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

Email: ksaban@luc.edu

CV Link: 2023 Karen Saban CV


Dr. Karen 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 is currently Principal Investigator (PI) for a NIH R01 examining the impact of a race-based stress reduction intervention on well-being, inflammation, and DNA methylation in older African American women at risk for cardiometabolic disease (MPI Saban/Taylor NIA R01AGO81251). 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).

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 underrepresented women.


NIA R01AGO81251
The Impact of a Race-Based Stress Reduction Intervention on Stress, Inflammation, and DNA methylation in African American Women at Risk for Cardiometabolic Disease (RiSE)
Funding Period: 4/1/23-1/31/28
Role: MPI

Faculty Scholar Award
Funding Period: 6/1/23-5/30/25
Role: Primary Mentor

VA HSR&D #EBP 22-107
QUERI Evidence to Policy Evaluation Center for Veterans: (EPEC-Vet)
Funding period: 10/1/22-9/30/27
Role: Co-Investigator

VA HSR&D PPO-21-225
Developing and Pilot Testing a Yoga Program to Address Post-Prostatectomy Side Effects among Veterans with Prostate Cancer
Funding period: 4/1/23-3/30/25
Role: Co-Investigator

Selected Publications

Link to select publications