Skip to Content

College of Nursing

  • Banner Image

Dr. Karen McDonnell Receives Grant for Lung Cancer Survivorship Research


Researchers at the University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing have been awarded a $750,000 grant to study ways to improve the survival rates of lung cancer patients.  

The two-year grant, given by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, will allow for the creation of a statewide network that will survey existing support systems and identify gaps in patient coverage in the state. Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in S.C. and is also the leading cause of cancer deaths.  

As the Principal Investigator, Nursing professor Karen McDonnell will lead the team of researchers, which includes faculty from USC’s College of Social Work, the Arnold School of Public Health, the School of Medicine and the College of Engineering and Computing.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb rightly recognizes the importance of research and clinical expertise of nurse researchers, especially from USC, in improving health outcomes in our state,” says Jeannette Andrews, dean of USC’s College of Nursing.

The second part of the grant will consist of studying how different interventions such as breathing exercises; meditation and yoga help lung cancer patients manage symptoms of breathlessness and fatigue.

“This grant will support another step in our plan to develop statewide momentum to improve health outcomes for South Carolinians diagnosed with lung cancer and their family members,” says McDonnell.

USC is a leader in health science education and research and offers the state’s most comprehensive suite of health disciplines, including medicine, public health, pharmacy, nursing and social work.

“This is the kind of interdisciplinary health research that the University of South Carolina is uniquely position to conduct,” says USC Provost Joan Gabel. “Our expertise and collaboration across the health sciences means we can make a real difference in the lives of South Carolinians by addressing preventable, chronic diseases and improve outcomes for many of our state’s residents.”

The co-investigators on the grant include Swann Adams, who holds joint appointments in the College of Nursing and the Arnold School of Public Health; Jenay Beer, who holds joint appointments in the College of Social Work and the College of Engineering and Computing; Amy Dievendorf with the College of Nursing; Jan Eberth with the Arnold School of Public Health; Brandi Newsome with the USC School of Medicine; Shaun Owens with the College of Social Work; and James Hardin with the Arnold School of Public Health. Researchers from the University of Calgary and the Medical University of South Carolina are also participating in the study.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases and conditions, by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.