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Shearer Term Chair in Nutrition: Barbara Medoff-Cooper

Barbara Medoff-Cooper

Dr. Barbara Medoff-Cooper, director of the Center for Nursing Research at the School of Nursing, has been named the second holder of the Helen M. Shearer Endowed Term Chair in Nutrition.

The Shearer Chair is "particularly complimentary to Dr. Medoff-Cooper's area of research on the nutritive sucking patterns of smaller and sicker neonates, building on a strong program of clinical research focusing on the neurobehavioral development of the neonate," said Nursing Dean Afaf Meleis in announcing the appointment. As a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Nurse Scholar, Dr. Medoff-Cooper began investigating the inter-relationship between neurologic integrity and neurobehavioral development. Her early work used both brain and metabolism studies as well as a clinical assessment tool which she developed. Dr. Medoff-Cooper's present work with nutritive sucking and physiological correlates continues the emphasis on exploring the inter-relationship between neurologic integrity and behavioral outcomes.

"Dr. Medoff-Cooper's work is an excellent example of the importance of clinical research to nursing care practices. Her work clearly demonstrates the process of identifying a clinical problem for research, developing techniques for investigation of the issues, and providing data which has clinical relevance," added Dr. Meleis.

Dr. Medoff-Cooper has been funded five times by the National Institutes of Health to study feeding behaviors and neurodevelopmental outcomes in first preterm infants. Currently, she is working with a $3 million grant, the first of its kind involving the study of both feeding behaviors and energy expenditure in infants with complex congenital heart disease. These infants are at great risk for failure to thrive even after surgery repairing their lesions.

A member of the faculty since 1981, Dr. Medoff-Cooper was the director of the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program from 1989-1996. She has been the director of the Center for Nursing Research since 1997.

Dr. Medoff-Cooper received her B.S.N. from Trenton State College, and her M.S.N. from the University of Maryland, then took her doctorate in educational psychology at Temple. She completed her post-doctoral education as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Penn. She is known for her studies on neurobehavioral problems of the preterm infant, and for earlier work which resulted in the development of the Early Infancy Temperament Questionnaire used in research and practice throughout the U. S. and abroad. In addition to her teaching and research here, Dr. Medoff-Cooper has been a visiting professor at the Henrietta Szold School of Nursing at Hebrew University. She is a senior mentor in the Chiron Mentorship Program of Sigma Theta Tau International.



  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 12, November 12, 2002