FACULTY

A certified women’s health nurse practitioner with nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Giurgescu’s research seeks to ultimately improve birth outcomes for African American women. African American women are 1.5 times more likely to have preterm birth compared to non-Hispanic White women. Additionally, infants born prematurely have a higher risk of mortality as well as long-term health problems and developmental disabilities.

Her research examines social and environmental factors related to preterm birth among African American women. She has found that living in disadvantaged neighborhoods and experiencing racial discrimination has been related to depressive symptoms, systemic inflammation, and a higher risk for preterm birth and pregnancy complications for these women.

Currently, Dr. Giurgescu is working on two National Institutes of Health-funded research projects. She is one of the principal investigators on a $1.8 million study examining the paternal role in adverse birth outcomes in African American families and is a principal investigator on a $3.8 million study to determine how social stressors alter inflammation during pregnancy and lead to preterm birth in African American women.

 

Education
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Irving Harris Faculty-Scholar Initiative, Department of Maternal-Child Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • PhD in Nursing, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University of Chicago
  • MSN, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University of Chicago
  • BSN, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University of Chicago
Selected Honors
  • Abstract of Distinction, Determinants of Health State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
  • Best Research Article Award (2016), Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health
  • Translational Health Disparities Scholar, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health
  • Health Disparities Scholar, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health
Selected Professional Organizations
  • Maternal and Infant Health Expert Panel, American Academy of Nursing
  • Environmental and Public Health Expert Panel, American Academy of Nursing
  • Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
  • Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nursing
  • Sigma: The International Nursing Honor Society