The purpose of the Symptom Science Area of Excellence is to develop effective, innovative, and accessible strategies to prevent and treat symptoms of chronic disease across the illness trajectory in diverse populations and settings.

Currently funded grants include:


An animated short of neurons firing in the brain, part of Ishan Williams, Jack Van Horn, and George Bloom's Animating ALzheimer's disease short film.

Animating Alzheimer's

A new short, animated film out this fall reveals what happens when Alzheimer’s strikes so people can understand both its neuro-biological processes and 'the humanity piece of it,' explains Prof. Ishan Williams, a dementia and caregiving scholar.

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A series of graphics to convey all the areas in which nurse scholars address symptom science, one of seven Areas of Excellence.

The Science of Relief

There's an expanse of symptom science research happening at UVA: from a novel HPV screening, treatment, and follow-up protocol being deployed in Nicaragua to brain training for patients with Huntington's disease, the pursuit of better sleep in the hospital to libraries as telemedicine sites, our scholars are digging deep into the science of relief.

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Nurse manager Scott Austin (BSN `18), who works on the COVID unit on 3 West

Taking Aim at Burnout

A $2.14M HRSA grant will enable Profs. Westphal and Plews-Ogan to expand their Wisdom & Wellbeing and peer support training program for exhausted healthcare staff. That's music to the ears of COVID nurse manager Scott Austin, who said the program has given him tools to lead, learn, and cope.

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See related news for Symptom Science Research.

Our Team

oncology palliative end-of-life symptom management

access to care; rural health; cancer survivorship; telemedicine

Assistant Professor of Nursing

neuropsychiatric symptoms in neurodegenerative movement disorders

Technology Enhanced Cancer Care (TECC)

Assistant Professor of Nursing

health disparities, health equity, decision-making, rural, cancer

arterial stiffness & subclinical cardiovascular disease

Associate Professor of Nursing


family caregiving among racially/ethnically diverse families in AD