Shannon Gillespie, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor
(614) 292-4589

358 Newton Hall
1585 Neil Avenue Columbus, OH 43210








Research Focus

Dr. Gillespie’s program of research employs a precision health approach to identify women at risk for complications of pregnancy, isolate the biological aberrations driving risk, and provide targeted preventive intervention. Her doctoral training, supported by a National Research Service Award and Summer Genetics traineeship through the National Institutes of Health, focused on delineating the biological pathways linking inherited and environmental exposures to early birth. Dissertation research included primary data collection among a prospective cohort of 96 African American women and focused on functional immunologic and endocrine pathways to early birth. Dr. Gillespie’s postdoctoral traineeship will expand her skillset to include assessment of epigenetic modifications of the genome, which are key upstream determinants of gene expression and therefore cellular function. By breaking down the pathways to early birth at the cellular and molecular level and focusing on upstream biological aberrations, Dr. Gillespie aims to uncover novel biomarkers of risk for early birth that can be assessed in early pregnancy and successfully direct preventive action among the clinical team.



Research Training

Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics (Trainee), 2016
Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington


F31NR014605 (Pre-doctoral Fellow), 2013 – 2015
National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health       
“Pathways to Shortened Gestation among Black Women”


Summer Genetics Institute (Trainee), 2012
National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health    


Immunologic Surveillance Laboratory (Research Resident), 2012   
Center for Perinatal Research, Nationwide Children’s Hospital (PI M. Hall)            


Biomedical Research Laboratories (Research Resident), 2012 
College of Nursing, The Ohio State University (Director D. McCarthy)                  



Research Funding (Current)

15th Anniversary Nurse Scientist Research Grant, Gillespie (PI), 10/01/2016 – 03/31/2018


Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science/Organizational Partners                       


DNA methylation markers of preterm birth risk among asymptomatic African American women


Nursing Research Grant, Gillespie (PI), 09/01/2016 – 08/31/2017


American Nurses Foundation/Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science    


DNA methylation markers of preterm birth risk among asymptomatic African American women




Gillespie, S.L., Neal, J.L., Christian, L.M., Szalacha, L.A., McCarthy, D.O., & Salsberry, P.J. (in press). Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Polymorphism and Birth Timing: Pathway Analysis among African Americans. Nursing Research (-Omics in Nursing Science Special Issue).


Christian, L.M., Mitchell, A.M., Gillespie, S.L., & Palettas, M. (in press). Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) across pregnancy and postpartum: Associations with race, depressive symptoms, and low birth weight. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 74, 69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.08.025. PMID27588702.


Gillespie, S.L. & Christian, L.M. (in press). Body mass index (BMI) as a measure of obesity: Racial differences in predictive value for health parameters during pregnancy. Journal of Women’s Health.


Gillespie, S.L., Porter, K., & Christian, L.M. (2016). Adaptation of the inflammatory immune response across pregnancy and postpartum in Black and White women. Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 114, 27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2016.02.001. PMC4808619


Gillespie, S.L., Christian, L.M., & Neal, J.L. (2015). A proposed bio-panel to predict risk for spontaneous preterm birth among African American women. Medical Hypotheses, 85, 558-564. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2015.07.026. PMC4661115


Neal, J.L., Lamp, J.M., Lowe, N.K., Gillespie, S.L., Sinnott, L.T., & McCarthy, D.O. (2015). Differences in inflammatory markers between nulliparous women admitted to hospitals in pre-active versus active labor. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 212, 68.e1-68.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2014.07.050. PMC4275404


Neal, J.L., Lamp, J.M., Buck, J.S., Lowe, N.K., Gillespie, S.L., & Ryan, S.L. (2014). Outcomes of nulliparous women with spontaneous labor onset admitted to hospitals in preactive versus active labor. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 59(1), 28-34. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12160. PMC4104945



Selected Honors/Awards

Graduate Student Award, STTI, Epsilon Chapter, 2016


Graduate Research Award, Women’s Health and Transitions in Childbearing Research Interest Group, Midwest Nursing Research Society, 2016


Distinguished Paper Presentation Award, 2016

Midwest Nursing Research Society (selected representative: Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science State of the Science Congress)
“An IL1RN polymorphism predicts early delivery among African American women”