Prof. Hughes addressing the audience at the award event.Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor in the Department of Health Systems Science and Associate Dean for Global Health was recently presented the inaugural Distinguished Researcher Award; one of the most prestigious awards presented by the UIC College of Nursing. The award ceremony included a presentation by Dr. Hughes’s and a reception. 

Dr. Hughes is an internationally recognized researcher with nearly 25 years of funded research on women’s mental health and substance use totaling more than $17 million.  She serves as Director of Research for the UIC National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and serves, or has served, as consultant to numerous U.S. federal agencies and institutes and to researchers in the U.S., Canada, India, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. She was among the first researchers to garner major national funding for research on sexual minority women’s health — an area identified by the Institute of Medicine report as greatly understudied.

Dean Terri Weaver presenting Dr. Hughes with the award.Dr. Hughes extraordinary and novel work illuminates the very high rates of abuse and victimization among sexual minority women as a whole, and the elevated health risks, such as alcohol misuse, among those who identify as bisexual or ‘mostly’ heterosexual. These findings have global implications for understanding sexual minority women’s high-risk health profiles, for improving the health and quality of life of both sexual minority and heterosexual populations, and for progress toward eliminating health disparities based on sexual orientation.

See also: Article and photos in Windy City Times, "Dr. Hughes Honored with UIC Research Award" (9/27/2014).