College of Nursing faculty member Dr. Diana J. Wilkie is nationally and internationally recognized for her contributions to knowledge development in pain management and end-of-life transitions for vulnerable populations. This month, Dr. Wilkie and her team received news that they were selected for funding from The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The title of their grant is Computerized PAINRelieveIt Protocol for Cancer Pain Control in Hospice, and they will receive over $1.85 million over the next three years.  Competition for PCORI funding is very competitive with only 13% of applicants receiving dollars.  

Dr. Wilkie’s research has been continuously funded for 27 years with grants totaling more than $32 million from four different institutes at the National Institutes of Health and a variety of foundations including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Her previous research has earned her many awards from regional, national and international organizations.

In 2012, Dr. Wilkie received a University of Illinois Scholar Award and was selected to the Institute of Medicine. She is also the Harriet H. Werley Endowed Chair for Nursing Research.  She has been a pain specialist since 1984 and became a full professor in 1999.

Funding from the PCORI grant will allow the team to address unrelieved cancer pain at the end of life, which is a major health problem and inconsistent with patient-centered goals. This project builds on a successful approach in outpatient oncology clinics,  and the study will test PAINRelieveIt, a system-level intervention of computerized tools with patient-reported pain outcomes, decision support for clinicians, and multimedia education tailored to each cancer patient and lay caregiver.


On Thursday, October 10, 2013, Dr. Wilkie and another acclaimed College of Nursing faculty member, Dr. David W. Carley, Director of the Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research Center, will be honored at the College of Nursing’s Investiture Ceremony at the University Club of Chicago. The Investiture Ceremony will be spotlighted soon.