Skip to Navigation

School Fact Sheet

The UW School of Nursing has a national and international reputation for excellence. An unusually fertile environment for nursing research guides and shapes its baccalaureate and graduate educational programs. It also builds practice that emphasizes leadership skills for the health care needs of a multicultural world.


Box 357260
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-543-8736

M. Rebecca O'Connor, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor

Family and Child Nursing
Box 357262
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195

Email Address:


I have over seven years experience working in pediatric research, the majority of which has focused on youth with type 1 diabetes. Previously, I have coordinated studies such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Study of Autoimmunity and been a member of local research teams for prospective, multi-site national (SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth) and international (Diabetes TrialNet) studies funded by the CDC and NIH. My current research explores how current definitions of race and ethnicity may be masking disease trends, particularly in the case of type 1 diabetes among East African immigrant youth. In collaboration with Seattle Children's Research Institute and others, I am leading efforts to utilize community-based participatory research principles to engage and partner with vulnerable communities to increase their trust and participation in pediatric clinical research.


During the 2013-2014 academic year, I will be teaching the undergraduate course Introduction to Research in Nursing with Dr. Elena Bosque. This course is offered Winter Quarter and will address concepts and processes used to explore questions of interest in nursing science.

Practice, Service, Community Involvement

I have participated in a variety of community service activities including leading and/or deploying emergency medical response teams to Sri Lanka, New Orleans, and Pakistan through my now closed 501c3 non-profit (Medical Action Network). I have also served as a mentor to pre-health undergraduates and a Master of Nursing student while completing my PhD, and was a member of the Seattle Children's Hospital Institutional Review Board. Currently, I serve on Seattle Children's Nursing Research Committee and hold multiple professional memberships including Sigma Theta Tau, International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes, Institute of Translational Health Sciences, and Western Institute of Nursing.

Current Publications

O’Connor MR, Doorenbos A, Voss J. Clinical update on genetic and autoimmune biomarkers in pediatric diabetes. Biol Res Nurs. Feb 2 2013.PMID:23378256. doi: 10.1177/1099800412473820 [Epub ahead of print]

Jaacks JM, Oza-Frank R, D'Agostino R, Dolan LM, Dabelea D, Lawrence JM, Pihoker C, O'Connor MR, Linder B, Imperatore G, Seid M, Venkat Narayan KM, Mayer-Davis EJ. Migration status in relation to clinical characteristics and barriers to care among youth with diabetes in the US. J Immigr Minor Health. Apr 6 2012. PMID: 22481308. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9617-3

Easy to Print Version