Cynthia R. Gross, PhD

Professor Emerita, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology (ECP)
Cynthia R. Gross


Office Phone
Office Address

7-149 Weaver-Densford Hall
308 Harvard St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


Professor Emerita, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology (ECP)
Professor Emerita, School of Nursing


PhD, Yale University (Biostatistics), 1978

MPhil, Yale University (Public Health), 1976

Bachelor, Tufts University (Psychology), 1972

Academic Interests

Research methods and grantsmanship

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Cynthia “Cindy” Gross joined the College of Pharmacy and School of Nursing in 1985. She retired in 2017. Currently, Cindy divides her time between Minnesota, Maine, and Florida. She delights in exploring the Everglades, Acadia and other national parks. Cindy and her dog, Buster, visit hospice patients as a pet-therapy team. 

During her active faculty years, Professor Gross led a research team focused on improving quality of life and reducing symptom distress among patients with chronic health conditions. In 2003, her team received one of the first grants to evaluate the impact of mindfulness training on patient health ever awarded by the National Institutes of Health. This trial showed that mindfulness meditation and yoga reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia for transplant recipients. Her subsequent trial compared mindfulness training to sleeping pills, and found comparable sleep benefits with no side effects, supporting mindfulness meditation as a useful treatment for insomnia. 

Dr. Gross received a DAISY award for impactful teaching, and her doctoral advisees are now in leadership positions in academia, health care, and industry in United States and Thailand. She continues to work as a consultant. Her published works can be found at here.


  • Measurement of Patient-Reported Outcomes
  • Mindfulness for symptoms
  • Clinical trials 

Professional Associations

  • Co-operative Membership:
    Population Health and Systems
  • Center Membership:
    Center for Aging Science and Care Innovation

Research Summary

Her research focuses on improving the quality of life and health outcomes of solid organ transplant candidates and recipients, and patients with diabetes or other medication-intensive chronic illnesses. Her current study is an NIH-funded clinical trial called "Journeys to Wellness: A Kidney Transplant Patient Study." This study will compare a mind-body approach, called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (tMBSR), to a support group for kidney transplant candidates. Both interventions will be conducted mostly by teleconference. To learn more about this study send an e-mail to, view study number NCT01254214 or follow this link to the study brochure (PDF).

  • mindfulness meditation
  • organ transplant
  • quality of life
  • symptom management


Research and Education Grants:

Title of Project: Mindfulness for Symptom Reduction: A Transplant Candidate Study in Program Grant-Studies of Organ Transplantation in Animals and Man
Funding Agency: NIDDK/NIH
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Dates: 2009-2013

Title of Project: Impact of Mind-Body Interventions Post Organ TransplantFunding Agentcy: NINR/NIH
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Dates: 2003-2009

Title of Project: Mindfulness Meditation versus Pharmacotherapy for Chronic Insomnia: Pilot Study
Funding Agency: University of Minnesota, Academic Health Center Faculty Research Development Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Dates: 2007-2008

Title of Project: Center for Health Trajectory Research 
Funding Agency: NIH/NINR
Role: Data Safety & Monitoring Director
Project Dates: 2005-2010

Title of Project: Clinical Center - Outcomes of Live Organ Donors 
Funding Agency: NIH/NIAID
Role: Co-Investigator, quality of life subcommittee
Project Dates: 2006-2011

Title of Project: Impact of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction on Symptoms in Kidney Transplant Recipients 
Funding Agency: Academic Health Center Faculty Development Grant, University of Minnesota
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Dates: 2000-2002

Title of Project: Epilepsy Clinical Research Program 
Funding Agency: NIH/NINDS
Role: Investigator
Project Dates: 12/1/02-11/30/07

Title of Project: The Impact of Total Workload on Maternal Postpartum Health and Quality of Life 
Funding Agency: NIOSH R01 OH03605-01A1
Role: Co-Investigator
Project Dates: 9/30/99-9/29/04



Selected Publications:

  • Gross, C.R., Kreitzer, M.J., Reilly-Spong, M., Wall, M., Winbush, N.Y., Patterson, R., Mahowald, M., Cramer-Bornemann, M. (2011). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs. pharmacotherapy for primary chronic insomnia: A pilot randomized controlled clinical trial. Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing. Explore. 7(2), 76-87. PMID 21397868
  • Gross, C.R., Kreitzer, M.J., Thomas, W., Reilly-Spong, M., Cramer-Bornemann, M., Nyman, J.A., Frazier, P. & Ibrahim, H.N. (2010). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for solid organ transplant recipients: A randomized controlled trial.Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 16(5),30-38.
  • Hormes, J.M., Bryan, C., Lytle, L.A., Gross, C.R., Ahmed, R.L., Troxel, A.B., Schmitz, K.H. (2010). Impact of lymphedema and arm symptoms on quality of life in breast cancer survivors. Lymphology, 43(1), 1-13.
  • Speck, R.M., Gross, C.R., Hormes, J.M., Ahmed-Saucedo, R.L., Lytle, L.A., Hwang, W.T., Schmitz, K.H. (2010). Changes in the Body Image and Relationship Scale (BIRS) following a one year strength training trial for breast cancer survivors with or at risk for lymphedema. Breast Cancer Research &Treatment, 121(2), 421-430.
  • Findorff, M.J., Wyman, J.F. & Gross, C.R. (2009). Predictors of long-term exercise adherence in a community-based sample of older women. Journal of Womens Health, 18(11), 1769-76.
  • Gapstur, R., Gross, C.R., Ness, K. (2009). Factors associated with sleep-wake disturbances in child and adults survivors of pediatric brain tumors: A review. Oncology Nurse Forum, 36(6), 723-31.
  • Graziano, J.A. & Gross, C.R. (2009). The impact of an automated telephone interventions on HbA1c in type 2 diabetes: A randomized controlled trial. Advances in Nursing Science, 32(3), E42-57.
  • Graziano, J.A. & Gross, C.R. (2009). The effect of telephone interventions on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes: A literature review. Advances in Nursing Science, 32(3), E28-41.
  • Schmitz ,H.K., Troxel, A.B., Cheville, A., Grant, L.L. , Bryan, C.J., Gross, C.R., Lytle, L.A., Ahmed, R.L. (2009). Physical Activity and Lymphedema (The PAL Trial): Assessing the safety of progressive strength training in breast cancer survivors. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 30(3), 233-45.
  • Kreitzer, M.J., Gross, C.R., Reilly-Spong, M., Walekchaloet, O., Bird, C. (2009). The Serenity Scale: A Psychometric analysis of a dimension of spirituality and well-being. Journal of Holistic Nursing. 27(1), 7-16. PMC 2818779
  • Gross, C.R., Kreitzer, M.J., Reilly-Spong, M., Winbush, N.Y., Schomaker, E.K. & Thomas, W. (2009). Mindfulness meditation training to reduce symptom distress in transplant patients: Rationale, design and experience with a recycled waitlist. Clinical Trials: Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials. 6, 76-89. PMC 28118773
  • Ibrahim, H.N., Foley, R., Tan, L.P., Rogers, T., Bailey, R.F., Guo, H., Gross, C.R., Matas, A.J. (2009). Long-term consequences of kidney donation. New England Journal of Medicine. 360, 459-69, 2009. Topic of editorial by Tan & Chertow N Engl J Med. 360(5),522-23.
  • Sakthong, P., Schommer, J.C., Gross, C.R., Prasinthsirikul, W., Sakulbumrungsil, R. (2009). Health utilities in patients with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. Value in Health. 12(2), 377-384.
  • Gross, C.R., Wyrwich, K.W. (2008). Evaluating quality of life measurement tools. Sleep and Quality of Life in Medical Illness. Chapter 3.
  • Wyrwich, K.W., Gross, C.R. (2008). Quality of life in medical illness. Sleep and Quality of Life in Medical Illness. Chapter 1.
  • Hormes, J., Lytle, L., Gross, C.R., Ahmed, R., Troxel, A., Schmitz, K. (2007). The Body Image and Relationships Scale (BIRS): Development and validation of a measure of body image in female breast cancer survivors. Journal of Clinical Oncology.
  • Waleekhachonloet, O-A., Limwattananon, C., Limwattananon, S, Gross, C.R. (2007). Group behavior therapy versus individual behavior therapy for health dieting and weight control management in overweight and obese women living in rural community. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. 1, 223-232.
  • Ye, X., Gross, C.R., Schommer, J., Cline, R., Peter, W.L. (2007). Association between co-payment and compliance to statin treatment initiated after coronary heart disease hospitalization: A longitudinal, retrospective, cohort study. Clinical Therapeutics. 29, 2748-2757.
  • Sakthong, P., Schommer, J.C., Gross, C.R., Sakulbumrungsil, R., Prasithsirikul, W. (2007). Psychometric properties of the WHOQOL-BREF-THAI in patients with HIV/AIDS. J Med Assoc of Thailand. 90 (11), 2449-2460.
  • Findorff, M.J., Stock, H.H., Gross, C.R., Wyman, J.F. (2007). Does the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) Explain Exercise Behavior in a Community-Based Sample of Older Women?. Journal of Aging and Health. 19(6), 859-1003.
  • Winbush, N.Y., Gross, C.R., Kreitzer, M.J. (2007). The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Sleep Disturbance: A systematic review. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing. 3, 585-591.
  • Wyman, J.F., Crogan, C.F., Monigold, M., Gomez, C., Gildea, L., Nachreiner, N., Gross, C.R., Stock, H.H. (2007). Effectiveness of Education and Individualized Counseling in Reducing Environmental Hazards in the Homes of Community-Dwelling Older Women. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 55, 1548-1556.
  • Ye, X., Gross, C.R., Schommer, J., Cline, R., Xuan, J., St. Peter, W.L. (2007). Initiation of statins after hospitalization for coronary heart disease. Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. 13(5), 385-396.
  • Lindquist, R., Wyman, J.F., Talley, K., Findorff, M.J., Gross, C.R. (2007). Design of Control Group Conditions in Clinical Trials of Behavioral Interventions. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 39(3), 214-221.
  • Lobo, F.S., Gross, C.R., Matthees, B.J. (2004). Estimation and comparison of derived preference scores from the SF-36 in lung transplant patients. Quality of Life Research, 13(2), 377-388.
  • Gross, C.R., Kreitzer, M.J., Russas, V., Treesak, C., Frazier, P.A., Hertz, M.I. (2004). Mindfulness meditation to reduce symptoms after organ transplant: A pilot study, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 10(3), 58-66. Reprinted by the publisher in Advances in Mind-Body Medicine 20(2), 20-29, 2004.
  • McGovern, P.M., Gross, C.R., Krueger, R.A., Engelhard, D.A., Cordes, J. E., & Church, T.R. (2004). False-positive cancer screens and health-related quality of life. Cancer Nursing, 27(5), 347-352.
  • Kreitzer, M.J., Gross, C.R., Russas, V., Ye, X. (2005). Longitudinal impact of mindfulness meditation on illness burden in solid-organ transplant recipients. Progress in Transplantation, 15(2), 166-172.
  • Wyman, J., Gross, C., DiFabio, R., Nyman, J., Lindquist, R., McCarthy, T., Wade, M., Konstan, J., & Findorff, M. (2005). A randomized trial of exercise, education, and risk reduction counseling to prevent falls in population-based sample of older women [Abstract]. The Gerontologist, 45(Special Issue II), 297.
  • Weinert, C., Chlan, L., & Gross, C. (2001). Sedating Critically Ill Patients: Factors Affecting Nurses' Delivery of Sedative Therapy. American Journal of Critical Care, 10(3), 156-165.
  • Ryden, M.B., Gross, C.R., Savik, K., Snyder, M., Lee, H., Jang, Y.P., Wang, J.J., Krichbaum, K. (2000). Development of a measure of resident satisfaction with the nursing home. Research in Nursing and Health, 23, 237-245.
  • Ryden, M., Snyder, M., Gross, C., Savik, K., Pearson, V., Krichbaum, K., & Mueller, C. (2000). Value-Added Outcomes: The Use of Advanced Practice Nurses in Long-Term Care Facilities. The Gerontologist, 40(6), 654-662.
  • Garrard, J., Cloyd, J., Gross, C.R., Graves, N., Lackner, T., Hardie, N., Thomas, L., Leppik, I. (2000). Factors associated with antiepileptic drug use among nursing home elderly. Journal of Gerontology, 55A(7), M384-M392.
  • Bull, M.J., Hansen, H.E. Gross, C.R. (2000). A professional-patient partnership model of discharge planning with elders hospitalized with heart failure. Applied Nursing Research, 13(1), 19-28.
  • Bull, M.J., Hansen, H.E., Gross, C.R. (2000). Predictors of elder and family caregiver satisfaction with discharge planning for elders with heart failure and their family caregivers. J Cardiovascular Nursing, 14(3), 76-87.
  • Gross C.R., Limwattananon C., Matthees B., Zehrer C.L., Savik K. (2000) Impact of transplantation on quality of life in patients with diabetes and renal dysfunction. Transplantation, 70(21), 1736-46, 2000. (Publication cited in Current Awareness in Biomedicine, Diabetes Mellitus 10(5) Early March 2001. Also see Letters to Editor, Transplantation, 2001.)
  • Nelson, B. J.,Weinert, C.R.,Bury. C.L., Marinelli, W.R., Gross, C.R. (2000). ICU drug use and subsequent quality of life in acute lung injury patients. Critical Care Medicine, 28(11), 3626-30.
  • Ryden, M.B., Feldt, K.S., Oh, H.L., Brand, K., Warne, M., Weber, E., Nelson, J., Gross, C.R. (1999). Relationships between aggressive behavior in cognitively impaired nursing home residents and use of restraints, psychoactive drugs and secured units. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. XIII (No. 4), 170-8.
  • Gross C.R., Malinchoc M., Kim W.R., Evans R.W., Wiesner R.H., Petz J.L., Crippin J.S., Klintmalm G.B., Levy M.F., Ricci P., Therneau T.M., Dickson E.R.(1999) Quality of life after liver transplantation for cholestatic liver disease. Hepatology, 29:356-64.
  • Marinelli, W.A., Weinert, C.R., Gross, C.R., Knoedler, J.P., Bury, C.L., Kangas, J.R., Leatherman, J.W. (1999). Right heart catheterization in acute lung injury: An observational study. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 160, 69-76.