Ph.D. in sociology, University of Washington
MN (community mental health nursing), University of California-Los Angeles
BSN, California State University
Lauren S. Aaronson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is one of two principal investigators on an NIH clinical and translational research science award grant. Awarded to KU Medical Center in June 2011, the five-year, approximately $20 million grant will support the infrastructure and educational programs for clinical and translational research within Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Aaronson is the deputy director of the Frontiers program.
Aaronson came to KU in 1989 to assume the position as associate dean for research and held that position until 2001 when she opted to return to full-time teaching and research. During her tenure as associate dean, she oversaw a research program that witnessed a dramatic increase in external research funding. Under her direction, the KU School of Nursing enjoyed a better than 60 percent success rate for external grants submitted, and achieved a top 15 ranking among all Schools of Nursing in National Institutes of Health funding for research.
A recognized leader in nursing research, Aaronson was invited to participate in a national workshop to establish what is now the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), later contributed to the NCNR Conference on Research Priorities and subsequently to an NINR Emerging Research Themes working group in 2002. She was president of the Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) from 2001-2003, was chair of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) from 2002-2004, and served on the Board of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) from 2006-2010. She currently serves on the AAN Finance Committee.
Aaronson spent 2 years (2004-2005) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research. Her responsibilities while there primarily focused on the trans-NIH Roadmap for Research, particularly those initiatives with an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary focus and those within the re-engineering the clinical research enterprise theme of the NIH Roadmap. She also worked on the NIH Public Trust Initiative. Aaronson also holds an appointment in the department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Medicine.
Aaronson is on the editorial board of Nursing Research and has previously served on the editorial board of the Western Journal of Nursing Research. She has served as a consulting editor and reviewer for numerous medical and nursing journals including Nursing Research, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Health Education and Behavior, and Health Care for Women International. With an extensive list of publications to her own credit, Aaronson also has served as an ad hoc grant reviewer for NIH for over 15 years.
In 1992, Aaronson received a National Institute of Nursing Research grant to establish one of only two centers for symptom management funded that year, the result of which was the KU Center for Biobehavioral Studies of Fatigue Management. In addition to this focus on fatigue, her past and current research focuses on promoting healthy behaviors in a variety of populations. She was PI on an NIH funded study of health behavior during pregnancy and co-PI on a dietary intervention for hypercholesterolemia. She has collaborated on and served as a senior co-investigator on several other NIH funded studies, including three randomized, controlled behavioral intervention studies: an exercise intervention for symptom management by persons with rheumatoid arthritis, an exercise intervention for manual wheelchair users, and an educational and peer support intervention to promote the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding among adolescent mothers.
Named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 1993, Aaronson received the Distinguished Contribution to Nursing Research in the Midwest Award from the MNRS in 1995, and the Faculty Investigator Research Award from University of Kansas Medical Center in 2002.