New Faculty Focus: Anne Ersig
Name: Anne Ersig
Title: Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Hometown: York, Pennsylvania
Educational/professional background: BSN, University of Pennsylvania; MSN, University of Pennsylvania; PhD, University of Iowa.
How did you get into your field of research? My research stems directly from my clinical experiences as a bedside nurse and research nurse practitioner working with children, adolescents, and young adults with childhood chronic health conditions, like diabetes or food allergy. My other focus area, in both research and teaching, is genetics and genomics. My current work ties my clinical experiences with my love of genetics and examines the biology and genetics of chronic stress and anxiety experienced by children, adolescents, and young adults with chronic health conditions.
What attracted you to UW–Madison? The location in the Midwest (I consider myself a “naturalized Midwesterner,” if there is such a thing); the collegial and collaborative approach to work; the academic health center; and the size of the university and the town. I have been here a little over a year and appreciate the university and Madison itself more every day.
What was your first visit to campus like? My first visit was actually over 10 years ago, when my now-husband brought me to campus and introduced me to Babcock ice cream. He grew up in a town outside of Madison and loves it here, as well.
What’s one thing you hope students who take a class with you will come away with? I hope they take some of the passion and excitement that I bring to my classes and experience that themselves. I know that not every student will love genetics the way I do, but if I can pique their interest—even a little bit—I will feel I have succeeded.
Do you share your expertise and experiences with the public through social media? I use Twitter (@AnneErsig) and am active on LinkedIn.
Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea? My goal with my teaching and research is to improve the health and well-being of individuals with childhood chronic health conditions. Children and their families throughout Wisconsin are dealing with issues like food allergies, asthma, diabetes, and more. Often, these conditions cause stress and anxiety for the children and for their families. By identifying biological and genetic factors that predispose some of these individuals to high stress and anxiety, we may be able to improve their mental and physical health and well-being so that they can experience and enjoy the kinds of things that other children and families do—school, sports, birthday parties, vacations, etc.
What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties? Often, people think that allergies are predictable, but they can change and evolve over time. You might start out with an allergy to one particular food, like a particular type of nut, then later on find out that you’re also allergic to other nuts or foods. Reactions can change and evolve pretty dramatically, too and can become more or less severe over time.
Hobbies/other interests: Reading, baking, running, hiking, and travel.