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Research interests

Dr. Kim Kopenhaver Doheny serves as director of clinical research for the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Her research interests include clinical and translational approaches for integrating biomarkers and clinical data on stress regulatory systems.

Dr. Doheny also is director of the Newborn Biobehavioral Laboratory, which employs a staff of research technologists trained in techniques of biological and behavioral stress measures, including salivary hormone and buccal DNA sampling, heart rate variability, skin conductance, stress/pain behaviors, the modified Trier Social Stress Test, narrative interviews and health/psychological inventories. Through this, researchers and clinicians from within Penn State, from collaborating academic centers and from industry work together to focus on the genetic, neurological, immunological, gastrointestinal, developmental and psychological perspectives impacting neonatal outcomes during hospitalization and beyond discharge. Research in this laboratory aims to investigate approaches for determining disease risk and targeting prevention strategies to improve the health of infants, including improving interactions with parents and reducing adverse stress in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

In conjunction with collaborating investigators, each with their unique perspectives and areas of expertise, research teams evaluate novel interventions to achieve these aims.

Teaching and educational interests

In addition to her research interests, Dr. Kim Kopenhaver Doheny is a member of the graduate faculty in neuroscience for Penn State College of Medicine. She also teaches the applied biostatistics seminar series in the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship and co-facilitates the Writing Academy for the Department of Nursing.

Professional information

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner - Neonatal, Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, 1989 to present

Board-certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, National Certification Corp., 1989 to present

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Molecular Genetics, Intramural Fellowship, National Institutes of Health

… → Jul 2006

Biobehavioral Health, PhD, Penn State University Park

… → May 2005

MSN, University of Pennsylvania

… → Aug 1989

Nursing, BS with Distinction, Penn State University Park

… → May 1986


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