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Reba Umberger, PhD, RN, CCRN-K

Reba Umberger

Assistant Professor
920 Madison Avenue, Room 551
Memphis, TN 38163

Curriculum Vitae 

Dr. Reba Umberger joined the UTHSC College of Nursing in July 2017 as an Assistant Professor in Department of Acute and Tertiary Care.  Her research is focused on long-term outcomes and immune suppression in survivors of sepsis. She currently teaches pathophysiology in the BSN program.

She has over 30 years of experience in critical care, focused on cardiac and medical intensive care populations. Her work with pulmonary and critical care researchers studying acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis led her to pursue advanced research degrees at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She received a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology in 2004 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science in 2011. She completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in genetics with the National Institute of Nursing Research. Her dissertation examined the influence of exaggerated inflammatory cytokines, cytokine polymorphisms, and environmental factors on the development of secondary infections in patients admitted to the ICU with sepsis. She received funding for this work from the International Society of Nurses in Genetics.

Upon graduation, she accepted a position at the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville where she developed an online epidemiology course for their Global Disaster Program and Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. She taught several graduate courses in a blended online format including epidemiology, nursing inquiry, and a state of the science writing course, as well as undergraduate pathophysiology.  She mentored PhD, MSN, and BSN students in research, including some hands-on laboratory work running cytokine assays. She developed collaborations and completed funded research using the electronic medical records to identify patients with sepsis and explored techniques for gathering data efficiently for future prospective trials. She also collaborated with qualitative researchers to gain deeper insights into experiences of both survivors of sepsis and their informal caregivers. These experiences have broadened her perspective and will be beneficial as she moves her research forward at UTHSC in long-term immune suppression among survivors of sepsis. 

Dr. Umberger has published over 20 peer-reviewed publication and serves as manuscript and research reviewer for nursing journals and organizations. She is a member of several professional organizations including The Southern Nursing Society, International Society of Nurses in Genetics, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau International (Gamma Chi Chapter (past president) and Beta Theta At large Chapter). She currently serves on the executive committee of VA Cooperative Studies Program #574 and holds a Research Associate appointment at the VA Memphis.


Last Published: Jun 8, 2018