I study risk factors associated with tuberculosis (TB) infection and disease in persons who are screened with an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). In collaboration with Washington State’s TB Program Manager and Consultants I have prioritized research to advance the prevention and control of TB in Washington State. Recently, in collaboration with the laboratory and public health officials of the Spokane Regional Health District I conducted a retrospective analysis of IGRA and screening data from approximately 4,000 subjects to characterize IGRA results, source of the request, reasons for screening, demographic and risk information, and prior exposure. In June 2013 I completed a study of culture-confirmed TB cases with true-positive, false-negative, and indeterminate IGRAs. The question of interest was whether false-negative IGRAs are associated with selected populations and risk characteristics.
I have mentored international visitors on our campus, and have been an invited visiting lecturer to teach graduate students in Thailand and Hong Kong. I have developed, secured federal funding, implemented, and evaluated three graduate programs and two graduate certificate programs. In collaboration with our Technology and Innovations in Education and Research team I have led the funding, development, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of innovative, interactive, online educational resources for infectious diseases and nursing education.
Practice, Service, Community Involvement
In my capacity as Board Member for the Firland Foundation (a workshop for disabled persons; proceeds fund TB research, community projects, and awareness initiatives), I chair the Grants Committee. I also serve on the Advisory Board for the Firland Northwest TB Center, a unique partnership between the Firland Foundation and UW. I have developed several free tutorials for the educational and practice communities on TB. I have served on editorial boards for the Heart & Lung, American Journal of Critical Care, and Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. I also have reviewed manuscripts for the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
- Simpson, T., Tomaro, .J, & Jobb, C. (2013). Implementation of an interferon-gamma release assay to screen for tuberculosis in refugees and immigrants. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 15(4):686-692.
- Simpson, T., Fox, J., Crouse, K., & Field, K. (2012). Quantitative and qualitative QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube results among groups with varying risk of exposure to tuberculosis. Heart Lung 41(6):553-561.
- Palazzo, S., Simpson, T., Simmons, J., & Schnapp, L. (2012). Soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (sTREM-1) as a diagnostic marker of ventilator-associated pneumonia. Respiratory Care 57(12):2052-8.
- Simpson, T., Fox, J., Crouse, K., & Field, K. (2012). Screening for Mycobacterium tuberculosis using an interferon-gamma release assay. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 18(4)E19-E25.
- Palazzo, S., Simpson, T., & Schnapp, L. (2011). Biomarkers for ventilator-associated pneumonia: Review of the literature. Heart Lung 40(4):293-298.
Current Research Projects
- 2012, PI, “Characteristics of Culture-Confirmed TB Cases in Washington State with Negative and Indeterminate Interferon-Gamma Release Assays.” Firland Foundation Research Grant, $23,847