headshot of Dr. Samuel-Nakamura

Christine Samuel-Nakamura

Assistant Professor

Academic Titles/Accomplishments/Affiliations:

University of New Mexico, BSN
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), FNP, Neuropsychiatry subspecialty, MSN
UCLA, Postdoctoral Fellowship

03/2015-present      Western Institute of Nursing
11/2007-present      California Association for Nurse Practitioners
04/1999-present      Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Society
05/1997-present      Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

Research interest:

“Ethnically diverse populations are disproportionately exposed to hazardous environmental materials by virtue of living in close proximity to contaminated areas. Specifically, one-half of the uranium (U) in the United States is found on American Indian (AI) lands where mining, milling, processing, and waste storage commonly occurs.”

Christine Samuel-Nakamura worked for multiple years in several Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal hospitals/clinics as a nationally board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). A portion of her clinical work focused on chronic health conditions such as diabetes, renal failure, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. Her clinical work with these chronic health conditions led her to contemplate whether there is a connection between these chronic conditions and the community environment. These hypotheses ultimately led to her research question and work examining environmental contamination from U and other heavy metals. Dr. Samuel-Nakamura received her doctorate from UCLA and her dissertation study focused on U and associated heavy metals in the food chain on the Diné (Navajo) reservation. Her postdoctoral work examined U and heavy metals in a common AI herbal tea plant. Before joining the UCLA SON, Dr. Samuel-Nakamura was a Lecturer in the UCLA Interdepartmental Program in American Indian Studies (IDP-AIS). She is a member of the Diné Nation.