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Division of Nursing Research

Nursing Research


Belinda Mandrell, PhD, RN, PNP

Divisional Focus

The Division of Nursing Research actively contributes to improving patient care and patient care outcomes for all patients and families given care at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and its affiliates, and indirectly for children world-wide who have a catastrophic illness. We do this by creating, applying, evaluating and sharing the highest quality clinical care research.

The focus of our research is on effective methods for maximizing the patients’ emotional and physical comfort, identifying mechanisms of underlying biologic and behavioral processes that contribute to suffering, facilitating patient and family coping with illness and treatment, and promoting the practice of positive health habits.

Recently completed and on-going research projects have identified factors that influence treatment choices, including end-of-life decisions made by patients and parents; created strategies to measure fatigue and sleep changes in patients; improved methods for infusing platelets; developed a unique definition of quality of life from the perspective of a child or adolescent; and symptoms that concern parents the most during their child's final week and day of life. Current research is providing a better understanding of symptoms related to cancer and cancer therapy and the trajectory of these symptoms through the disease process into survivorship, facilitating the development of patient profiles for those at risk of symptoms, subsequent diseases, and late effects.

The Division of Nursing Research directs the Patient Care Services Evidence-Based Practice Fellowship and the Robbie Simpson Graduate Fellowship, which are educational and experiential programs designed to help clinicians at St. Jude contribute more fully to science and patient care at our hospital.


Division of Nursing Research
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Room R3051
MS 738
Memphis, TN 38105-2794 USA

Phone: 901-595-3679
Fax: 901-595-2286

Preferred contact method: email


Belinda N. Mandrell, PhD, RN, PNP  Director    Mechanisms of cancer related symptoms

Nursing Research Staff

Yvonne Avent, MSN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, CWON  Nursing Research Specialist III

Emily K. Browne, DNP, RN, CPNP  Director of Professional Development

Jami Gattuso, MSN, RN, CPON  Nursing Research Specialist III

Susan Ogg, CRA-RN  Nursing Research Specialist III

Michele Pritchard, PhD, PNP  Advanced Practice Nurse Researcher

Linda Watts-Parker, BS   Administrative Specialist

Nancy K. West, MSN, RN, CCRP  Clinical Research Associate-RN II