New Associate Dean for Research Joins School of Nursing and Health Studies

Charles A. Downs, translational researcher from University of Arizona, appointed effective August 15
New Associate Dean for Research Joins School of Nursing and Health Studies

Charles Aldon Downs, PhD, ACNP-BC, FAAN, whose research focuses on acute lung injury and pulmonary diseases, will join the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Miami as associate dean for research and associate professor starting August 15.

In his new role, Dr. Downs will lead the ongoing development of the SONHS’ extensive research portfolio, including identifying new areas of research, mentoring early- and mid-career faculty, and pursuing research funding opportunities. He will report directly to SONHS Dean and Professor Cindy L. Munro, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, FAAAS.

Dr. Downs joins the SONHS team from the University of Arizona, where he held a dual appointment as assistant professor in the College of Nursing and the Division of Translational and Regenerative Medicine in the College of Medicine.

“Dr. Downs is a dynamic, nationally recognized academic leader,” said Dean Munro. “We are very pleased to welcome him to our School.”

In announcing his appointment to the SONHS community on August 2, she also thanked Professor Victoria Behar Mitrani, PhD, “for her excellent work as associate dean for research and her dedication to developing research at the SONHS.”

Prior to joining UA in 2015, Dr. Downs taught across BSN, MSN, DNP and PhD nursing programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Emory University, developing courses focused on radiography and biological methodology.

His basic and early translational research in acute lung injury and pulmonary diseases has been supported through National Institutes of Health, private foundation, and institutional funding. His findings have been published in the Journal of Proteomics, American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and PLoS One, among many others.

His research is focused on Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a disease process characterized by profound inflammation and pulmonary edema that is a major source of morbidity and mortality in the United States. He was awarded a five-year R01 grant from the NIH to research the molecular underpinnings involved in the evolution and resolution of ARDS using state-of-the-art molecular and biochemical techniques. This work will inform personalized health interventions that can be developed to prevent ARDS in the most vulnerable and to treat those afflicted.

Dr. Downs is a board-certified acute care nurse practitioner, a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and a member of the American Thoracic Society, the Southern Nursing Research Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Emory, where he later earned the Woodruff Early Investigator Award. He holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Arizona, with a focus on lung biology, and earned his MSN (Acute Care NP) and BSN degrees from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Dr. Downs started his nursing career at the University of Alabama medical intensive care unit in Birmingham and served as a critical care flight nurse.