The PhD Program in Nursing Announces Its First BS-to-PhD Graduate

College of Nursing and Health Sciences | January 10, 2012
The PhD Program in Nursing Announces Its First BS-to-PhD Graduate

Congratulations to Julie Lynch, PhD, RN, MBA who is our first student to graduate from the accelerated BS-to-PhD Program (health policy track) through the University of Massachusetts Boston/Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (UMass Boston/DF/HCC) Partnership. Julie enrolled in the program in the fall of 2007 as one of the first two students accepted in the accelerated program. She was supported through the NIH-funded U-56 Comprehensive Cancer Care grant (U56 CA 118635), the GAANN grant (P200A060243), and through several grants from nonprofit organizations including The Lynch Foundation, National Lung Cancer Partnership, Susan G. Komen, Institution for Healthcare Improvement, and grants from the Oncology Nursing Society and American Society for Clinical Oncology.

Lynch successfully defended her dissertation "Diffusion of the EGFR assay: The Underutilization and the Urban/Rural Divide," on December 20, 2011. She worked with faculty mentors and nurse researchers both at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and DF/HCC. Her Dissertation Committee members were: Jerry Cromwell, PhD, Chairperson (Lecturer, UMass Boston and Senior Fellow in Health Economics at RTI International), Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH, (Faculty Director for Cancer Care Equity and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School) Patricia Reid Ponte, RN, DNSc, FAAN, NEA-BC (Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nurse at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), Glenn Miller, PhD (Vice President and Head of Strategy, Portfolio and Alliances for Personalized Healthcare & Biomarkers at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, formerly Vice President and General Manager of a division of Genzyme Genetics, Genzyme Analytical Services) and Laura L. Hayman, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA (Director of the PhD Program and Associate Dean for Research at UMass Boston).

“I couldn’t ask for more thorough, rigorous analysis and presentation. This is very high-level work. [Julie] has met [her] objectives in many ways and it is very informative for me as a clinical leader in an oncology center," Dr. Reid Ponte stated.

Dr. Lathan added, "This work illustrates the need for a comprehensive analysis of Medicare claims data to determine whether there are specific groups of patients who are being denied access to lung cancer molecular diagnostics."  

Lynch's research is focused on analyzing racial disparities in access to tumor genotyping and treatment clinical trials and implications for oncology drug development. Lynch has spent the past 15 years involved in clinical and research positions in both academic medical centers and in the biopharmaceutical industry. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Massachusetts Boston and her master's degrees from Harvard University and Babson College. She is pursuing a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Veterans Health Administration Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research (CHQOER) in Bedford, Massachusetts, starting in January 2012. We are extremely proud of Lynch’s accomplishments and wish her continued success as a doctorally prepared nurse leader and researcher.

To learn more about the PhD Program in Nursing or read Lynch's profile, visit us at

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