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Dr. Shawna Nesbitt

Cardiovascular physician and medical scientist Dr. Shawna Nesbitt was born on November 10, 1963 in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Nesbitt attended Quigley Catholic High School in Baden, Pennsylvania where she graduated in 1981. She went on to be the first black student to complete the three year pre-med program at Gannon University and go to Hahnemann School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the first black to enter the Hahnemann program, where she earned her M.D. degree in 1988. During Nesbitt's residency in internal medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Nesbitt was inspired by Dr. James Ferraro to follow her passion for research in the area of hypertension. In 1991, she became a fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan and worked on several clinical trials with her colleague Dr. Kenneth Jamerson, notably the Tecumseh Blood Pressure Study, the "Losartan Interventions for Endpoints in Hypertension Study" ("LIFE" Study), and the "African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension Study" ("ASKD" Study). She went to work as an investigator for various firms, performing research on African Americans with hypertension and renal disease. She met her husband, Thomas Nesbitt, in 1992 and they married in 1995.

Nesbitt moved to Dallas, Texas in 2001 after she completed her M.S. degree in clinical research design to work at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. As an associate professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, she worked on several projects such as the Reynolds Foundation's "Dallas Heart Study" on the "Trial of Preventing Hypertension" or " TROPHY" study funded by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca . The TROPHY study successfully showed her team's hypothesis was correct and the results were published in the 'New England Journal.' She initiated the trial of preventing hypertension in patients with high blood pressure. In addition, she worked as a manuscript reviewer for the American Journal of Hypertension and the Journal of Ethnicity and Disease.

Nesbitt has received medical licensure in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Texas. She has been honored by the American Heart Association for her work on cardiovascular epidemiology and high blood pressure. Nesbitt has served on several boards and panels including the American College of Physicians, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Hypertension, the Association of Black Cardiologists, the National Medical Association, the International Society of Hypertension in Blacks, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Shawna Nesbitt was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 13, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.047

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/13/2008

Last Name

Nesbitt

Maker Category
Schools

Quigley High School

Quigley Catholic High School

Gannon University

Hanhnemann University

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Shawna

Birth City, State, Country

Aliquippa

HM ID

NES02

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

11/10/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes

Short Description

Cardiovascular physician and cardiovascular scientist Dr. Shawna Nesbitt (1963 - ) has done research on African Americans with hypertension and renal disease. She has worked as an instructor, lecturer and assistant professor at the the University of Michigan and the the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center.

Employment

Allegheny General Hospital

University of Michigan

University of Texas Southwestern

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Red

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Shawna Nesbitt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Shawna Nesbitt shares her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about how her parents met and her early childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about the sights, smells, and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Shawna Nesbitt remembers the neighborhood where she grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her elementary and middle schools

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her joy for learning

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about growing up in the 1970s and wanting to pursue a medical career

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about church and attending Catholic school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her first job and her time at Quigley Catholic High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Shawna Nesbitt continues talking about Quigley Catholic High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about bridging the gap between her black and white friends

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about deciding on college and medical school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about attending Gannon University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about getting into medical school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about going to medical school at the Hahnemann School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her residency and Dr. James Ferraro

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about her hypertension program and Dr. Stevo Julius

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about epidemiology projects like the Tecumseh blood pressure project

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about teaching, meeting her husband, Thomas Nesbitt, and their daughter, Joy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about clinical trials at University of Michigan and gaining the trust of the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about the ASKD study and the "On Job, On Campus" program

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Shawna Nesbitt describes the Trial of Preventing Hypertension (TROPHY) Study

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about moving to Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about finishing the TROPHY study and lecturing around the country.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Shawna Nesbitt shares her plans for the future and her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Shawna Nesbitt talks about slavery on her father's side of the family