Since graduating from Stony Brook School of Nursing in 1977, Dr. Ellen Giarelli went on to earn her Masters in Nursing Education from NYU. She completed her post-doctorate in 2001 in psycho-social oncology and HIV/AIDS at the University of Pennsylvania, and benefiting from the mentorship of Dr. Ruth McCorkle (YALE) and Dr. Jennifer Pinto-Martin (UPENN), she developed a Robust research agenda studying the life-long experiences of people diagnosed with genetic disorder, including cancer predisposition syndromes (multiple endocrine neoplasia Type 2a, familial adenomatous polyposis ), Marfan syndrome, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Dr. Giarelli received research funding to support her studies from NIH/NINR, NIH/NHGRI,CDC, NIH/AHRQ, Oncology Nursing Foundation, and Sigma Theta Tau. Within the last 10 years, Dr. Giarelli has concentrated on Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is the principle investigator for the Pennsylvania Autism and Developmental Disabilities Surveillance program (CDC). She is developing a role for nurses in the life-long care of ASD. In addition she initiated two certificate programs in the nursing care of ASD: 1) post-masters cert program at UPENN School of Nursing, 2) post-baccalaureate certificate program at Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions. As an expert in ASD, she is the editor of the first book on the The Integrated Nursing Care of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Springer Publishing, 2012).