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Melissa Hladek, PhD, MSN, RN

Assistant Professor
Melissa Hladek
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Specialties and Expertise

  • Aging
  • Chronic Care
  • Vulnerable Populations


Melissa deCardi Hladek is a researcher-clinician with work focusing on how stress, self-efficacy resilience, and sociocultural factors influence the biology of aging, chronic disease, and frailty progression and resilience trajectories. Dr. Hladek attended Johns Hopkins University for her PhD and postdoctoral training, Columbia University for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, and Scripps College for her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. She is a special volunteer at the NIH working on novel methods of collecting biological data. A family nurse practitioner since 2004, Dr. Hladek has worked with vulnerable populations experiencing homelessness and incarceration and in both rural and urban settings with primarily Spanish-speaking immigrant communities. She is currently the president-elect for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses-DC Chapter and advisor for the Latinx Health Advisory Group at Hopkins School of Nursing.

Additional Resources

Below are selected resources. For more information, please see full CV.

  • Publications/Research

    Szanton SL, Hladek MD. The Effect of Tailored Home Hazard Removal on Falls Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(8):e2122325. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.2232

    Hladek, M. D., Zhu, J., Buta, B. J., Szanton, S. L., Bandeen-Roche, K., Walston, J. D., & Xue, Q. L. (2021). Self-efficacy proxy predicts frailty incidence over time in non-institutionalized older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    Roberts Lavigne, L. C., Tian, J., Hladek, M., LaFave, S. E., Szanton, S. L., & Samuel, L. J. (2021). Residential Street Block Disorder and Biological Markers of Aging in Older Adults: The National Health and Aging Trends Study. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 76(11), 1969–1976.

    Li J, Szanton SL, McPhillips M, Pien G, Hladek MD, Gooneratne N, Chen K, Hodgson NA. (accepted 2021). An mHealth- facilitated personalized intervention for physical activity and sleep in community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

    Hladek MD, Gill J, Lai C, Bandeen-Roche K, Allen J, Hinkle J, Leyden C, Kanefsky R, Szanton SL. (2021). High Social Coping Self-Efficacy Associated with Lower Sweat Interleukin-6 in Older Adults with Chronic Conditions. Journal of Applied Gerontology.

    Cruz-Oliver DM, Abshire M, Budhathoki C, Hladek MD, Volandes A, Jorgensen L, Oliver DP (2021). Comparison of Traditional Videos with Telenovelas for Hospice Family Caregivers Education. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. February 8, 2021. doi:10.1177/1049909121991524.

    Szanton SL, Clemson L, Liu M, Gitlin LN, Hladek MD, LaFave SE, Roth DL, Marx KA, Felix C, Okoye SM, Zhang X, Bautista S, Granbom M. (2020). Pilot Outcomes of a Multicomponent Fall Risk Program Integrated Into Daily Lives of Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi: 10.1177/0733464820912664.

    Hladek MD, Gill J, Bandeen-Roche K, Walston J, Allen J, Hinkle JL, Lorig K, Szanton SL. (2020) High Coping Self-Efficacy Associated with Low Odds of Pre-Frailty/ Frailty in Older Adults with Chronic Disease. Aging & Mental Health. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1639136.

    Hladek MD, Gill J, Lai C, Lorig K, Szanton SL. (2019) High Coping Self-Efficacy Associated with Lower Sweat Inflammatory Cytokines in Adults: A Pilot Study. Biological Research for Nursing.

    Hladek MD, Szanton SL, Cho Y, Lai C, Sacko C, Roberts L, Gill J. (2018) Using Sweat to Measure Cytokines in Older Adults Compared to Younger Adults: A Pilot Study. Journal of Immunological Methods: Vol 454, March 2018, P 1-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.jim.2017.11.003.

  • Awards/Honors

    2020  Butler Williams Fellow, National Institute of Aging, National Institute of Health

    2018  Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, Johns Hopkins University

    2017  Maryland Graduate Nurse Faculty Scholarship, State of Maryland

    2016  NIH/NCATS JHU School of Medicine, Pre-doctoral Fellow, Clinical and Translational Science (4TL1TR001078-04), Johns Hopkins University

    2016  Scholl Foundation Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University

    2014-2016  NIH Pre-doctoral Fellow, Cardiovascular Health Research (T32NR012704)

    2012  Women’s History Month Collaborative, Recognized as “Awesome Woman,” the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

    2012  Volunteer of the Year, Miriam’s Kitchen Homeless Shelter, Washington, DC

    2007  Certificate of Appreciation, MESA at Mendocino College, Ukiah, CA

    2004  CAPSONA Scholar Award, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY

    2002-2004  National Health Service Corps Scholarship Recipient

    1998  Wadleigh Scholarship Recipient, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

    1997  Outstanding Leadership Award, Chicano Latino Student Affairs, Scripps College, Claremont, CA