Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Thao Griffith, PhD, RN

Title/s:  Assistant Professor

Office #:  CTRE, Room 347, HSD

Phone: 708.216.5708

E-mail:

Degrees

PhD University of Illinois at Chicago 2017
BSN University of Illinois at Chicago 2012

Teaching Interests

Pediatrics, Pathophysiology, Nursing Fundamental, Statistics, Research

Courses Taught

2018-2019: GNUR 293 Pathophysiology

2019-2020: GNUR 293 Pathophysiology

Research/Scholarly Interests and Selected Publications

Research and Scholarly Interests:

Our team is committed to a patient-oriented research focusing on preterm infants. Robust evidence demonstrates that oral feeding skills require integrity of neurobehavior. Cumulative stress exposure during pre- and early postnatal periods may impair neurobehavior critical for oral feeding skills. Yet the extent to which cumulative stress exposure impairs development of oral feeding skills and the mechanism whereby this occurs is not known. We will incorporate epigenetic methodology with the established Early Feeding Skills Assessment, Neurobehavioral Assessment of the Preterm Infants, and NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale to elucidate DNA methylation of glucocorticoid-related genes as predictors of oral feeding skills. The short-term goal is to understand the contribution of stress-related epigenetic alterations in the development of preterm infant oral feeding skills. The long-term goal is to leverage findings from the science of preterm behavioral epigenetics to develop innovative approaches that reduce the impact of early life stress exposure on preterm infant development.

Training Opportunities for students:

Students who join Dr. Griffith’s team can expect to receive training in conducting literature review, descriptive and experimental design, in addition to developing knowledge/expertise within the broader area of preterm infant neurobehavior, oral feeding skills, feeding behavioral and physiological measures, multisensory massage intervention, the Early Feeding Skills Assessment, Neurobehavioral Assessment of the Preterm Infants, and NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale. 

Research Funding:

2015-2017. The Relationship between Duration of Tube Feedings and Oral Feeding Success in Preterm Infants (PI): National Association of Neonatal Nurses Research Based Small Grant, Sigma Theta Tau International Small Grants, Midwest Nursing Research Society Dissertation Grant, University of Illinois College of Nursing Research Award, and Sigma Theta Tau International Alpha Lambda Chapter Research Award.

Selected Publications:

Griffith, T.T., Bell, A.F., Vincent, C., White-Traut, R., Medoff-Cooper, B., Rankin, K. (2019). Oral feeding success: A concept analysis. Advances in Neonatal Care, 9(1), 21-31. doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000540

Griffith, T.T., Bell, A.F., White-Traut, R., Medoff-Cooper, B., Rankin, K. (2018). The relationship between duration of tube feeding and oral feeding success in preterm infants. Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 47(5), 620-631. doi: 10.1016/j.jogn.2018.06.002

White-Traut, R., Li, L., Norr, K., Rankin, K., Campbell, S.K., Griffith, T., Vasa, R., Geraldo, V. (2017) Do orally directed behaviors mediate the relationship between behavioral states and nutritive sucking in preterm infants? Early Human Development, 109, 26-31.

Griffith, T., Rankin, K., White-Traut, R. (2017). The relationship between behavioral states and oral feeding efficiency in preterm infants. Advances in Neonatal Care, 17(1), E12-E19.

White-Traut, R., Pham, T., Shapiro, N., Liu, L., & Rankin, K. (2014). Preterm infants’ orally directed behaviors and behavioral state responses to the integrated H-HOPE intervention. Infant Behavior and Development, 37(4), 583-596.

White-Traut, R, Pham, T., Rankin, K., Norr, K., Shapiro, N., & Yoder, J. (2013). Exploring factors related to oral feeding progression in premature infants. Advances in Neonatal Care, 13(4), 288-294.

Professional & Community Affiliations

2015-Present. National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), Member

2012-Present. Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Member

2012-Present. Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS), Member

2018-Present: International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG), Member