Ruth Lucas

Associate Professor
University of Connecticut School of Nursing

Dr. Ruth Lucas is an Associate professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. Her research aims to support breastfeeding equity, which affects the health of pregnant persons and their infants nationally and globally. Women and their infants as a dyad, often are not included in advancements in biomedical advancement to address reasons for breastfeeding cessation. Dr. Lucas’ science explores the biopsychosocial mechanisms, molecular genetics, physiokinetics of milk flow, and biomechanics of infant breastfeeding behaviors. Our collaborative team science at UConn School of Nursing seeks to change the conversation around breastfeeding to a dyadic behavior feeding behavior affected by social determinants of health.

Dr. Lucas collaborates with interdisciplinary teams within and beyond UConn School of Nursing to conduct prevention and clinical community-based research focused on initiation, retention, and duration of breastfeeding.  Her work includes a text-based intervention for breast and nipple pain which significantly reduced pain across the duration of breastfeeding, the discovery of a molecular risk for postpartum and breastfeeding pain, development of a biomedical lactation device prototype, and clarification of barriers to diverse breast/chest feeding persons to breastfeed. Dr. Lucas is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a prior post-doctoral fellow at Duke University, earned a PhD and Master’s from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Mason University.