Posted on Dec 16, 2010

Tollin Receives Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award

Tollin Receives Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award

Sharon Tollin USF Nursing

USF Nursing student, Sharon Tollin received the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), a highly competitive pre-doctoral fellowship designed to encourage and support nurse scientists and help with tuition and travel to research conferences. Tollin’s dissertation research entitled, “Prophylactic, risk-reducing surgery in unaffected BRCA-positive women:Sexual functioning and psychological well-being,” begins this year under the guidance of her chair, Dr. Maureen Groer.

“Its tremendously helpful,” said Tollin. “The show of support financially is nice but it’s also a pat-on-the-back that I’m heading in the right direction as a doctoral student and that this is something that I can pursue when I finish – it’s encouraging!”

Tollin’s research explores an important topic for women who have a a gene mutation that increases their risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Part of the research involves a web based, anonymous survey that will compare women who have had the surgeries to those who have not. Tollin is hopeful that the information from this research will be a springboard to conduct more research that will help women make these difficult decisions.

“If they know about this mutation before they develop cancer they have decisions to make regarding risk-reducing surgery,” said Tollin. “It can be a tough decision for those who are currently healthy because high risks do not mean they will definitely get the disease.”