Susan Malone headshot

Susan Malone


Assistant Professor

1 212 992 7047

433 First Avenue
Room 412
New York, NY 10010
United States

Accepting PhD students

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Professional overview

Susan Malone is an assistant professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her research focuses on bridging research in behavioral, biological, and environmental rhythms to chronotherapeutic interventions that mitigate type 2 diabetes risk and improve overall health. Motivated by her diverse clinical experiences, including in school nursing and outpatient diabetes education, her overarching goal is to promote health and prevent cardio-metabolic disease across the lifespan.

Malone has studied the relationship between several dimensions of sleep (duration, timing, chronotype, regularity), health behaviors, and body mass index in adolescents. She has also conducted several population-based studies examining relationships between these dimensions of sleep and chronic disease in adults and sleep disparities across ethno-racial groups. She is interested in understanding what factors make some people vulnerable and others resilient to sleep loss and disrupted circadian rhythms.

Among her honors, Malone received the Heilbrunn Nurse Scholar Award from Rockefeller University in 2014. She was the Research Poster Winner of the National Association of School Nurses Annual Conference in 2013.

Malone holds a PhD and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania and BSN from Georgetown University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.


Postdoctoral Fellowship - University of Pennsylvania
PhD - University of Pennsylvania
MSN - University of Pennsylvania
BSN - Georgetown University


Community/population health

Professional membership

American Academy of Nursing
Eastern Nursing Research Society
National Association of School Nurses
Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society
Sleep Research Society
Society for Research in Biological Rhythms

Honors and awards

Faculty Honors Awards

Marion R. Gregory Award for distinguished completed doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (2015)
Heilbrunn Nurse Scholar Award, Rockefeller University (2014)
Research Poster Winner, National Association of School Nurses Annual Conference (2013)
Leadership Identification Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (1985)
Susan Kohl Award, Georgetown University



Efficacy of a sleep health intervention to optimize standard smoking cessation treatment response: Results from a pilot randomized controlled trial

Patterson, F., Grandner, M. A., Malone, S. K., Pohlig, R. T., Ashare, R. L., & Edwards, D. G. (2020). Journal of Smoking Cessation. 10.1017/jsc.2020.8
BackgroundWe tested if an adjunctive sleep health (SH) intervention improved smoking cessation treatment response by increasing quit rates. We also examined if baseline sleep, and improvements in sleep in the first weeks of quitting, were associated with quitting at the end of treatment.MethodsTreatment-seeking smokers (N = 29) aged 21-65 years were randomized to a SH intervention (n = 16), or general health (GH) control (n = 13) condition. Participants received six counseling sessions across 15-weeks: SH received smoking cessation + SH counseling; GH received smoking cessation + GH counseling. Counseling began 4-weeks before the target quit date (TQD), and varenicline treatment began 1-week prior to TQD. Smoking status and SH were assessed at baseline (week 1), TQD (week 4), 3 weeks after cessation (week 7), week 12, and at the end of treatment (EOT; week 15).ResultsSH versus GH participants had higher Carbon Monoxide (CO) -verified, 7-day point prevalence abstinence at EOT (69% vs. 54%, respectively; adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.40-10.69, P = 0.77). Higher baseline sleep efficiency (aOR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.03-1.96, P = 0.03), predicted higher EOT cessation. Models were adjusted for age, sex, education, and baseline nicotine dependence.ConclusionsImproving SH in treatment-seeking smokers prior to cessation warrants further examination as a viable strategy to promote cessation.

Self-care in People with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Research Protocol of a Multicenter Mixed Methods Study (SCUDO)

Luciani, M., Fabrizi, D., Rebora, P., Rossi, E., Di Mauro, S., Kohl Malone, S., & Ausili, D. (2019). Professioni Infermieristiche, 72(3), 203-212.
About 11% of the adult global populations is estimated to be living with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) by 2040. T2DM requires people to make decisions regarding complex therapeutic regimes, to maintain their well-being and quality of life, to manage symptoms and to reduce disease complications. All these behaviours, requiring knowledge, motivation, experience, and skills, have been referred to the concept of self-care. The intricacy and multidimensionality of T2DM self-care requires a complex approach to its overall comprehension. This Embedded Mixed Method study aims to investigate the experience of self-care in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus adult patients. It comprises a prospective observational design, and an interpretive description. Quantitative data will be collected with validated questionnaires from 300 patients at baseline and once a year for two years on: diabetes self-care, quality of life, diabetes related distress, and sleep quality. Socio-demographic and clinical data will be collected from medical records. Qualitative data will be collected using semi-structured interviews on circa 10-20 patients, at baseline and once a year for two years, analysed according to interpretive description. Quantitative and qualitative data will be analysed separately and then merged and interpreted. This study will expand our understanding of self-care in people with T2DM. The expected outcome will be a better understanding of the effect of self-care on glycaemic control and therefore clinical outcomes and costs.

Shift Workers Have Higher Blood Pressure Medicine Use, But Only When They Are Short Sleepers: A Longitudinal UK Biobank Study

Riegel, B., Daus, M., Lozano, A. J., Malone, S. K., Patterson, F., & Hanlon, A. L. (2019). Journal of the American Heart Association, 8(20). 10.1161/JAHA.119.013269
Background: Some, but not all, studies report associations between shift work and hypertension, suggesting that particular subgroups may be at risk. We examined moderating effects of sleep duration and circadian preference on the relationship between shift work and new blood pressure (BP) medicine use at follow-up. Methods and Results: Baseline and 5-year follow-up data from the UK Biobank cohort (N=9200) were used to generate logistic regression models for shift workers and nonshift workers. The moderating effects of sleep duration (short ≤6 hours; adequate 7–8 hours; long ≥9 hours) and circadian preference (morning “larks;” intermediate; evening “owls”) at baseline were examined with new BP medicine use at follow-up, adjusting for age, sex, race, education, employment, urban/rural, cardiovascular disease family history, depression, alcohol intake, physical activity, diet, smoking, and body mass index. The sample was predominately middle aged (55.3±7.4), female (57.3%), and white (97.9%). Most reported adequate sleep duration (7–8 hours, 73.7%) and were intermediate type (65.3%); 8.0% were shift workers at baseline. Only 6.5% reported new BP medicine use at follow-up. Short sleep duration was a significant moderator of new BP medicine use in shift workers. Among short sleepers, shift workers had a 2.1-fold increased odds of new BP medicine use compared with nonshift workers (odds ratio=2.08, 95% CI=1.21–3.58, P=0.008). In those reporting adequate (odds ratio=0.82, 95% CI=0.54–1.25, P=0.35) and long sleep (odds ratio=0.64, 95% CI=0.11–3.54, P=0.60), this relationship was protective but nonsignificant. Interaction between circadian preference and shift work on BP medicine use was nonsignificant. Conclusions: Shift workers with short sleep duration may be at risk for hypertension.

Sleep and alertness in a duty-hour flexibility trial in internal medicine

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BACKGROUND A purpose of duty-hour regulations is to reduce sleep deprivation in medical trainees, but their effects on sleep, sleepiness, and alertness are largely unknown. METHODS We randomly assigned 63 internal-medicine residency programs in the United States to follow either standard 2011 duty-hour policies or flexible policies that maintained an 80-hour workweek without limits on shift length or mandatory time off between shifts. Sleep duration and morning sleepiness and alertness were compared between the two groups by means of a noninferiority design, with outcome measures including sleep duration measured with actigraphy, the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (with scores ranging from 1 [extremely alert] to 9 [extremely sleepy, fighting sleep]), and a brief computerized Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT-B), with long response times (lapses) indicating reduced alertness. RESULTS Data were obtained over a period of 14 days for 205 interns at six flexible programs and 193 interns at six standard programs. The average sleep time per 24 hours was 6.85 hours (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.61 to 7.10) among those in flexible programs and 7.03 hours (95% CI, 6.78 to 7.27) among those in standard programs. Sleep duration in flexible programs was noninferior to that in standard programs (between-group difference, −0.17 hours per 24 hours; one-sided lower limit of the 95% confidence interval, −0.45 hours; noninferiority margin, −0.5 hours; P=0.02 for noninferiority), as was the score on the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (between-group difference, 0.12 points; one-sided upper limit of the 95% confidence interval, 0.31 points; noninferiority margin, 1 point; P<0.001). Noninferiority was not established for alertness according to the PVT-B (between-group difference, −0.3 lapses; one-sided upper limit of the 95% confidence interval, 1.6 lapses; noninferiority margin, 1 lapse; P=0.10). CONCLUSIONS This noninferiority trial showed no more chronic sleep loss or sleepiness across trial days among interns in flexible programs than among those in standard programs. Noninferiority of the flexible group for alertness was not established.

Sleep and Alertness Outcomes in a Duty-Hour Flexibility Trial in Internal Medicine

Malone, S. (2019). New England Journal of Medicine, 915-923.

Sleep as atarget for optimized response to smoking cessationtreatment

Patterson, F., Grandner, M. A., Malone, S. K., Rizzo, A., Davey, A., & Edwards, D. G. (2019). Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 21(2), 139-148. 10.1093/ntr/ntx236
Declining national rates of current tobacco use to an all-time low of 15.1% represents a public health victory. Undermining this progress, however, are smoking rates of up to 50% among high-risk, low-income populations. Current FDA-approved treatments for nicotine dependence are ineffective with between 70-95% of treatment-seekers relapsing within the first year of attempted abstinence. Thus, identification of novel intervention targets to optimize response to currently available treatments for nicotine dependence is a critical next step. One such target may be sleep insomnia. Insomnia is a clinically verified nicotine withdrawal symptom but, to date, addressing insomnia or other sleep disturbance symptoms as an adjunctive smoking cessation therapy has yet to be fully considered.To this end, this manuscript presents a narrative review of: (1) sleep continuity and architecture in smokers versus nonsmokers; (2) effects of nicotine abstinence on sleep; (3) possible mechanisms linking sleep with smoking cessation outcomes; (4) plausible adjunctive sleep therapies to promote smoking cessation; (5) possible treatments for unhealthy sleep in smokers; and (6) directions for future research.Taken together, this will provide conceptual support for sleep therapy as an adjunctive treatment for smoking cessation. Implications:This narrative literature review presents a comprehensive discussion of the relationship between habitual sleep and cigarette smoking.The extent to which unhealthy sleep in smokers may be a viable intervention target for promoting response to smoking cessation treatment is considered. Ultimately, this review provides conceptual support for sleep therapy as an adjunctive treatment for smoking cessation.

Social jetlag, circadian disruption, and cardiometabolic disease risk

Malone, S. K., Mendoza, M. A., & Patterson, F. (2019). In Sleep and Health (pp. 227-240). Elsevier. 10.1016/B978-0-12-815373-4.00018-6
The sun rises and sets over the earth in a predictable pattern. This pattern has existed for billions of years and has influenced the behavior of all living things. Behavioral rhythms have aligned with these light-dark rhythms and conferred an evolutionary advantage. Humans have adapted to the light-dark cycle so that activity occurs during the day and rest occurs during the night. Increased visibility afforded by daylight optimizes foraging and safety while being active. Reduced visibility during the night optimizes sleeping and fasting. Daily rhythms, such as light-dark, are known as circadian rhythms from the Latin words “circa,” for about, and “dias,” for a day. Physiological processes rely on predictable circadian rhythms. These processes include sleeping and waking, cardiac function, such as heart rate and blood pressure, and metabolic processes, such as glucose, lipid, and energy metabolism. Disrupting circadian rhythms can profoundly impact cardiometabolic health and well-being. Poor cardiometabolic health can also disrupt the circadian system. This chapter will briefly introduce the cardiometabolic syndrome, the circadian system, circadian disruption, and social jetlag as a form of circadian disruption.

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health: A Call to Action for School Nurses

Schroeder, K., Malone, S. K., McCabe, E., & Lipman, T. (2018). Journal of School Nursing, 34(3), 182-191. 10.1177/1059840517750733
Social determinants of health (SDOH), the conditions in which children are born, grow, live, work or attend school, and age, impact child health and contribute to health disparities. School nurses must consider these factors as part of their clinical practice because they significantly and directly influence child well-being. We provide clinical guidance for addressing the SDOH when caring for children with three common health problems (obesity, insufficient sleep, and asthma). Given their unique role as school-based clinical experts, care coordinators, and student advocates, school nurses are well suited to serve as leaders in addressing SDOH.

Dose-Dependent Associations between Sleep Duration and Unsafe Behaviors among US High School Students

Weaver, M. D., Barger, L. K., Malone, S. K., Anderson, L. S., & Klerman, E. B. (2018, December 1). In JAMA Pediatrics (Vols. 172, Issues 12, pp. 1187-1189). 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.2777

Interactive effects of sleep duration and morning/evening preference on cardiovascular risk factors

Patterson, F., Malone, S. K., Grandner, M. A., Lozano, A., Perkett, M., & Hanlon, A. (2018). European Journal of Public Health, 28(1), 155-161. 10.1093/eurpub/ckx029
Background Sleep duration and morningness/eveningness (circadian preference) have separately been associated with cardiovascular risk factors (i.e. tobacco use, physical inactivity). Interactive effects are plausible, resulting from combinations of sleep homeostatic and circadian influences. These have not been examined in a population sample. Methods Multivariable regression models were used to test the associations between combinations of sleep duration (short [≤6 h], adequate [7-8 h], long [≥9 h]) and morning/evening preference (morning, somewhat morning, somewhat evening, evening) with the cardiovascular risk factors of tobacco use, physical inactivity, high sedentary behaviour, obesity/overweight and eating fewer than 5 daily servings of fruit and vegetables, in a cross-sectional sample of 439 933 adults enrolled in the United Kingdom Biobank project. Results Participants were 56% female, 95% white and mean age was 56.5 (SD = 8.1) years. Compared with adequate sleep with morning preference (referent group), long sleep with evening preference had a relative odds of 3.23 for tobacco use, a 2.02-fold relative odds of not meeting physical activity recommendations, a 2.19-fold relative odds of high screen-based sedentary behaviour, a 1.47-fold relative odds of being obese/overweight and a 1.62-fold relative odds of <5 fruit and vegetable daily servings. Adequate sleep with either morning or somewhat morning preference was associated with a lower prevalence and odds for all cardiovascular risk behaviours except fruit and vegetable intake. Conclusions Long sleepers with evening preference may be a sleep phenotype at high cardiovascular risk. Further work is needed to examine these relationships longitudinally and to assess the effects of chronotherapeutic interventions on cardiovascular risk behaviours.