The University of Arizona

Children's Cancer Researcher Receives National Award

By Phyllis S. Kabins, College of Nursing | October 12, 2011

Ida "Ki" Moore will be presented with the award at a gala in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

Ida (Ki) Moore, DNSc, RN, FAAN
Ida (Ki) Moore, DNSc, RN, FAAN

College of Nursing professor Ida "Ki" Moore, whose research focuses on children with cancer, will be honored Friday with the 2011 Pathfinder Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research.

The prestigious national award is given to a nurse researcher whose work demonstrates a sustained program of scientific contributions in a field that advances understanding of human health and health care.

Moore, director of the Biobehavioral Health Science Division at the college, has a long-standing externally funded program of research that translates to critical insights for promoting cognitive and school performance recovery from potentially devastating childhood cancers, especially leukemia, and their associated medical treatments.

Moore has been with the College of Nursing for about 22 years, 10 of those as the director of the Biobehavioral Health Science Division Director. She is principal investigator for an Exploratory Research Center and an Institutional T32 Training Grant to educate pre- and postdoctoral nurse scientists focused on Injury Mechanisms and Related Responses. She also is a master teacher in both graduate and undergraduate programs, and a mentor to students and those building careers in academia.

With many years of continued funding from NIH and the Oncology Nursing Foundation, Moore developed and tested one of the first cognitive interventions that prevented cognitive and academic declines in children with leukemia. Recent funding from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has provided support for her multidisciplinary collaborative team to develop basic science models to understand how cancer treatment can damage normal brain tissue. Her team was one of the first to study oxidative stress as a mechanism of chemotherapy-induced injury to the brain.

For more than 25 years, Moore and her colleagues have investigated the effects of cancer treatment on the brain, cognitive abilities, and behavioral adjustment. They also have tested interventions designed to improve academic abilities and quality of life outcomes for these children.

"Working with children with cancer and their families has been a privilege and the most rewarding part of my academic career," Moore said.

Moore's team has studied mechanisms of central nervous system injury following chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy and has tested an intervention found to be effective in preventing declines in attention and academic abilities. The goal is to develop novel interventions to optimize cognitive and quality of life outcomes for children with cancer, primarily those with leukemia and brain tumors who must be treated with intensive medical therapies.

"Dr. Ki Moore exemplifies this award in that she has been and continues to be a pathfinder for early identification of neurocognitive deficits in children treated for leukemia. She is the leading nursing expert in this area of expertise and a true scientist. I am honored to call her my colleague and friend," said Marilyn Hockenberry, professor of pediatrics in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, a longtime colleague and friend of Moore's.

Moore's accomplishments will be recognized at the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research "NightinGala" on Friday in Washington, D.C.