Karen Saban, PhD, RN, CNRN, FAHA, FAAN

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

Specialty Area: Social stressors (including perceived racism and discrimination), cardiometabolic health, stress reduction interventions such as mindfulness based stress reduction, race-based stress reduction

Office #:  Health Sciences Campus, CTRE Room 349

Phone: 708.216.1244


CV Link: 2021 Karen Saban CV


Dr. Saban is a Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Scholarly Innovation in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. She is also a Research Health Scientist in the Center for Innovation and Complex Chronic Healthcare at the Edward Hines Jr. VA. She received her PhD in nursing from Loyola University Chicago and completed a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Sciences Research & Development Center. She has over twenty years of experience as a critical care and neuroscience nurse.

Dr. Saban’s research seeks to integrate social context and inflammation with epigenetic signature to explain disparities in cardiometabolic disease/stroke in disadvantaged women and to examine interventions that may ameliorate stress-related inflammation in vulnerable populations. She completed a 3- year NIH/NINR K01 examining social stress and epigenetic signature in African American women at risk for cardiovascular disease. As part of this grant, she completed the NINR Summer Genetics Institute. She also conducted a randomized clinical trial examining an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program in improving psychological well-being, reducing inflammatory burden, and decreasing cardiovascular risk in women veterans (VA NRI). Her current work focuses on examining the impact of a race-based stress reduction program on stress and inflammation in African American women at risk for cardiometabolic disease.

Dr. Saban is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), American Heart Association (FAHA), and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.

Research Interests

Dr. Saban's research focuses on reducing heart disease and stroke disparities among disadvantaged women.

Selected Publications

Link to select publications