Janean E. Holden, PhD, RN, FAAN

Barbara A. Therrien Collegiate Professor of Nursing
Associate Dean, Research and Rackham Graduate Studies
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 4320 400NIB

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 764-9555
Fax: (734) 764-9325

Scholarly Expertise / Activity


  • Neuropathic pain

Dr. Holden’s preclinical research builds on identifying the mechanisms underlying pain modulation in the spinal cord that alter pain perception in the brain. Specifically, her research is aimed at mechanisms of hypothalamic nociceptive and neuropathic pain modulation in the spinal cord dorsal horn, and includes preliminary work using the chemotherapy agent paclitaxel in a rat model of hypothalamic pain modulation.

Current Research Grants and Programs:

  • Forebrain Modulation of Neuropathic Pain, NIH, NINR, 2R01 NR004778; 2008-2013; PI
  • Posterior Hypothalamic Modulation of Pain, NIH, NINR, 1R01 NR013861; 2012-2017; PI
  • Alpha-adrenergic Modulation of Oxaliplatin-Induced Hyperalgesia, MICHR Translational Research Grant, U-M; 2017-2018
  • Alpha-adrenergic Modulation of Oxaliplatin-Induced Hyperalgesia, Janet Gatherers Boyle Pilot Study, U-M School of Nursing; 2017-2018


Dr. Holden’s teaching expertise lies in the area of pathophysiology.  She teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including an online master’s level pathophysiology class.  She especially enjoys teaching and working with students in her laboratory, and has a dozen graduate and undergraduate students working as research technicians.

Affiliations / Service

  • President, Midwest Nursing Research Society, 2016-2017 (March, 2017)
  • Member, Midwest Nursing Research Society, 1988-present (Vice President, 2006-2010)
  • Secretary-Treasurer and Founding Member, Midwest Nursing Research Society Foundation, 2006-2014
  • Member, American Pain Society, 2006- present, (small grants review committee)
  • Editorial Board Member, World Journal of Anesthesiology, 2011- present

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Committee on Institutional Cooperation Academic Leadership Program Fellow, 2015-2016
  • Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 2009
  • Senior Scientist Recognition Award, Midwest Nursing Research Society, 2009
  • Ehrlich II World Wide Conference On Magic Bullets; invited to compete for Ehrlich Prize, 2008
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, presented at the White House, April 2000 (first nurse scientist to receive this award)


  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Pharmacology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1993-1996
  • PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1993
  • MS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1987
  • BSN, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, 1974

Publication Highlights

  • Stapleton SJ, Holden JE, Wang E, Epstein J & Wilkie DJ (2016). Symptom clusters in patients with cancer in the hospice/palliative care setting. Supportive Care in Cancer.

  • Wagner MA, Jeong Y, Banerjee T, Yang J & Holden JE (2016). Sex differences in hypothalamic-mediated tonic norepinephrine release for thermal hyperalgesia in rats. Neuroscience, 324: 420-9. PMID: 27001177

  • Wardach J, Wagner M, Jeong Y & Holden, JE (2016). Lateral hypothalamic stimulation reduces thermal hyperalgesia through spinally descending orexin-A neurons in neuropathic pain. Western Journal of Nursing Research 38: 292-307. PMID: 26475681

  • Stapleton SJ, Wilkie DJ, Holden JE, & Epstein J. (2015). A systematic review of the symptom distress scale in advanced cancer studies. Cancer Nursing, 39(4): E9-E23. PMID: 26252436

  • Holden JE, Wang E, Moes JR, Wagner, M, Maduko A, & Jeong Y (2014). Differences in carbachol dose, pain condition and sex following lateral hypothalamic stimulation. Neuroscience, 270:226-35. PMID:24759771

  • Moes JR & Holden JE (2014). Characterizing activity and muscle atrophy changes in rats with neuropathic pain: A pilot study. Biological Research for Nursing. 16:16-22. PMID:24057222

  • Jeong Y, Moes JR, Wagner M & Holden JE. (2012). The posterior hypothalamus exerts opposing effects on nociception via the A7 catecholamine cell group in rat. Neuroscience. 227:144-153. PMID:23036619

  • Ngamkham S, Vincent,C, Finnegan L, Holden JE, Wang ZJ & Wilkie DJ (2012). The McGill Pain Questionnaire as a multidimensional measure in people with cancer: An integrative review. Pain Management Nursing, 13(1), 27-51. PMID:22341138.

  • Holden JE (2011). Putting the bio in biobehavioral research: Animal models. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 33(8):1017-1029. PMID:21454886.

  • Ngamkham S, Holden JE, & Wilkie DJ (2011). Differences in pain location, intensity and quality by pain pattern in outpatients with cancer. Cancer Nursing: An International Journal for Cancer Care, 34(3):228-237. PMID:21512345.

  • Prasertsri N, Holden JE, Keefe FJ, & Wilkie DJ (2010). Repressive coping style: Relationships with pain, pain coping strategies, and depression in lung outpatient cancer patients. Lung Cancer, 71(2):235. PMID:20557973.

  • Holden JE, Pizzi JA, Jeong Y (2009). An NK1 receptor antagonist microinjected into the periaqueductal gray blocks lateral hypothalamic-induced antinociception in rats. Neuroscience Letters, 453:115-119. PMID:19356605.

  • Jeong Y, & Holden JE (2009). Lateral hypothalamus-induced alpha-adrenoceptor mediated nociceptive modulation acts on c-fibers in rat. Biological Research for Nursing, 10(4):331-339. PMID:19114413.

  • Jeong Y, & Holden JE (2009). The role of spinal orexin-1 receptors in posterior hypothalamic modulation of neuropathic pain. Neuroscience, 159:1414-1421. PMID:19409203.

  • Jeong Y, & Holden JE (2008). Commonly used preclinical models of pain. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 30:350-364. PMID:18029542.

  • Holden JE, & Pizzi JA (2008). Lateral hypothalamic-induced antinociception is mediated by a substance P connection with the rostral ventromedial medulla. Brain Research, 1214:40-49. PMID:18457815.

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