Irene Yang is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, and received her MSN in Nursing Education and PhD in Nursing Research from the University of Louisville in 2014. She continued her research training with a T32 postdoctoral fellowship at Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and was privileged to join the faculty in 2016.

Areas of Expertise

Biological Behavioral Omics
Health Disparities
Maternal And Infant Health/Midwifery
Neurocognitive Disease
Vulnerable Populations
Environmental Health


  • Richardson, B.N., Noh, H.I., Webster, C.I., Zhang, W., Kim, S., Yang, I., & Bai, J. (2023). Oral microbiome, mental health, and sleep outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic: An observational study in Chinese and Korean American immigrants. OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, 27(4), https://doi.org/10.1089/omi.2022.0182 
  • Rodriguez, J., Liang, D., Tchen, R., & Yang, I. (2023). Saliva and exhaled breath condensate correlate with serum in 4-12-Year-Olds exposed to secondhand electronic cigarette vapors: A pilot study. Biological Research for Nursing. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/10998004221149959 
  • Yang, I., Claussen, H., Arthur, R.A., Hertzberg, V.S., Geurs, N., Corwin, E.J., & Dunlop, A.L. (2022). Subgingival microbiome in pregnancy and a potential relationship to early term birth. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2022.873683
  • Yang, I., Rodriguez, J., Wright, Christa Young, & Hu, Yi-Juan. (2022). The oral microbiome of electronic cigarette users: A cross-sectional exploration. Oral Diseases, 29(4), 1875-1884. http://doi: 10.1111/odi.14186
  • Park, J., Corwin, E.J.., Dunlop, A. L., & Yang, I. (2022). Initial psychometric testing of a maternal oral symptom survey. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 67(2), 258-263. http://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.13343
  • Butts, B., Alford, T., Brewster, G., Carlson, N., Coleman, E., Davis, E., Ferranti, E., Kimble, L., Narapareddy, L., Wells, J., & Yang, I. (2021). Adaptation of metabolomics and microbiomic research protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing Research, 71(2), 128-137. http://doi.org/10.1097/NNR.0000000000000574
  • Yang, I., Arthur, R.A., Zhao, L., Clark, J., Hu, Y., Corwin, E.J., & Lah, J. (2021). The oral microbiome and inflammation in mild cognitive impairment. Experimental Gerontology, 147, 111273. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2021.111273
  • Yang, I., Hu, Y., Corwin, E.J., & Dunlop, A.L. (2020). Exploring the maternal infant oral microbiome. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 34(3), 211-221. DOI: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000494 
  • Yang, I., Sandeep, S., & Rodriguez, J. (2020). The oral health impact of electronic cigarette use: A systematic review. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 50(2), 97-127. DOI: 10.1080/10408444.2020.1713726


Dr. Yang employs a relational teaching style, instructing and mentoring students across various nursing programs at the School of Nursing. She emphasizes the significance of research in nursing practice and provides students with guided opportunities to experience research firsthand.


Dr. Yang's program of research centers around two primary research foci: biobehavioral and translational. Her biobehavioral investigations focus on the oral microbiome and inflammation as an underlying mechanism to explain the relationship between poor oral health and extra-oral conditions. Specifically, she investigates the role of the oral microbiome and inflammation in birth outcomes and cognitive impairment. Additionally, she examines the biological and clinical repercussions of electronic cigarette use on oral health, the oral microbiome, and inflammatory pathways. In the translational arena, she engages in research projects that examine social determinants that impact oral health, with the ultimate purpose of developing clinical interventions and programs that enhance the oral health of individuals and communities.


  • 2021 Scialog Microbiome, Neurobiology, and Disease Fellow
  • 2020 Butler-Williams Scholar
  • 2016 AWHONN Novice Researcher Award