University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7266
One of Dr. Cunningham's areas of interest is the lifestyle modification of cardiovascular risk factors with an emphasis on risk in women. With a post-doctoral fellow Dr. Lynne Young from the University of Victoria, Dr. Cunningham is currently exploring the interaction of single-parenting, low socioeconomic status and cardiovascular risk. Dr. Cunningham has a long time interest in hypertension and other modifiable cardiovascular risk factors and served on the committee that wrote the 5th Joint National Committee Report on the Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.
Dr. Cunningham is also the principal investigator of two science education grants. One is a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center for Research Resources at NIH entitled "Making Connections: Making Choices: Expanding Our Web". This grant brings together four partner institutions in the Seattle area to make community resources more available to science educators. The grant activities are focused on middle school students and their teachers as the audience and use neuroscience as a topic. The SEPA grant is in its eighth year (3rd funding cycle) and has been supplemented by state Eisenhower Grants and a grant from US West. The second science education grant, funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, focuses on the neurobiologic basis of drug abuse and builds on the achievements and partnerships of the SEPA program. This grant, entitled Addiction and the Brain, is in its third year of funding. Addiction and the Brain offers public programs in partnership with Washington State communities in Lakewood and the North Central Educational District which includes Omak, Moses Lake and Wenatchee. In the past year both grants have begun to extend their activities into Idaho and Montana. A central theme of both of these grants is the promotion of public understanding of why animals are used in biomedical research.
Dr. Cunningham's teaching interests extend from content to methods of teaching to enhance student interest and learning. She enjoys teaching about pathophysiology, cardiovascular risk, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, fluid/electrolyte/acid-base balance and topics that go from the molecule to populations.