Marcia Van Riper, PhD, RN
Professor & Chair, Family Health Division
Phone: (919) 966-4284
Specialty Area: Children’s Health
Marcia Van Riper RN, PhD is a Professor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has a joint appointment in the School of Nursing and the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences. Dr. Van Riper received a BS in Nursing from De Pauw University, a MS in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a MA in Bioethics (with an emphasis on genetic issues) from Case Western Reserve University, and a PhD in Nursing and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr Van Riper has conducted numerous studies concerning families of children with Down syndrome, one study concerning families with twins, and one study concerning families with preterm infants. Dr Van Riper recently completed a K01 (Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award) in which she examined how families define and manage the ethical issues that emerge during four types of genetic testing: maternal serum screening for Down syndrome, carrier testing for cystic fibrosis (CF), BRCA1&2 testing for families at high risk for breast cancer, and mutation analysis for Huntington disease. As part of her K01, Dr. Van Riper engaged in a 3-year intensive, supervised career development/training plan that included: (a) formal coursework in genetics, bioethics, and qualitative methods, and (b) interdisciplinary experiences, such as clinic and laboratory rotations, case rounds, journal clubs, and workshops. During the past year, Van Riper and Dr. Suzanne Thoyre completed a study about feeding issues in children with Down syndrome. In addition, Van Riper received funding for two pilot studies on how minority families make sense of and use the results of genetic testing. Dr. Van Riper teaches a genetics course, "Genetics and Nursing Practice" to 2nd Degree students in the 14 month BSN Program. She also coordinates an interdisciplinary course "Genomics and Society" and gives genetic lectures in a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. Please visit Dr. Van Riper's webpage for more information.