Jonas V Veterans Healthcare Scholar

Elise Erickson, MS, NP, CNM

Oregon Health and Science University
PhD Student

My interest in research, particularly in women’s health and midwifery, began at the University of Michigan while pursuing a Bachelors degree in Nursing. My interest in women's health and childbirth rests on the significant lack of research-based care practices and a belief in the physiologic approach to childbirth for healthy women. At the University of Illinois-Chicago, I earned a Masters degree and became a Certified Nurse Midwife. I have practiced for 11 years performing outpatient women’s health care and attending birth for women with high and low risk pregnancies. I developed an interest in the behavioral neuroscience of oxytocin while practicing and attended a graduate program in neuroscience in Chicago as well. After moving to Oregon, I resumed both my clinical practice and research study in a PhD program at Oregon Health & Science University. Now in my dissertation phase, I am exploring the bio-behavioral effects of oxytocin on lactation and breastfeeding. My study examines oxytocin both naturally released by birthing women/ lactating mothers as well as that given as a pharmaceutical treatment during childbirth. I am a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives and have served the local chapter as Secretary in the past. During my neuroscience graduate program I received a pre-doctoral research fellowship from the NIH. Currently, I serve the School of Nursing on the faculty Research Council and the PhD Curriculum Committee. I am fortunate to have received several scholarships and awards throughout my academic career and am honored to be Jonas Scholar.