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Joel holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, with a dissertation focusing on the effects of dietary metal on neurotransmitter biology, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Following his undergraduate education and prior to graduate school, he worked as a manager for two cancer research laboratories in the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, including research investigating the anti-cancer effects of integrative medicine modalities in vitro and in vivo. Joel completed a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship in the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies at U.Va.
An Assistant Professor in the U.Va. School of Nursing, Joel's research interests involve the use of non-pharmacological therapies and interventions, including Healing Touch and other mind-body therapies, to improve patient-reported and patient-centered outcomes in chronic disease populations and the health care setting.
Joel lectures on mind-body and integrative therapies in several undergraduate and graduate nursing courses at U.Va. He is a Healing Touch practitioner and a member of the Board of Directors and Research Director for Healing Beyond Borders, the education and certification organization for Healing Touch. Joel serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Integrative Medicine & Therapy.