Tonda L. Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN

  • Henrik H. Bendixen Professor of International Nursing (in Psychiatry)
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Tonda L. Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN, holds the title of Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was Collegiate Professor and Associate Dean for Global Health in the College of Nursing, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health. She also holds or has held honorary appointments in Australia (University of Melbourne, University of Technology-Sydney, Deakin University), England (Oxford Brookes University) and in the U.S. (University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University). Hughes has a distinguished career in substance abuse and mental health among women (total funding exceeding $20 million USD) and is an internationally recognized expert in sexual minority (lesbian and bisexual) women’s health. Her pioneering studies on the predictors and consequences of hazardous drinking among sexual minority women have received funding since 1999 from the National Institutes of Health and have grown into the world’s longest running longitudinal study of alcohol use and health among sexual minority women. She has served as Co-Investigator on numerous other funded studies with researchers from major U.S. and Australian institutions.

Academic Appointments

  • Henrik H. Bendixen Professor of International Nursing (in Psychiatry)

Administrative Titles

  • Associate Dean, Global Health
  • Executive Director, Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BSN, 1978 Nursing, Eastern Kentucky University
  • MSN, 1981 Psychiatric/Community Mental Health Nursing, University of Kentucky
  • PhD, 1989 Nursing Sciences (concentration in Womens Health), University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Fellowship: 1994 University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health

Honors & Awards

  • 2021 - Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing
  • 2021 - Distinguished Contributions to Nursing Research Award, Eastern Nursing Research Society
  • 2020 - National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sexual and Gender Minority Research Working Group
  • 2019 - Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine
  • 2017 - Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice Recognition Award for contributions in behavioral health that create humane social justice policy.
  • 2016 - Achievement award for exemplary commitment to improving the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
  • 2016 - Award of Excellence, Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) Nursing Section
  • 2016 - Beverly McElmurry Award for Contributions to Global Health, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society (Alpha Lambda Chapter)
  • 2016 - Named Collegiate Professor, UIC College of Nursing
  • 2015-18 - University Scholar, University of Illinois at Chicago (one of 7 professors-all disciplines).
  • 2015 - Inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2015 - Elected Fellow, Institute of Medicine-Chicago
  • 2014 - Inaugural Distinguished Researcher Award, University of Illinois College of Nursing
  • 2014 - Betty Ford Award, Association of Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse
  • 2014 - Distinguished Contribution Award, Midwest Nursing Research Society
  • 2013-16 - National Mentor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nurse Faculty Scholars Program
  • 2013 - Nuveen International Award, Developing Educational and Research Capacity: Nursing HIV/AIDS Care Specialization in India
  • 2013-15 - Elected Co-Chair, American Academy of Nursing LGBTQ Expert Panel
  • 2011 - Inducted into University of Kentucky, College of Nursing, Hall of Fame
  • 2010 - Outstanding Alumni Award. One of 50 in 50 (years) outstanding alumni, University of Kentucky College of Nursing
  • 2010 - Fellow, Leadership for Academic Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • 2009 - Nursing Leadership Recognition Award, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society (Alpha Lambda Chapter)
  • 2006 - OPAL Award, Oak Park Area Lesbian and Gay Association
  • 2003 - Inducted, Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, Chicago Commission on Human Relations
  • 2002 - Research Award, Sigma Theta Tau International (Alpha Lambda Chapter)
  • 2001 - Inducted as Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing
  • 1998 - Research Award, Outstanding Contributions to Addictions Research, National Nurses Society on Addictions
  • 1996 - Graduate Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, UIC Graduate Student Organization
  • 1995 - Outstanding Alumnus, College of Allied Health and Nursing, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky
  • 1992-94 - Individual National Research Service Award (NRSA), Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), T32 DA05466
  • 1992 - Teaching Award (Integration of substance abuse into undergraduate nursing curriculum), UIC, HIGH 5 Project (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education [FIPSE])
  • 1991 - Research Award, Outstanding Contributions to Addictions Research, Illinois Nurses Society on Addictions
  • 1989 - American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award for Addiction in the Nursing Profession: Approaches to Intervention and Recovery (Co-edited with M. Haack)


Global Health Activities

Dr. Hughes has been involved in a number of international capacity building projects. The most recent (while at the University of Illinois at Chicago) include: (1) Building an effective partnership for innovative nursing education and research to advance public health in India funded by the US-India Educational Foundation, Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (PI); (2) Rwanda Human Resources for Health funded by CDC and the Global fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (UIC Project PI); and (3) Building research capacity in low- and middle-income countries concerning the major global health problem of migration-related non-communicable diseases, funded by NIH and Fogarty International (UIC Leadership Team member).