DePasquale's Career Development Award

Friday, April 16, 2021

GIM Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dr. Nicole DePasquale, recently received a K01 Career Development Award from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to fund her research project, “Supporting Patients and Care Partners to Manage Chronic Kidney Disease Together.” This K01 research plan leverages existing resources, multi-method approaches, and novel data collection to understand ways in which older patients and their family care partners appraise and manage the full course of chronic kidney disease (CKD) together, and how dyadic disease management affects health at the level of both the individual and the care dyad; this information will then be used to adapt and pilot test the feasibility of a dyadic care planning program for use among CKD care dyads. 

"My mentor once advised me to think about my career and its development in small chunks," says DePasquale. "I think the ‘K01 chunk’ will be the most exciting yet.  The training and research activities I will engage in over the next five years are all geared toward making the changes I need to advance and enrich my career. By the conclusion of the K01 chunk, I will have acquired the foundational and experiential skills necessary to integrate a dyadic perspective into my program of research – a career step I would not have been able to take otherwise."

"The training and research activities I will engage in over the next five years are all geared toward making the changes I need to advance and enrich my career."

Project Summary: 

Funder: National Institue on Aging (NIA)

Project Length: 5 years (April 1, 2021 – January 31, 2026) 

Funding Amount: $570, 136 

Principal Investigator: Nicole DePasquale, PhD

Mentor team members:

  • Primary Mentor: L. Ebony Boulware (MD)
  • Co-Mentor: C. Barrett Bowling (MD)
  • Co-Mentor: Courtney Van Houtven (PhD)
  • External collaborator (Pennsylvania State University): Lynn Martire (PhD)
  • Collaborator: Jane Pendergast (PhD)
  • Other significant contributor: Clarissa J. Diamantidis (MD) 

Significance of the project:
The ways in which adults with chronic disease and their care partners appraise and manage illness together affects their health individually and as an interdependent unit, or care dyad. Current understanding of the dyadic context of CKD management and its implications for health is limited by a traditional focus on patient or (to a far lesser extent) care partner experiences and outcomes rather than those of both members within the care dyad. Insights gained from my K01 research plan will help shift focus from individual experiences and outcomes of older CKD patients and care partners to those of the care dyad and, in turn, assist research, interventions, clinical care, and health policies to optimize individual and patient-care partner dyadic health.      

A note from the PI:
I am truly thankful for the members of my mentor team. Their responsiveness, time investment, willingness to read countless drafts, and unwavering enthusiasm for my ideas were essential to getting funded on my first submission. In addition to my exceptional mentor team, I received support and guidance from many people while developing my K01 – some who have been sharing their wisdom with me since I was an undergraduate student and some who I met for the very first time through a cold email. My application undoubtedly benefited from their time, generosity, and expertise. I am incredibly grateful for the help I received, and continue to receive, from everyone.  I am also thankful to National Institute on Aging for their ongoing support of my research.