Meet UNMC New Investigator Awardee Michele Balas, Ph.D.

UNMC researcher Michele Balas, Ph.D., answers questions about her work, life and interests.

NOTE: This profile is part of a series to highlight the 23 researchers who will be honored May 22 at a ceremony for UNMC's 2011 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator award recipients.

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Michele Balas, Ph.D.
  • Name: Michele Balas, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant professor in the College of Nursing
  • Joined UNMC: June 2009
  • Hometown: Plymouth, Pa.

Describe your research in laymen's terms.

Our current research, being conducted in the adult intensive care units at The Nebraska Medical Center, focuses on the implementation of an evidence-based, nurse-led, inter-professional program to improve care and outcomes for critically ill adults. The study focuses on application of the "Awakening-Breathing Coordination, Delirium Monitoring/Management & Early Mobility" (ABCDE) bundle in everyday clinical care. We specifically want to identify what would facilitate or impede clinicians from using the ABCDE bundle and determine what effect the ABCDE bundle has on patient outcomes.

How do you want your research to translate to benefit patients?

I want it to lead to nonpharmacologic ways to treat ICU-acquired delirium, which are urgently needed to improve patients' lives.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?

God would have not given you a voice if he didn't want you to use it.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I am the granddaughter of a coal miner;
  • I am an avid Prince fan; and
  • I once won a watermelon-eating contest.


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Greg Karst
April 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Congratulations, Michele. I hope your work leads to prevention of ICU-acquired delerium and increased awareness of the devestating short- and long-term effects that this condition can have on patients' lives.