VCU Nursing three-time alumna Debra Lyon, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN, chair of the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing, has been named associate dean for Research at the VCU School of Nursing, effective April 1.

Lyon, the Judith B. Collins and Joseph M. Teefey Distinguished Professor, has served as chair since spring 2010. In addition to serving as an administrator and professor, she has conducted NIH-funded research in areas that include symptom management in women with breast cancer and complementary and alternative therapies for symptom management.

In 2011, Lyon was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, which represents the nation’s top nurse researchers, policymakers, scholars, executives, educators and practitioners. That same year, she was also honored by the VCU/MCV Alumni Association as one of 11 Alumni Stars. The Alumni Association presents the award to outstanding alumni for their humanitarian achievement, professional achievement, community service or university service.

Lyon received her B.S. (’94), M.S. (’96), and Ph.D. (’87) degrees from the VCU School of Nursing and served as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

A national search is underway to fill the department chair position. Jeanne Walter, Ph.D., RN, FAAMA, assistant professor, will serve as interim chair.

Dr. Debra Lyon


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