Sharon A. Brown


Joseph H. Blades Centennial Memorial Professor Emerita in Nursing

Faculty Emerita
Chronic Disease/Disability
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Health Disparities
Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Brown is the Joseph H. Blades Centennial Memorial Professor Emerita in Nursing. She is a former Senior Research Scientist and the founding Principal Investigator/Director of the Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research and Co-investigator/Pilot Core Director of the Center for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Research in Self-Management Science. She served as the University's Associate Vice President for Research (1999-2006) as well as two terms as the School of Nursing's Associate Dean for Research (2009-2011; 1995-1999). Dr. Brown's research is focused on the prevention and self-management of type 2 diabetes in Mexican Americans as well as other vulnerable, high-risk populations. She has had ongoing research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1992. She conducted 5 funded meta-analyses of diabetes self-management research. The most recent meta-analysis, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research/NIH, involved a relatively novel type of meta-analysis — a model-driven meta-analysis aimed at testing an explanatory diabetes model to identify factors predictive of positive health outcomes.

Dr. Brown has a long history of testing diabetes prevention and/or self-management interventions in Starr County, an impoverished Texas-Mexico border rural community that has one of the highest rates of diabetes-related deaths of any county in Texas; the county is also one of the poorest in Texas, as well as in the U.S. This work focused on developing and testing culturally tailored strategies to address the disproportionate burden of diabetes in Mexican Americans. Over the years, Dr. Brown received numerous research grants from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH (NIDDK/NIH), as well as the State of Texas, to test the efficacy of interventions specifically designed for this population. The most recent study (2017-2023) was designed to test a diabetes prevention intervention in Mexican Americans who had verified prediabetes. The study also involved an examination of the influence of genetic variation on glucose regulation in response to the lifestyle intervention. (For more information on this study, read Researchers Seek to Prevent Diabetes in At-Risk Population.)

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