of Research, Scholarship and Innovation. Richmond, VA. May 22, 2019.
  • Swift-Scanlan, T. (February, 2017). “Biomarker Discovery in Translational Epigenetic Research.”  The 31st Annual Research Conference of the Southern Nursing Research Society, Dallas, Texas. 

  • VCUSON Biobehavioral Research Investigators, SNRS Preconference Workshop  (February, 2017). Sturgill, J,*Swift-Scanlan, T, Jallo, N, An, K, Montpetit, A, Brown, L. Understanding the Bio in Biobehavioral Research: Ideas to Discovery. The 31st Annual Research Conference of the Southern Nursing Research Society, Dallas, Texas.
  • 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.
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