Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Karen L. Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, FAHA

Title/s:  Associate Professor
Associate Dean Research and Scholarly Innovation

Office #:  Center for Translational Research and Education, HSC

Phone: 708.216.1244



BSN Loyola University of Chicago 1986
MSN Loyola University of Chicago 1990
PhD Loyola University of Chicago 2006

Teaching Interests

Dr. Saban currently teaches GNUR 401: Nursing Concepts and Theories.  Dr. Saban has over twenty years of experience as a critical care and neuroscience nurse caring for patients with stroke, cardiovascular disease, and traumatic brain injury.

Courses Taught, 2015-2016

GNUR 401 - Nursing Concepts and Theories

Research/Scholarly Interests and Selected Publications

Dr. Saban’s research seeks to integrate social context and inflammation with epigenetic signature to explain disparities in cardiovascular disease/stroke in disadvantaged women and to examine interventions that may ameliorate stress-related inflammation in vulnerable populations. The findings of her research have the potential to significantly improve the health of women at risk for stroke and to reduce cardiovascular health disparities.

Research Funding (2012-current)

  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Women at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease (PI: K. Saban), Funding: VA HSR&D NRI 12-413, $1,098,706

  • The Effects of Mindfulness on Sleep and Cognition in Women Veterans (PI: K. Saban), Funding: VA Office of Nursing Services, XVA 42-025, $70,347

  • Social Context and Inflammatory Risk of Stroke in African American Women (PI: K. Saban), Funding: NIH/NINR K01, $277,989

  • Advancing Clinical Outcomes, Biomarkers, and Treatments for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: MiRNA and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (PI: T. Pape, Co-I: K. Saban), Funding: Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program, Department of Defense, $3,014,625

  • Mindfulness Approaches for Low-Income, Ethnic Minority Preschoolers (PI: C. Li-Grining, Co-I: K. Saban), Funding: Loyola University Multidisciplinary Grant, $30,000

  • Use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies for African American Women:  A Focus Group Approach (PI: S. Tenfelde, Co-I: K.Saban). Funding: Sigma Theta Tau, Alpha Beta Chapter, $1000

Saban, K. L. Griffin, JM, Urban, A., Janusek, M., Pape, TL. & Collins, EG. (2016). Perceived Health, Caregiver Burden, and Quality of Life in Women Partners Providing Care to Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury. JRRD (in press).

Saban, K. L., Mathews, H.L., Collins, E.G., Hogan, N.S., Tell, D., Bryant, F.B., Pape, T.L. Griffin, J .& Witek Janusek, L. (2016). The Man I Once Knew: Grief and Inflammation in Female Partners of Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury. Biological Research for Nursing. Jan;18(1):50-9. doi: 10.1177/1099800414568661. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Brennan-Olsen, SL, Page, RS., Berk, M., Riancho, JA., Leslie, WD., Saban, K. L., Pasco, J., Janusek, L., Quirk, SE., Hyde, NK., Hosking, SM., & Williams, LJ., (2015). DNA methylation and the social gradient of osteoporotic fracture: A conceptual model. Bone. 2015 Dec 23 ;84:204-212. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.12.015. [Epub ahead of print].

Saban, K. L., Hogan, N. S., Hogan, T. P. and Pape, T. L.-B. (2015), He Looks Normal But … Challenges of Family Caregivers of Veterans Diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Rehabilitation Nursing. doi: 10.1002/rnj.182

Saban, K. L, Mathews, H.K., DeVon, H., and Janusek, L.W. (2014). Epigenetics and Social Context: Implications for Disparity in Cardiovascular Disease. Aging & Disease. 5(5), 346-355.

Rogers, T.J., Smith, B.M., Weaver, F.M., Ganesh, S., Saban, K. L., Stroupe, K.T., Martinez, R. N., Evans, C.T., and Pape, T.L. (2014). Healthcare Utilization following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Women Veterans. Brain Injury. 28 (11):1406-1412.

Saban, K. L., Hoppenstead, D., Bryant, F.B & DeVon, H.A. (2014). Social Determinants and Heat Shock Protein 70 Among African American and Non-Hispanic White Women with Atherosclerosis: A Pilot Study. Biological Research for Nursing. 16 (3), 258 - 265.

Saban, K. L. Hogan, T.P., Defrino, D., Evans, C.T., Bauer, E., Pape, T.L., Steiner, M., Proescher, E., Vlasses, F.R., & Smith, B.M. (2013). Burnout and Coping Strategies of Polytrauma Team Members Caring for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Injury, 27 (3) 301-9.

Saban, K. L., Mathews, H., O’Brien, T., Bryant, F. B. & Witek Janusek, L. (2012). Depressive Symptoms and Diurnal Salivary Cortisol Patterns Among Female Caregivers of Stroke Survivors. Biological Research for Nursing, 14, 396-404.

Saban, K. L. & Hogan, N.S. (2012). Women Caregivers of Stroke Survivors: Coping and Adapting to a Life That Once Was. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.44 (1) 2-14.

Saban, K. L., Smith, B., Collins, E. & Pape, T.L. (2011). Gender Differences in Life Satisfaction and Functional Status One-Year after Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Women’s Health.20 (2), 179-186. doi: 10.1089.

Professional & Community Affiliations

In addition to serving as a Research Health Scientist at the Edward Hines Jr. VA, Dr. Saban is actively engaged in professional organizations including the American Heart Association State-of-the Science Stroke Nursing Symposium Planning Committee.  She is an active member of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG), Midwest Nursing Research Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International.