Tollin Receives Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
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.”