M Lucas, PhD, MBE, MS, MA, RN

  • Assistant Professor

email: lucasm (AT) uic (DOT) edu

I am an academic bioethicist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My work incorporates insights from the humanities and social sciences to inform health-related education and research questions with a primary focus directed toward improving health equity and reducing disparities within urban populations by directing attention to structural competencies for those who provide health-related care. In doing so, I focus on discrimination, particularly through unintended implicit racial and ethnic bias (also called unconscious racism), and its effects in the clinical encounter, the community, and research methodology.

I earned an MA in religious studies from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 2003 and an MS (2010), MBE (bioethics), and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. Before coming to UIC, I expanded a new graduate program focused on urban bioethics and, as part of a team, developed educational interventions for those who are or will soon be working with urban residents to increase preparedness for and appreciation of neighborhood-engaged research and care.

Current Area of Teaching

My teaching focuses on ethics and humanities within health science research and practice, including: bioethics for a variety of disciplines; narrative approaches to research, clinical, social issues; health equity and disparities research; community-engaged research; philosophy applied for health and medicine; and philosophic approaches to and critiques of science, evidence-based medicine, and healthcare practices.

My current teaching includes viewing the nexus of narrative and bioethics for clinically-focused care; the effects of unconscious racism on the practice of healthcare and adjustments to research approaches in order to account for this bias; and approaches to evidence-based practice.

Recent/upcoming courses include:
HON 121: Bioethics and the Narrative: Why Perspective Matters
NURS 515: Evidence-Based Practice 1

Service / Practice
  • University of Illinois Medical Center Ethics Committee, Member
  • Oncology Nursing Forum, Editorial Board Member
  • Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer People, and Allies
Selected Honors & Awards
  • 2018 Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence (HOPE) Award, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • 2016 Cancer Nursing 2016 Research Award
  • 2014 Henry O. Thompson Prize in Ethics, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2011-2014 Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual NRSA Predoctoral Fellow (F31NR013091)
  • 2010-2014 American Cancer Society Doctoral Scholarship in Cancer Nursing Practice
  • 2009-2011 Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional NRSA Predoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing. Research on Vulnerable Women, Children and Families (T32NR007100). PI: Marilyn S. Sommers
  • 2009-2010 American Cancer Society Graduate Scholarship in Cancer Nursing Practice
Selected Publications
  1. Lucas MS. My chronic pain is like my pit bull: Very strong and won’t leave my side. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (In Press).
  2. Lucas MS. African American pediatric pain patient. In Martin M, Heron S, Moreno-Walton L, & Strickland M (Eds.), Diversity and inclusion in quality patient care: A case-based compendium, 2nd edition. Springer. (In Press).
  3. Alicea-Alvarez N, Reeves K, Lucas MS, Huang D, Ortiz M, Burroughs, T, Jones NL. Impacting health disparities in urban communities: Preparing future healthcare providers for 'neighborhood-engaged care' through a community engagement course intervention. Journal of Urban Health. 2016; 93(4):732-743. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11524-016-0057-6
  4. Lucas MS, Barakat LP, Ulrich CM, Jones NL, Deatrick JA. Mother-caregiver expectations for function among survivors of childhood brain tumors. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2016; 24(5):2147-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-015-3013-1
  5. Hobbie WL, Ogle S, Deatrick JA, Barakat LP, Lucas MS, Volpe EM. Adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood brain tumors: Life after treatment in their own words. Cancer Nursing. 2016; 39(2):134-143. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/NCC.0000000000000266
  6. Stollon NB, Paine CW, Lucas MS, Brumley LD, Poole ES, Peyton T, Grant AW, Jan S, Trachtenberg S, Zander M, Bonafide CP, Schwartz LA. Transitioning adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease from pediatric to adult healthcare: Provider perspectives. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 2015; 37(8):577-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000000427
  7. Lucas MS, Brawner BM, Hardie TL, Beacham BL, Paidipati C, Diaz M, Lauer A, Hobbie WL, Deatrick JA. Assessing suicidal ideation and behaviors among survivors of childhood brain tumors and their mothers during sociobehavioral research. Oncology Nursing Forum. 2015; 42(5):E319-E329. http://dx.doi.org/10.1188/15.ONF.42-05AP
  8. Lucas MS, Barakat LP, Jones NL, Ulrich CM, Deatrick JA. Expectations for function and independence by childhood brain tumor survivors and their mothers. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics. 2014; 4(3):233-252. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/nib.2014.0068
  9. Paine CW, Stollon NB, Lucas MS, Brumley LD, Poole ES, Peyton T, Grant AW, Jan S, Trachtenberg S, Zander M, Mamula P, Bonafide CP, Schwartz LA. Barriers and facilitators to successful transition from pediatric to adult inflammatory bowel disease care from the perspectives of providers. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2014; 20(11):2083-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MIB.0000000000000136
  10. Lucas MS. Baby steps to superintelligence: Neuroprosthetics and children. Journal of Evolution and Technology. 2012; 22(1):132-145. http://jetpress.org/v22/lucas.htm
  11. Hocking M, Hobbie WL, Deatrick JA, Lucas MS, Szabo M, Volpe E, Barakat L. Neurocognitive and family functioning and quality of life among young adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. 2011; 25(6):942-962. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13854046.2011.580284
Current Research

My current research is divided between the community and the clinical encounter. With and within an Arab community in Chicago, I am part of a team of researchers and community leaders investigating approaches to reducing sexual violence. I am also working toward developing a definition of unintended implicit racial bias (unconscious racism) within the clinical encounter through privileging perspectives of the patients who experience this racism.