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Jennifer R. Dungan, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing
(919) 684-9540
2035 Pearson Building

Dr. Jennifer Dungan, a nurse scientist with expertise in cardiovascular genetics research, is Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and a Senior Fellow of the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. In 2001, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing with Honors from the University of Florida, where she also conducted undergraduate research to evaluate biofeedback interventions in hypertension. Dr. Dungan completed an accelerated Master’s-to-PhD program at the University of Florida. She was awarded her MSN in adult health nursing in 2002, trained at the NIH/NINR Summer Genetics Institute in 2003, and earned a PhD in Nursing Science with a minor in genetics in 2006.
Dr. Dungan's dissertation research (Alpha 1A- and Beta 2-Adrenergic Receptor Gene Expression in Human Hypertension), a multi-disciplinary project funded by the American Heart Association and an NINR-sponsored NRSA, was the first to evaluate adrenergic receptor gene expression patterns in a human model of hypertension. Before leaving her alma mater, she was awarded the Excellence in Doctoral Research Award and was in the inaugural group of graduates to earn the Young Alumnus of the Year award.

Dr. Dungan completed a 2-year postdoctoral training fellowship with the Duke University Center for Aging and Human Development from 2006 to 2008, strengthening her expertise in the areas of aging, genomics, and cardiovascular disease. From 2007 to 2009, she was a Duke University John A. Hartford Jr. Faculty Fellow. In 2008, Dr. Dungan became a Senior Research Associate at the Duke School of Nursing. In 2009, she was awarded a prestigious K99 Pathway to Independence Award to study the genetics of aging and survivorship in coronary artery disease. She was recently awarded the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center Scholar Award for her research in this area.

Dr. Dungan is currently a member of the American Heart Association, the Gerontological Society of America, the American Society of Human Genetics, and the International Society for Nurses in Genetics. She has contributed her expertise in genetics toward inter- and trans-disciplinary service efforts such as the Duke Medical Center Genetic Testing Advisory Council and the Duke School of Nursing Genetic/Genomic Task Force. She has experience teaching in graduate-level courses and has developed a number of undergraduate- and graduate-level guest lectures on topics related to genetics and genomics in health and disease.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • PhD in Nursing Program
  • Master of Science in Nursing Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


  • PhD - University of Florida
  • MSN - University of Florida
  • BSN - University of Florida

Research Interests

Cardiovascular genetics & genomics
Coronary artery disease
Gene-environment interactions
Time-related bias and statistical handling

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 || 2015 Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing Best Abstract Award, American Heart Association Scientific Sessions
  • 2015 || Reviewer's Choice Award, American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting
  • 2011 || Claude A. Pepper Center Scholar, Duke University
  • 2011 || Participant, 2011 Leadership Development for Researchers, Duke University School of Medicine LEADER Program
  • 2006 || Excellence in Doctoral Research Award, University of Florida College of Nursing
  • 2006 || University of Florida Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, Inaugural group, University of Florida
  • 2004 || Annual Meeting of the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Best Student Poster, Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback
  • 2002 || University of Florida Alumni Fellowship, University of Florida
  • 2001 || Honors Program, University of Florida College of Nursing
  • 2001 || BSN, Cum Laude, University of Florida College of Nursing
  • 2001 || Excellence in Research Award, University of Florida College of Nursing
  • 2001 || Inducted, Sigma Theta Tau
  • 2000 || First place team member, University of Florida Interdisciplinary Health Care Competition
  • 1999 || University Scholars Undergraduate Research Program, University of Florida

Areas of Expertise

  • Cardiovascular
  • Genetics/Genomics

Representative Publications

  • 2014 -- Fadale, K. L. and Tucker, D. and Dungan, J. and Sabol, V. Improving nurses’ vasopressor titration skills and self-efficacy via simulation-based learning. Clinical Simulation in Nursing. June, 2014 10(6); e291-e299
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24794087 Vorderstrasse, A. A. and Hammer, M. J. and Dungan, J. R. Nursing implications of personalized and precision medicine. Semin Oncol Nurs. May, 2014 30(2); 130-6
  • 2013 -- PubMed # : 24316773 Katsanis, S. H. and Dungan, J. R. and Gilliss, C. L. and Ginsburg, G. A. Educating future providers of personalized medicine. N C Med J. Nov.-Dec., 2013 74(6); 491-2
  • 2013 -- PubMed # : 23831034 Voora, D. and Cyr, D. and Lucas, J. and Chi, J. and Dungan, J. and McCaffrey, T. A. and Katz, R. and Newby, L. K. and Kraus, W. E. and Becker, R. C. and Ortel, T. L. and Ginsburg, G. S. Aspirin exposure reveals novel genes associated with platelet function and cardiovascular events. J Am Coll Cardiol. October, 2013 62(14); 1267-76
  • 2013 -- PubMed # : 24143143 Dungan, J. R. and Hauser, E. R. and Qin, X. and Kraus, W. E. The genetic basis for survivorship in coronary artery disease. Front Genet. September 17, 2013 4 191
  • 2010 -- PubMed # : 20173117 Shah, S. H. and Bain, J. R. and Muehlbauer, M. J. and Stevens, R. D. and Crosslin, D. R. and Haynes, C. and Dungan, J. and Newby, L. K. and Hauser, E. R. and Ginsburg, G. S. and Newgard, C. B. and Kraus, W. E. Association of a peripheral blood metabolic profile with coronary artery disease and risk of subsequent cardiovascular events. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. April, 2010 3(2); 207-14
  • 2009 -- PubMed # : 19254913 Dungan, J. R. and Conley, Y. P. and Langaee, T. Y. and Johnson, J. A. and Kneipp, S. M. and Hess, P. J. and Yucha, C. B. Altered beta-2 adrenergic receptor gene expression in human clinical hypertension. Biol Res Nurs. July, 2009 11(1); 17-26 PMC2805083
  • 2007 -- Dungan, J. and Yucha, C. B. and Artinian, N. T. Hypertension as a risk factor (Chapter 35). In Cardiac Nursing: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease edited by Moser, D. K. & Tiegel, B.. August, 2007; pp. 431-445. : Saunders Elsevier. August, 2007 431-445
  • 2007 -- Artinian, N. T. and Dungan, J. and Yucha, C. B. Management of hypertension (Chapter 77). In Cardiac Nursing: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease edited by Moser, D. K. & Tiegel, B.. August, 2007; pp. 1205-1219. : Saunders Elsevier. August, 2007 1205-1219
  • 2004 -- Yucha, C.. and Dungan, J. Renal handling of phosphorus and magnesium. Nephrology Nursing Journal. Jan.-Feb., 2004 31(1); 33-7, 38-39

Grant Funding (Selected)

  • Expanding Evidence of Genetic Contributions to Survivorship in CAD

    National Institutes of Health
    08/2011 to 06/2014
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Project Goals: This competitive continuation seeks to replicate findings from K99 research project on survival- and age-effects on genetic associations with coronary artery disease (CAD). Specifically, this project aims to: 1) determine which novel genes, in combination with known CAD risk factors, predict death and survival for people with coronary disease using a genome-wide candidate approach; 2) replicate evidence for the impact of survivor- and age-related biases on genetic associations; and, 3) validate a statistical approach to handle these biases in genetic associations with complex disease.

  • Survival and Age Biases in Gene Associations with Coronary Disease

    National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research
    09/2009 to 07/2011

    The overarching goal of this proposal is for the candidate to build a research program in the genetics of survivorship in coronary artery disease, a research program that combines her interests in aging, cardiovascular disease, and genetics. Dr. Dungan has established the phenotype for survivorship in coronary artery disease in two existing databases (the Duke CATHeterization GENetics [CATHGEN] and the Framingham Heart studies) and has performed pilot analysis to identify survival and age biases in these datasets. In order to effectively study the genetics of survivorship in coronary artery disease, it is necessary to first understand the impact of survival and age biases on gene associations with coronary artery disease and control for their effects. Her proposed mentored research seeks to extensively characterize these biases in both datasets, then test traditional and complex statistical methods to control for such biases in gene associations with coronary artery disease.

  • Validation of Survival-Variant Gene Polymorphisms for Coronary Artery Disease in the Duke CATHGEN Study

    Duke University School of Nursing Small Research Grant Award
    01/2010 to 07/2011
    Role: Principal Investigator

    To genotype and validate 8 genetic polymorphisms significant for survivorship in coronary artery disease in a total of 5,566 Duke CATHGEN subjects.

  • Genetics of Survivorship in Coronary Artery Disease

    Duke Center for Aging/John A. Hartford Center for Excellence
    07/2008 to 07/2010
    Role: Junior Faculty Fellow

    To provide mentored training to Dr. Dungan in genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, and statistical analysis of time-related biases. The proposed research plan seeks to in order to characterize survival-variant genes in coronary artery disease (CAD) and identify a novel statistical method to control for their effects in gene associations with CAD, using existing data from the Duke CATHeterization GENetics (CATHGEN) Study and the Framingham Heart Study

  • Behavior and Physiology in Aging

    National Institute on Aging
    5T32 AG000029-31
    04/2006 to 04/2008
    Role: Postdoctoral Trainee

    National Research Service Award for post-doctoral training. Dr. Dungan’s goals as a trainee are to explore the genetic contribution to aging in cardiovascular disease through pilot studies of gene expression and survival analysis of the Duke Catheterization Genetics (CATHGEN) Study data.

  • Race, HTN, and Vascular Adrenoceptor Gene Expression

    NINR, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Predoctoral Fellowship
    1 F31 NR009148-01 – 02
    10/2004 to 10/2005
    Role: PI/Trainee

    To explore the alpha 1A- and beta 2-adrenergic receptor gene expression in the internal mammary artery of hypertensive adults and examine potential influence of race.

  • Alpha 1A- and Beta 2-Adrenoceptor Gene Expression Differences in Hypertensive and Normotensive Persons By Race

    American Heart Association
    07/2004 to 09/2004
    Role: PI/Trainee

    To explore the alpha 1A- and beta 2-adrenergic receptor gene expression in the internal mammary artery of hypertensive adults and examine potential influence of race.

  • Race, Hypertension, and Vascular Adrenoceptor Gene Expression

    Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Society, Alpha Theta Chapter Small Research Grant
    07/2004 to 09/2004

    To provide supplies and processing funds for the exploration of alpha 1A- and beta 2-adrenergic receptor gene expression in the internal mammary artery of hypertensive adults and examine potential influence of race.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Jennifer Dungan recently published an article in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics entitled "Biases in Genetic Association of Coronary Heart Disease Events May Be Less Likely Than Suspected: Here Is When to Check For Them." 


Friday, April 14, 2017

Congratulations to PhD student Kristin Wainwright and her mentors Sharron Docherty, Beth Merwin and Jennifer Dungan who have received an award for their NIH NRSA Fellowship proposal entitled “Specific and Pervasive Symptoms in Adults with Multiple Sclerosis Using the MURDOCK-MS Dataset: A Secondary Analysis." This award is for a two-year period with a start date of September 1.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Kudos to Devon Noonan, Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda and Jennifer Dungan and their entire teams for recent submission of their NIH RO1 applications.

Noonan and her team submitted an application entitled “Addressing Tobacco Use Disparities in Older Adults through a Mobile Phone Intervention: Project Wise." This proposal requests funding for a five-year period with a start date of December 1, 2017. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Charles Vacchiano is the co-editor of volume 35 of the Annual Review of Nursing Research entitled "Anesthesia and Pain Management," which was published this month. This volume is unique among publications in the field of anesthesia in that it contains a collection of contemporary anesthesia topics for which there is a body of literature that occasionally provides sound evidence for practice change, but more often generates more questions than answers and suggests the need for additional research before a practice change can be recommended.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jennifer Dungan received pilot grant funding for her study entitled "Female-specific genomic risk score prediction of acute coronary syndrome: a pilot study" from the Precision Health Collaborative Grant RFA. She will work with collaborators Dr.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Jennifer Dungan co-authored an article entitled "Predictors of change in physical function among older adults in response to long-term, structured physical activity: The LIFE Study" in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The article is the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration of aging researchers. The group evaluated data from a clinical trial of physical activity in elders with physical mobility limitations, the multi-center Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Jennifer Dungan recently published two articles. The first was published in PLOS One and is entitled "Case-only Survival Analysis Reveals Unique Effects of Genotype, Sex, and Coronary Disease Severity on Survivorship." The article was co-authored with experts from Duke Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center and University of Utah.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jennifer Dungan published an article entitled "Case-only Survival Analysis Reveals Unique Effects of Genotype, Sex, and Coronary Disease Severity on Survivorship" in the May issue of PLOS ONE.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Jennifer Dungan was invited to provide the keynote address on "Harnessing Genomics for the Care of Patients, Families & Communities with Cardiovascular Disease" for the STTI Pi Omicron Research Day. at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The theme of the event was "Promoting Health with Genomics: The New Frontier."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Karin Reuter-Rice and Jennifer Dungan recently presented for the Duke AHEC Scholars to introduce them to Genomics. Reuter-Rice presented on "Genomics and Inheritance" and Dungan presented on "Pharmacogenomics." Both Reuter-Rice and Dungan had an opportunity to do some experiential learning that fostered application of the concepts.