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New Faces: Nada Lukkahatai

The assistant professor of nursing says she wants to be the kind of professor who inspires young people to believe they can do anything.
People  |  Sep 19, 2014  |  By Kevin Dunegan
Nursing’s Nada Lukkahatai. (Courtesy Photo)

School of Nursing's Nada Lukkahatai considered a career in public relations and communications before choosing nursing -- a decision that has taken her to three countries and earned her a fellowship with the National Institutes of Health.

Why UNLV?

What first caught my attention is how dedicated UNLV is to becoming a research-intensive university. I think it is poised to achieve that status. I also was impressed with the School of Nursing's laboratory and research capability.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is a small city in the northern part of the country nestled in mountains.

What's the biggest challenge in your field?

The biggest challenge is bringing research bench findings to the bedside.

What inspired you to get into your field?

After becoming a nurse, I wondered why people with the same illness or disease responded differently to standard treatments. Were the differences brought on by physiological differences or psychological health? To find out, I began to focus on the biological part of human beings that responds to stress, disease, or other phenomenon. This interest led me to train in the genomics area at National Institute of Nursing Research.

Proudest moment in your life?

After earning my bachelor's, I took a national exam that determined candidates for the Thai Royal Government scholarship. Only a select few students ever earn this. The award enabled me to pursue my master's and doctorate degrees in the United States. It changed my life.

One tip for success?

My tip for success is to work hard and maintain a positive outlook. Without these, being successful in your career is impossible.

What kind of professor do you want to be known as?

I want to be known as a professor who inspires young people, especially those pursing nursing. I want them to feel and believe that they can do anything.

What can't you work without?

There is nothing I can't work without. With a positive outlook, you can make anything happen.

Who is your hero?

My heroes are my parents. They inspired me to become who I am today.

Pastime or hobbies?

Reading is my favorite pastime.