Gail D'Eramo Melkus headshot

Gail D'Eramo Melkus

Associate Dean for Research
Florence and William Downs Professor in Nursing Research

1 212 998 5356

433 First Avenue
Room 744
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Gail D’Eramo Melkus, EdD, ANP, FAAN is the Florence and William Downs Professor in Nursing Research and Associate Dean for Research at NYU Meyers. She currently serves as Co-PI and co-investigator or research mentor on numerous funded projects specific to biobehavioral interventions for prevention and management of chronic conditions and related co-morbidities, in mid-life and older adults, including national and international work. Dr. Melkus serves as sponsor of K-awards focused on health disparities among vulnerable populations (women with T2D and depression; elderly Blacks at-risk for depression, glycemic control and infection in oncology stem cell recipients, CHD in older adult workers, HIV in adolescents). In recognition of her mentorship, Dr. Melkus received the 1st Annual NYU CTSI Mentor Award in May 2011, and in 2015 was inducted into the STTI Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. She is PI for the NINR P20 Center for Precision Health in Diverse Populations.

Previously Dr. Melkus was the Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing, where in collaboration with the Diabetes Research Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NY, she developed and implemented the Diabetes Care Specialty for advanced practice nurses. Dr. Melkus’ sustained interest in eliminating health disparities among vulnerable populations earned her a reputation as a leader in the development and testing of culturally competent models of diabetes care. Her program of intervention research that focuses on physiological and behavioral outcomes of self-management interventions has served as an education and training ground for numerous multidisciplinary scientists.


EdD(1983-87) - Columbia University Teachers College, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Columbia University Doctoral Candidate(1986, semester) - Yale School of Public Health
MS(1976-78) - Southern Connecticut State University
ASN/BS(1976) - University of Bridgeport (Nursing)
Honorary MS(2003) - Yale University
Nurse Practitioner Advanced Graduate Studies Program(1989) - Pace University School of Nursing
Yale University School of Nursing Adult Nurse Practitioner Program(1989)

Honors and awards

Diamond Jubilee Virginia Henderson Excellence in Nursing Research Award (2003)
Fellow in American Academy of Nursing (2003)
Endowed Chair, Independence Foundation, Yale University (2004)
Endowed Chair, Florence & William Downs, New York University (2008)
New York State Nurse Foundation Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award (2009)
Distinguished Scholar Award, New York University College of Nursing (2010)
NYU Clinical Translational Science Institute 1st annual Distinguished Mentor Award (2011)
Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee Member (2013)
Faculty Scholar Appointment, Universita' Tor Vergata, Rome (2014)
Affiliated Faculty Appointment, University of Georgia, Tblisi, Republic of Georgia (2014)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine (2014)
Distinguished Alumni Award University of Bridgeport (2014)


Primary care
Non-communicable disease
Women's health
Adult health

Professional membership

American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Academy of Nursing
CT Nursing Association
Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
Society for Behavioral Medicine
Eastern Nursing Research Society



A National Study Links Nurses' Physical and Mental Health to Medical Errors and Perceived Worksite Wellness

Melnyk, B. M., Orsolini, L., Tan, A., Arslanian-Engoren, C., D’Eramo Melkus, G., Dunbar-Jacob, J., Rice, V. H., Millan, A., Dunbar, S. B., Braun, L. T., Wilbur, J., Chyun, D., Gawlik, K., & Lewis, L. M. (2018). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 60(2), 126-131. 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001198
Objective: The aim of this study was to describe (1) nurses' physical and mental health; (2) the relationship between health and medical errors; and (3) the association between nurses' perceptions of wellness support and their health. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted with 1790 nurses across the U.S. Results: Over half of the nurses reported suboptimal physical and mental health. Approximately half of the nurses reported having medical errors in the past 5 years. Compared with nurses with better health, those with worse health were associated with 26% to 71% higher likelihood of having medical errors. There also was a significant relationship between greater perceived worksite wellness and better health. Conclusion: Wellness must be a high priority for health care systems to optimize health in clinicians to enhance high-quality care and decrease the odds of costly preventable medical errors.

Participation of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Technology-Based Interventions to Self-Manage Type 2 Diabetes: A Scoping Review

Jang, M., Johnson, C. M., D’Eramo Melkus, G., & Vorderstrasse, A. (2018). Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 29(3), 292-307. 10.1177/1043659617723074
Purpose: Strategies to decrease societal and cultural barriers for ethnic minorities to participate in health research are well established. However, limited data are available regarding participation of ethnic minorities in mobile and Internet technology–based interventions to self-manage type 2 diabetes where health disparities are predominant. Thus, the purpose was to understand the participation of ethnic minorities in technology-based intervention programs to manage type 2 diabetes. Design/Method: A scoping review was used to review a total of 21 intervention studies containing participant information about ethnic minorities and one qualitative study discussing participation of ethnic minorities. Findings: There was limited enrollment and participation of ethnic minorities. Technological barriers in addition to existing societal and cultural barriers were identified. Strategies to decrease the barriers were recommended. Conclusions: Technological barriers were identified on top of the societal and cultural barriers in traditional interventions. Further research to reduce the barriers is warranted.

Perceived Stress, Its Physiological Correlates, and Quality of Life in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Weaver, K. R., D’Eramo Melkus, G., Fletcher, J., & Henderson, W. A. (2018). Biological Research for Nursing. 10.1177/1099800418756733
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, common disorder of the gastrointestinal tract associated with high psychological comorbidity and diminished quality of life. Patients with IBS display a heightened sensitivity to stress, although the literature is inconsistent as to whether they have a dysregulated stress response. The purpose of the present investigation, a substudy of a larger research effort, was to examine physiological correlates of perceived stress in patients with IBS (cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone) and to explore associations between perceived stress and quality of life. A total of 101 participants (35 with IBS [predominant subtypes IBS-constipation and IBS-diarrhea] and 66 healthy controls [HCs]) completed self-report inventories regarding perceived stress and quality of life, and fasting peripheral blood was drawn. Participants with IBS did not differ from the HC in demographic or physiological measures but did differ in psychological measures, reporting significantly higher levels of perceived stress and lower levels of quality of life. Perceived stress and quality of life were not significantly associated in IBS participants. However, differential findings of the stress response were found within IBS participants by sex, race, and subtype. These findings illustrate the heterogeneity of the IBS patient population, underscore the necessity of evaluating larger sample sizes and increasing the diversity of such samples to include males and ethnic minorities, and demonstrate the importance of taking an individualized approach to evaluation and treatment in the IBS patient population.

Prevalence of Obesity, Prediabetes, and Diabetes in Sexual Minority Women of Diverse Races/Ethnicities: Findings From the 2014-2015 BRFSS Surveys

Newlin Lew, K., Dorsen, C., D’Eramo Melkus, G., & Maclean, M. (2018). Diabetes Educator. 10.1177/0145721718776599
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess the weighted prevalence and odds ratios of obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes by (1) female sexual orientation (lesbian, bisexual, and straight) with racial/ethnic (Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white) groups combined and (2) across and within racial/ethnic groups by sexual orientation. Methods: A secondary analysis of pooled 2014-2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 28 states (N = 136 878) was conducted. Rao-Scott chi-square test statistics were computed and logistic regression models were developed to assess weighted prevalence and odds ratios of obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes with adjustments for demographics (age, income, and education), depression, and health care access factors. Results: With racial/ethnic groups combined, lesbian and bisexual women, relative to straight women, had a significantly increased likelihood for obesity when controlling for demographics. Bisexual women were found to have significantly reduced odds for diabetes, compared with straight women, with adjustments for demographics, depression, and health care access factors. Compared with their non-Hispanic white counterparts, Hispanic lesbian women had significantly increased odds for obesity and diabetes, while non-Hispanic black bisexual women had a significantly greater likelihood for obesity, holding demographics, depression, and health care access factors constant. Non-Hispanic white lesbian women had an increased likelihood for obesity relative to their straight, ethnic/racial counterparts. Prediabetes subsample analysis revealed the prevalence was low across all female sexual orientation groups. Conclusion: Sexual minority women, particularly those of color, may be at increased risk for obesity and diabetes. Research is needed to confirm the findings.

Racial and ethnic disparities in predictors of glycemia: a moderated mediation analysis of inflammation-related predictors of diabetes in the NHANES 2007–2010

Nowlin, S., Cleland, C. M., Parekh, N., Hagan, H., & D’Eramo Melkus, G. (2018). Nutrition and Diabetes, 8(1). 10.1038/s41387-018-0064-7
Background/Objective: Racial/ethnic disparities in type 2 diabetes (T2D) outcomes exist, and could be explained by nutrition- and inflammation-related differences. The objective of this study is to identify associations between race/ethnicity and glucose control among participants from NHANES 2007–2010, as influenced by diet quality, body mass, and inflammation and grouped by T2D status. Subjects/Methods: The following is a cross-sectional, secondary data analysis of two NHANES data cycles spanning 2007–2010. The association between race/ethnicity and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) as mediated by dietary intake score, body mass index (BMI), and C-reactive protein (CRP) was assessed, as was the strength of the difference of that association, or moderation, by T2D status. The sample included n = 7850 non-pregnant adult participants ≥ 20 years of age who had two days of reliable dietary recall data, and no missing data on key variables included in the analysis. The primary outcome examined was HbA1c. Results: The model accurately explained the variation in HbA1c measures in participants without T2D, as mediated by diet quality, BMI, and CRP. However, significant variation in HbA1c remained after accounting for aforementioned mediators when contrasting non-Hispanic White to non-Hispanic Black participants without T2D. The model was not a good fit for explaining racial/ethnic disparities in HbA1c in participants with T2D. A test of the index of moderated mediation for this model was not significant for the differences in the effect of race/ethnicity on HbA1c by T2D status (moderator). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that diet quality, BMI, and CRP mediated the effect of race/ethnicity on HbA1c in persons without T2D, but not in persons with T2D. Further research should include additional inflammatory markers, and other inflammation- and T2D-related health outcomes, and their association with racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes.

Serum Proteomics in African American Female Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An Exploratory Study

Weaver, K. R., D’Eramo Melkus, G., Fletcher, J., & Henderson, W. A. (2018). Nursing Research, 67(3), 261-267. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000281
Background Sex and subtype differences within patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) complicate the understanding of disorder pathogenesis and hinder the design of efficacious, therapeutic interventions. Objectives The aims of this study were to harness the power of shotgun proteomic analysis, identify circulating proteins that differentiate African American female patients with IBS from healthy controls (HC), and gain biological insight on symptomatology. Methods Serum proteome analysis was performed upon a cohort of overweight, African American female participants with constipation predominant IBS symptoms (n = 5) and HC (n = 5), matched on age, sex, years of education, body mass index, and 11 physiological markers. Tandem mass tags for multiplexed proteomic analysis were performed, incorporating reverse-phase liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Results Participants with IBS did not differ from HC in demographics, clinical characteristics, or initial proteomic analysis. Nested case control analysis of six samples (IBS: n = 3, HC: n = 3), hierarchically clustered into two main groups, with 12 out of 1,317 proteins significantly different in levels of expression: TGFβ1, PF4V1, PF4, APP, MMP9, PPBP, CTGF, SRGN, THBS1, WRN, LTBP1 (Isoform 3), and IGLV5-48. Top associations of identified proteins in DAVID and STRING resources (upregulated in HC vs. IBS) involve platelet alpha granule lumen, platelet activation/degranulation, extracellular region, and secretion by cell. Discussion Differentially expressed proteins between participants with IBS and HC involving platelet-related associations prompt inquiry as to differences in serotonergic signaling, inflammatory or immunomodulatory mechanisms underlying IBS symptomatology. Although preliminary and requiring validation in larger cohorts, these findings bear relevance to understanding pathogenic processes of IBS and biological effects of the disorder.

Diabetes Self-management Training in a Virtual Environment

Reagan, L., Pereira, K., Jefferson, V., Evans Kreider, K., Totten, S., D’Eramo Melkus, G., Johnson, C., & Vorderstrasse, A. (2017). Diabetes Educator, 43(4), 413-421. 10.1177/0145721717715632
Diabetes self-management training (DSMT) improves diabetes health outcomes. However, low numbers of patients receive DSMT. Using virtual environments (VEs) for DSMT is an innovative approach to removing barriers for patients. The purpose of this paper is to describe the experience of health professionals and diabetes educators establishing and teaching DSMT in a VE, Diabetes LIVE

Health Technology-Enabled Interventions for Adherence Support and Retention in Care Among US HIV-Infected Adolescents and Young Adults: An Integrative Review

Dunn-Navarra, A.-M., Gwadz, M., Whittemore, R., Bakken, S. R., Cleland, C. M., Burleson, W., Jacobs, S. K., & D’Eramo Melkus, G. (2017). AIDS and Behavior, 1-18. 10.1007/s10461-017-1867-6
The objective of this integrative review was to describe current US trends for health technology-enabled adherence interventions among behaviorally HIV-infected youth (ages 13–29 years), and present the feasibility and efficacy of identified interventions. A comprehensive search was executed across five electronic databases (January 2005–March 2016). Of the 1911 identified studies, nine met the inclusion criteria of quantitative or mixed methods design, technology-enabled adherence and or retention intervention for US HIV-infected youth. The majority were small pilots. Intervention dose varied between studies applying similar technology platforms with more than half not informed by a theoretical framework. Retention in care was not a reported outcome, and operationalization of adherence was heterogeneous across studies. Despite these limitations, synthesized findings from this review demonstrate feasibility of computer-based interventions, and initial efficacy of SMS texting for adherence support among HIV-infected youth. Moving forward, there is a pressing need for the expansion of this evidence base.

Inflammatory pathway genes associated with inter-individual variability in the trajectories of morning and evening fatigue in patients receiving chemotherapy

Wright, F., Hammer, M., Paul, S. M., Aouizerat, B., Kober, K. M., Conley, Y. P., Cooper, B. A., Dunn, L. B., Levine, J. D., D’Eramo Melkus, G., & Miaskowski, C. (2017). Cytokine, 91, 187-210. 10.1016/j.cyto.2016.12.023
Fatigue, a highly prevalent and distressing symptom during chemotherapy (CTX), demonstrates diurnal and interindividual variability in severity. Little is known about the associations between variations in genes involved in inflammatory processes and morning and evening fatigue severity during CTX. The purposes of this study, in a sample of oncology patients (N = 543) with breast, gastrointestinal (GI), gynecological (GYN), or lung cancer who received two cycles of CTX, were to determine whether variations in genes involved in inflammatory processes were associated with inter-individual variability in initial levels as well as in the trajectories of morning and evening fatigue. Patients completed the Lee Fatigue Scale to determine morning and evening fatigue severity a total of six times over two cycles of CTX. Using a whole exome array, 309 single nucleotide polymorphisms SNPs among the 64 candidate genes that passed all quality control filters were evaluated using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). Based on the results of the HLM analyses, the final SNPs were evaluated for their potential impact on protein function using two bioinformational tools. The following inflammatory pathways were represented: chemokines (3 genes); cytokines (12 genes); inflammasome (11 genes); Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT, 10 genes); mitogen-activated protein kinase/jun amino-terminal kinases (MAPK/JNK, 3 genes); nuclear factor-kappa beta (NFkB, 18 genes); and NFkB and MAP/JNK (7 genes). After controlling for self-reported and genomic estimates of race and ethnicity, polymorphisms in six genes from the cytokine (2 genes); inflammasome (2 genes); and NFkB (2 genes) pathways were associated with both morning and evening fatigue. Polymorphisms in six genes from the inflammasome (1 gene); JAK/STAT (1 gene); and NFkB (4 genes) pathways were associated with only morning fatigue. Polymorphisms in three genes from the inflammasome (2 genes) and the NFkB (1 gene) pathways were associated with only evening fatigue. Taken together, these findings add to the growing body of evidence that suggests that morning and evening fatigue are distinct symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Weaver, K. R., D’Eramo Melkus, G., & Henderson, W. A. (2017). American Journal of Nursing, 117(6), 48-55. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000520253.57459.01
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, chronic gastrointestinal (GI) condition characterized by disturbances in bowel habits and abdominal pain in the absence of known organic pathology. IBS reduces quality of life and is costly to treat. It is diagnosed using the symptom-based Rome criteria for functional GI disorders, which was recently updated and released as Rome IV. Both physiologic and psychological variables play a role in the etiology of IBS and perpetuate symptoms. Although research has shed light on IBS pathophysiology, therapeutic interventions remain symptom driven, employing both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches. Here, the authors review the epidemiology and pathophysiology of IBS, summarize diagnostic and treatment strategies, and discuss implications for nursing practice.